For PZ Myers, the idea of responding justly to complaints is literally a joke

This week PZ Myers seemed to finally be acting responsibly, announcing that FreeThought Blogs was setting up a new complaints department, with a dedicated customer service email address. He then revealed that this post was a joke, intended to mock the idea that FreeThought Blogs would do such a thing.

He added that there is no authority within FreeThought Blogs to police what any blogger writes. But the network recently expelled blogger Avicenna after receiving complaints of repeated plagiarism. So, unless that announcement was also a joke, there is an authority within FreeThought Blogs to police ethical breaches by bloggers.

PZ’s original post seemed to be a positive step in proactively welcoming and addressing such complaints in a structured way.

Instead, his second post has demonstrated, yet again, PZ’s steady drift from the principles of justice that he regularly demands of others, and his increasing irrelevancy, other than as a hindrance, to those of us who are trying to actually promote atheism, reason, compassion and justice.

The Customer Service Email Address

Although PZ’s initial announcement was phrased somewhat flippantly, the underlying message was welcome. Coming soon after it had expelled Avicenna, it seemed that FreeThought Blogs was finally beginning to practice some principles of justice in a structured way.

Naturally, I had some questions about the nature of the new complaints department. Would it operate with transparency and accountability? Would people with a conflict of interest be expected to recuse themselves from investigating complaints?

Would its procedures meet the natural justice principles of hearing all of the evidence, respecting the right to a fair hearing of the person complaining and the person being complained about, avoiding bias, and only forming a judgement after all the facts have been considered?

If so, it could have provided a mechanism for addressing, within the network, my complaint that PZ Myers has made the defamatory allegation that I defend, provide a haven for and support rapists, and that the evidence for this claim is that people who comment on my blog also post on the Slymepit forum.

More importantly, it could have been a first step towards PZ taking responsibility for his unjust behaviour to the many people he has misrepresented, smeared and insulted, going back to at least 2006 when Ed Brayton, who is now FreeThought Blogs manager, had said that PZ’s M.O. is to start personal attacks then pretend to be above it all and clam up when criticised.

The idea that Customer Service is a Joke

Sadly, it was not to be. The following day, PZ announced that the post about the Complaints Department was, and I quote:

“intended as a joke — we don’t have such a thing — to mock the idea that we do have such a thing. We don’t.”

Yes, you read that correctly. FreeThought Blogs not only does not have a complaints department, but PZ literally thinks it is a joke that they might have one. And this is a blog network that claims to promote justice.

Can you imagine PZ’s reaction if any of the organisations that he complains about responded by announcing a dedicated customer service email address and then saying that it was a joke, intended to mock the idea that they might have one?

PZ titled his second post “That joke didn’t quite work out as intended,” and he seemed surprised that some people took him seriously and responded to the email address. This shows how removed from reality PZ is. Why on earth would anyone believe that an organisation announcing a complaints department, with a customer service email address, would be a joke?

Perhaps one plausible reason might be that, for whatever reason, they knew that PZ would consider this perfectly normal ethical procedure to be something that he would never do, even (or perhaps particularly) in the immediate aftermath of a complaint that had led to a blogger being removed from the network.

PZ added:

“Here’s the full story on authorities at FtB. There ain’t any… So once someone is in here, they are completely independent — no one tells them when to blog or what to blog or what words to use. Ed doesn’t police anyone else’s blog, I’m not telling anyone else what to write, and no one is ordering us around. We figure once someone is let in, they get a bit of space and are free to write what they want, or not write, or even leave…

“Which means that if you write to me and complain about Greta, or write to Ophelia and complain about Ed, or otherwise try to find some higher authority that you can call down upon one of the bloggers here, it doesn’t exist. We really are equals.

“We do have some rules, but they’re very general. We have an admissions committee that screens people before we give them a blog — we learned a lesson from Thunderf00t, that the time to regulate bloggers is before they get a space and begin to shit all over the network. We also formed an executive committee to deal with network wide crises…like a deranged blogger who is shitting all over the network. But otherwise, nope, no one here meddles in anyone else’s blog.”

The removal of Avicenna from FreeThought Blogs

The trouble with PZ’s “full story” as cited above is that it isn’t true.

Just a few short weeks ago, FreeThought Blogs manager Ed Brayton received a complaint from Hemant Mehta about the plagiarism of Avicenna, and Ed recommended that the Executive Committee expel Avicenna from the network, which it duly did.

Avicenna’s plagiarism wasn’t “a network crisis… like a deranged blogger who is shitting all over the network” which is what PZ describes as the only time the executive committee would act, and by which he is clearly referring to his opinion of former network blogger ThunderF00t. On the contrary, Avicenna was, and remains, a friend of both PZ and Ed, and his plagiarism was confined to his own blog.

Ed Brayton wrote of this:

“Then I got an email from Hemant Mehta, someone I also hold in high esteem and consider a friend, and he told me that he’d been looking into the evidence and found a powerful case for plagiarism, whether a result of intention or lack of concern for attribution. I emailed Avi and said, in essence, that you have to address this publicly and you have to tell the truth, whatever that is. I’m glad to see that he has now done so. Hemant also published the evidence he had found and he’s right, the case is pretty unassailable. All of this happened while I slept. When I woke up this morning, I looked at both Hemant and Avi’s posts about it and immediately decided to take the matter to the executive committee and recommend his expulsion from the network. The committee agreed.”

And PZ wrote of this:

“Avi has been taking shortcuts, cutting and pasting blocks of text without attribution. This is a network of writers. Plagiarism is not a forgivable sin here. After reviewing the incidents, and getting Avi’s explanation, we’ve had to conclude that these were not a few one-off accidents, but part of a long term pattern of slipshod writing. For that reason, we have had to regretfully remove Avicenna from our network.”

So, unless the announcement of the removal of Avicenna was also a joke, it seems that there is an Executive Committee that can receive and act upon complaints about ethical breaches by individual FreeThought Bloggers who are posting on their own blogs. So why would PZ think it is a joke to facilitate people making other complaints, including about him?

Postscript

Also, FreeThought Blogs manager Ed Brayton has yet to respond to my three emails during the past month. I’ll return to that later.

Join the Conversation

627 Comments

  1. It may be unthinkable to many, but I believe this is how this conflict will end:

    PZ Myers visits Ireland for an atheist conference or book tour, and reaches out to Michael. They meet, they have a few drinks, they laugh, they settle their differences. After putting this episode behind them, they realize they are not so different after all, become good friends, and Michael becomes an FTB blogger and/or collaborates with PZ on some kind of atheist project in Ireland.

    It goes well enough, though Slyme Pitters will do all they can to sabotage their friendship and joint projects. However, by then, the Slyme Pitters will be so irrelevant(except as a minor annoyance) that almost no one will pay attention to their vicious mudslinging and hate campaigns against progressives.

    Some day PZ Myers and Michael Nugent will be laughing about all this nonsense.

  2. KennyD, ever hear of Gelato Guy? Or ever noticed how it’s Peezus who refuses to deal with these matters, who clammed up after highly irresponsible remarks as is his pattern?

    This isn’t your orange-skied world with the blue rainbows, you know.

    Some day PZ Myers and Michael Nugent will be laughing about all this nonsense.

    Half right, I’m guessing.

  3. ‘Some day PZ Myers and Michael Nugent will be laughing about all this nonsense.’

    ‘Hey PZ, remember that time you accused me of harboring rapists on my blog? LOL’

  4. It goes well enough, though Slyme Pitters will do all they can to sabotage their friendship and joint projects. However, by then, the Slyme Pitters will be so irrelevant(except as a minor annoyance) that almost no one will pay attention to their vicious mudslinging and hate campaigns against progressives.

    And golden monkeys will fly out of my bumhole.

    There’s only one group conducting hate campaigns.

    If you think otherwise try making the mildest of criticisms at FTB – as Deepak Shetty did – and see what happens.

  5. KennyD and Glen:

    Gelato Guy is a great example of how unreasonable PZ is. Gelato Guy was, perhaps, a bit unpleasant to begin with. PZ blasted him and tried to ruin his business. If I recall correctly, PZ wanted to “f— him into the ground.” Gelato Guy caved and sincerely apologized almost immediately.

    PZ refused to accept said apology and offer of free or discounted gelato.

    Why? PZ’s not a decent person. Best of all, PZ accomplished all of this character assassination from afar, without even meeting with Gelato Guy!

    As we all know, people who are truly brave attack from afar and refuse to admit when they’ve been a jerk.

  6. @Glen Davidson #4

    Of course I’ve heard of the Gelato Guy. I’ve been a regular reader and commenter on Pharyngula practically since the beginning. I think PZ Myers handled that religious bigot the right way. I’m glad he didn’t accept his apology. That Gelato guy was ok with discriminating against atheists until he realized it might affect his business, so his apology was phony. Screw him.

    What is the relevance of this? Are you one of those people who thinks PZ was “mean” to Gelato Guy? Do you really expect me to believe that his apology was sincere?

  7. KennyD 8

    No, I’m pointing out that the rigidity of your ideology is a problem. You have two choices, really.

    1) Ignoring that PZ is a massive hypocrite. He likes to accuse people of rape and say that people like Mr. Nugent “harbor” rapists, but refuses to boot Ogvorbis, a self-confessed serial child rapist who has a “monster” that tells him to do it again, from FTB.

    2) Acknowledging that you just don’t care what PZ says, you’re on his side. That’s okay; logic and reason aren’t for everyone. I guess I just hoped we’d have those things in the secular community.

  8. Of course I’ve heard of the Gelato Guy. I’ve been a regular reader and commenter on Pharyngula practically since the beginning. I think PZ Myers handled that religious bigot the right way.

    Oh yes, in a very mean-spirited manner.

    But that’s not the point, is it? You have your little fantasy about Peezus reaching out to Michael, when this was his final message to Nugent:

    So gosh, no, he won’t be getting a retraction or an apology. What he has gotten is blocked on Twitter and email, and a listing of his obsessive behavior.

    There has been no evidence of anything but stonewalling, more misrepresentations, and failure to back up his accusations. When has Peezus ever reached out to anyone who disagrees with him?

    I’m glad he didn’t accept his apology. That Gelato guy was ok with discriminating against atheists until he realized it might affect his business, so his apology was phony.

    Oh, you know that, do you. You most certainly don’t, because many people do things in groups (which seems likely with Gelato Guy) that they cringe at afterward. But you think you know, and don’t care that you don’t.

    Screw him.

    OK, so you’re of a mind with Peezus, who neither knows when he “judges,” and evidently cares not at all that he doesn’t. Why would either of you do anything but hate on the “outsider”?

    What is the relevance of this?

    It was the minor issue, while the major issue was how clearly Peezus has shut off communication and consideration of actually doing the right thing. You fixate on Gelato Guy, ignoring the fact that, even if your bigotry against Gelato Guy just happened to be correct, lashing out at the “other” (and legion are the “others” by this time) is Peezus stock response.

    Are you one of those people who thinks PZ was “mean” to Gelato Guy?

    Yes, because people often come to their senses. What we don’t see is any likelihood of PZ doing so.

    Do you really expect me to believe that his apology was sincere?

    I don’t expect anything reasonable from you, who blathers on about how things should turn out nice, without any evidence that you understand what’s actually happening.

    What a decent person would do is consider that Gelato Guy could have been sincere. And you don’t.

  9. KennyD: Of course I’ve heard of the Gelato Guy. I’ve been a regular reader and commenter on Pharyngula practically since the beginning. I think PZ Myers handled that religious bigot the right way. I’m glad he didn’t accept his apology. That Gelato guy was ok with discriminating against atheists until he realized it might affect his business, so his apology was phony. Screw him.

    The correct Pharyngulism is ‘Fuck him into the ground’.

  10. KennyD – his gelatinous comment is reflective of the so called Jazz by the musician of a similar name.
    All is forgiven and be happy ever after.
    Christians have apologetics – and unethical arseholes and utter hypocrites like PZ have their apologists. Same soup, different name – fuck that so called atheist or skeptical “community”.
    This coward Reinhardt actually is having enough spine left to be able to scrape one sentence and a link together.

  11. Glen Davidson 11

    You make a good point. PZ has stonewalled Mr. Nugent and has literally made a joke of the very valid complain that Mr. Nugent has. PZ has impugned Mr. Nugent’s honor with absolutely no proof.

    If you’ll all recall, PZ completely disregarded communication from Voldemort’s legal counsel, as well.

    PZ won’t listen to reasonable objections from polite individuals. (He calls them sea lions.)

    PZ won’t listen to the attorneys of people he’s accused of serial rape. (He calls them rapists.)

    PZ WILL listen to people like Ogvorbis and is happy to ignore anyone who is considered an SP by his Horde. (Unfortunately, our mutual friend “dshetty” is very close to being declared an SP because they committed the crime of suggesting that PZ might want to open a dialogue with Mr. Nugent.)

  12. Michael, I think everyone can see how you tried. At some point you have to face the facts as they are. You asked PZ Myers countless times, and you wrote three mails to Ed Brayton. You know the quotation attributed to Albert Einstein about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Your case is as solid as you can get by writing about it. The papertrail is now visible from afar and you gain nothing from adding more to it. At some point it will make you look foolish. By no means am I suggesting you should ignore the problem. On the contrary, I commend you for your ongoing efforts. Ignoring it didn’t work and only made the falsehoods seep into mainstream media. The original problem you wanted to address.

    However, it seems you still cling to the belief that this is an isolated problem. Maybe you still have a hard time accepting the situation as it is, and as it is for a long time for many of us. From the Original Smear™, where Rebecca Watson declared that Stef McGraw and others would “laugh down” rape victims when at the time the discussion was about an incident with a polite double entendre in a lift; gross distortion of Richard Dawkins “Dear Muslima” comment; calling for his boycott, then denying it happened and again smearing people as misogynists for as much as recognizing Ms Watson’s call for what it was. How Abbie Smith was blacklisted, and that wasn’t misogyny. How everyone was outraged when Richard Dawkins was overheard of stating the same for one event (but with somone who declared a boycott on him anyway!) to the evolving of the story where not only the boycott didn’t happen, but also McGraw disappeared altogether, and Richard Dawkins straight responded to Rebecca Watson’s video and unleashed the trolls directly unto her… and so forth and so forth. Falsehoods piled onto falsehoods and propagated aggressively (check RationalWiki on Elevatorgate for quick idea, they don’t even list the boycott, as if this wasn’t noteworthy).

    All of that: mainstream. And that in a movement that prides itself with “atheism” and “skepticism” which now also evolved to mean accused are practically guilty; cartoonists partially “asked for it”; freedom of speech is a joke called “Freeze Peach”; criticising a religion is practically racism; not religion and belief in scriptures are the problem, but belief in Teh Patriarchy International Eternal™; sex and gender are cultural constructions and Evolutionary Psychology is anyway bunk and so on…

    Keep in mind that American Atheists, Skepticon and Center for Inquiry are all good with this. They support that. They support spreading of demonstrable falsehoods (e.g. around Amy Roth art project). And they continue to invite serious smearers even when the target of the smears is meant to receive a Lifetime Achievement award on the same event. It isn’t just PZ Myers or Ed Brayton.

  13. KennyD #3

    It goes well enough, though Slyme Pitters will do all they can to sabotage their friendship and joint projects. However, by then, the Slyme Pitters will be so irrelevant(except as a minor annoyance) that almost no one will pay attention to their vicious mudslinging and hate campaigns against progressives.

    Let me fix that for you KennyD –

    http://i.imgur.com/V9lCTPV.jpg

  14. So, this same PZ myers who vigorously defended written anti-abuse policies and official complaints mechanisms at atheist conferences thinks abuse, right to the point of libel, is just a joke when it’s perpetrated by him on a blog. The shameless hypocrisy of this thoroughly nasty little creep really knows no bounds.

  15. Am I the only one to find it very ironic that Myers, who among others vociferously campaigned for strict policies at conventions and other events, actually makes fun of a report, complaint & review system on the blog network he’s part of?

    I mean, what would be his reaction if, say, some Slymepitters had made fun of event policies in the very same way? To be completely fair, some of us (me included) have. But it was on specific points, like not being allowed to criticize one’s religion at an atheist event (!) and we all agreed that ‘some’ code of conduct was necessary anyway with regard to harassment and such.

    But what he did as stated in the OP? Disgraceful is the most gentle word I can use to describe it.

  16. ‘Instead, his second post has demonstrated, yet again, PZ’s steady drift from the principles of justice…’

    Myers has had a steady drift from the principles of reality.

    Calling bloggers ‘independent’ of him, and then sacking bloggers for what they write, and then repeating that bloggers operate independently…

    Perhaps Myers can ask Avicenna if the contents of what is written on a FTB blog can have real-world consequences, or if it is literally a joke that somebody should consider complaints about what is written on their blog.

  17. And generalizing from Aneris * (who I believe could also include a recent smearing of Randi), this is a problem seen across the net, but recently called out in particular in leftist circles by Jonathan Chait at NYMag
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/01/not-a-very-pc-thing-to-say.html
    Not A Very PC Thing to Say

    and in feminist circles by Michelle Goldberg at The Nation
    http://www.thenation.com/article/178140/feminisms-toxic-twitter-wars
    Feminisms Toxic Twitter Wars

    and in liberal circles by Bill Maher
    (obfuscated for spam detection prevention)
    www breitbart com/video/2015/01/16/maher-liberals-hate-bullying-but-theyre-not-opposed-to-using-it/

    And of course Pat Condell has spoken to this.

    My suggestion would be to write this up as Goldberg and Chait and Maher have and publish it in as mainstream a journal as you can find as well as speaking to it at Atheist conferences. (Over at the pit Gefan produced a series of funny (and sad) videos about the schism. Those would compliment any talk.)

    Leftists, Feminists, Atheists… It pains me, but what is it conservatives can be heard to say? “There’s no hate like liberal hate”.

    It’s not PZ your fight is with Michael. Or rather, fighting PZ alone is a waste of your talents.

  18. Minnow @22:

    Nope, not the same. The target, in this case, is “deserving”. Like the Charlie Hebdo victims…

  19. Every time I see another post about the ongoing PZ Myers problem, it reminds me of Robespierre. “if Louis may still be given a trial, he may be absolved, and innocent. What am I to say… if Louis is absolved, if he may be presumed innocent, what becomes of the revolution… all the defenders of liberty become slanderers”
    All you have to do is substitute “rapist” “rape apologist” or any slander of choice and you have the PZ brand of accusation.

    Don’t let them have a trial, because if you do there’s a chance they’ll be found innocent.
    Only difference is that PZ is assassinating characters and reputations rather than people.

    Like Robespierre, PZ was an influential character at the time of the revolution so-to-speak, and now his quick trigger finger and general unpleasantness (labelling people as enemies because they are more moderate in some areas) will hopefully be his eventual undoing.

    It would be almost poetic if he actually experienced firsthand the effects of the type of character assassinations he has levelled at Richard Dawkins and Michael Shermer.

    Obviously though, any and all criticisms or accusations must be firmly rooted in truth, and delivered politely and professionally (like the way Michael Nugent is doing here), otherwise we are no better than those who cause us the outrage.

  20. And generalizing from Aneris * (who I believe could also include a recent smearing of Randi), this is a problem seen across the net, but recently called out in particular in leftist circles by Jonathan Chait at NYMag
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/01/not-a-very-pc-thing-to-say.html
    Not A Very PC Thing to Say

    and in feminist circles by Michelle Goldberg at The Nation
    http://www.thenation.com article/178140/feminisms-toxic-twitter-wars
    Feminisms Toxic Twitter Wars

    (links obfuscated for spam detection prevention)

    and in liberal circles by Bill Maher

    www breitbart com video/2015/01/16/maher-liberals-hate-bullying-but-theyre-not-opposed-to-using-it/

    And of course Pat Condell has spoken to this.

    My suggestion would be to write this up as Goldberg and Chait and Maher have and publish it in as mainstream a journal as you can find as well as speaking to it at Atheist conferences. (Over at the pit Gefan produced a series of funny (and sad) videos about the schism. Those would compliment any talk.)

    Leftists, Feminists, Atheists… It pains me, but what is it conservatives can be heard to say? “There’s no hate like liberal hate”.

    It’s not PZ your fight is with Michael. Or rather, fighting PZ alone is a waste of your talents.

  21. Steven Carr:

    Calling bloggers ‘independent’ of him, and then sacking bloggers for what they write, and then repeating that bloggers operate independently…

    You are confused as to what blogging independence entails; given FTB is a platform for a collection of independent blogs whose powers amount to either (a) admit bloggers to it or (b) dismiss bloggers from it, it makes perfect sense.

    While the blogger is there, they can blog whatever they wish (cf. Thunderfoot); when they lose their membership there, they can still blog whatever they wish all they want (cf. Thunderfoot) — just not on their platform.

    (Facts are facts, however spun)

  22. @Aneris 15,
    I have to disagree. I would advise Michael to keep going. This is now starting to get ridiculous, as in a good way. Myers has blasted right through the first law of holes and now appears to be using a hydraulic borer. It’s only a matter of time before he contradicts so much of his own ideology that even his most ardent sycophants are going to have to give up on him in disgust.

  23. Aneris:

    […] Falsehoods piled onto falsehoods and propagated aggressively (check RationalWiki on Elevatorgate for quick idea, they don’t even list the boycott, as if this wasn’t noteworthy).
     
    All of that: mainstream. And that in a movement that prides itself with “atheism” and “skepticism” which now also evolved to mean accused are practically guilty; […]

    Does PZ stand accused, or not?

  24. “It goes well enough, though Slyme Pitters will do all they can to sabotage their friendship and joint projects”

    The Slymepit, of course. It was always, it is always, and it will always be the Slymepit’s fault.

    Even though the original disagreement didn’t have anything to do with the Slymepit.

    Even though it was Myers who accused people of “defending rapists” when they suggested not to name names on the Internet, and to protect to privacy of people accused of a crime.

    Even though it was Myers who called someone else’s blog “a safe haven for rapists, harassers and misogynists”.

    Even though many prominent people in the Atheism/Skeptic movement who have little to do with the Slymepit (Jerry Coyne, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, etc.) have come to dislike Myers’ methods and have been routinely smeared and attacked by Myers and his Horde.

    All of this was the Slymepit’s fault. They’re responsible for Myers’ decisions and the reactions of others. They’re the invisible puppet masters who control the strings of every critic of the Social Justice Warrior ideology.

    Dawkins, Harris, Coyne, Nugent, they’re just figureheads, misguided feeble-minded white dudebros who don’t know what they’re doing, and who only need to repent and accept the Truth about the Patriarchy.

    The Slymepit is the real evil. They’re worse than Boko Haram and ISIS combined. They’re a den of iniquity which spreads hatred among the innocent sheep in need of a shepherd.

    But enough with KennyD’s naive view of the nature of the “Big Rift”. Let’s go back to the reality for a second.

    The Slymepit is already powerless and irrelevant. It’s just a forum where people mock the extreme, unrealistic views of the SJWs and their struggle against reality and everyone who doesn’t agree with every single item of their endless and ever-growing list of unquestionable dogmas.

    It’s just to face to the truth, KennyD. What you described will never happen, but not because of the nefarious plots of the Slymepit.

    It will never happen because Myers is alienating all of his former allies, and pretty much every famous figure in the Atheist/Skeptic movement.

    Myers has no interest in making peace with Nugent of everyone else. He has no interest in conceding that he might be wrong. He’s a dogmatic zealot who has made the choice to shield a very specific branch of radical feminism and authoritarian progressiveness on his blog. He’s simply facing the consequences of his own behavior.

    The Slymepit is just providing sarcastic commentary to the disaster movie known as FreeThoughtBlogs.

  25. Kirbmarc:

    The Slymepit is the real evil. They’re worse than Boko Haram and ISIS combined. They’re a den of iniquity which spreads hatred among the innocent sheep in need of a shepherd.

    Such sarcasm!

    Indeed, the den of iniquity is FTB and Pharyngula in particular, (according to Slymepit narrative), right?

    Myers has no interest in making peace with Nugent of everyone else. He has no interest in conceding that he might be wrong. He’s a dogmatic zealot who has made the choice to shield a very specific branch of radical feminism and authoritarian progressiveness on his blog. He’s simply facing the consequences of his own behavior.

    The consequences so far seem to me to be that the Slymepit has infested Michael Nugent’s blog, though of course it’s arguable whether that will reflect upon the organisation he chairs, absent results over time.

    (So far, so good for PZ)

  26. John Morales: The consequences so far seem to me to be that the Slymepit has infested Michael Nugent’s blog, though of course it’s arguable whether that will reflect upon the organisation he chairs, absent results over time.

    Your former ally Deepak Shetty is now a ‘Slymepitter’ and ‘rape apologists’ according to the Horde – even though he isn’t registered at the Pitt and he has defended Myers to the hilt.

    Any comment on the latest witch-burning at Thunderdome – or are you afraid you might be next?

  27. @Aneris:
    I, like Hunt, disagree. I don’t think Michael is insisting on the same point; rather, every civilised attempt by Michael to initiate a dialogue has been met by fresh incivility and mendaciousnes, and that needs to be broadcast as widely and as frequently as possible.

    @John Morales:
    Can you explain how the decision to expel a blogger is reached? By consensus? By majority vote? By sheer whim? Who is the “they” in “their platform”? Can you “spin the facts” in a less stupid way?

  28. Shatterface:

    Your former ally Deepak Shetty is now a ‘Slymepitter’ and ‘rape apologists’ according to the Horde – even though he isn’t registered at the Pitt and he has defended Myers to the hilt.

    Ally? Heh.

    I can but repeat that I represent myself, and that I speak for myself, and that I’m not an ideologue before noting that your assertion is contrary to the facts: he has not been banned from Pharyngula, nor is it that a couple of typical (for the place) constitute the consensus of the “Horde”, accusations and if you imagine that the response to him there is some sort of worrysome in-group dogpiling, you should do some research on my own history there.

    (Yeah, I know, it’s a futile observation — your narrative will not be swayed by mere facts)

    Any comment on the latest witch-burning at Thunderdome – or are you afraid you might be next?

    Yeah: your overwrought hyperbole is counter to the actuality, even were it not hyperbole.

    But, FWIW, here is actual opinion about that: neither dshetty nor I who worry (nor would care) all that much about bannination from Pharyngula. And, were we somehow so banned, we would not stoop to nursing a grievance about it and slinking to the Slymepit to find refuge from the grim reality.

    (Want more comments? I am amenable to regaling you with such)

  29. I’d advise anyone interested in actual feminism to read the article Jaques Cruz linked to as most of the complainants are feminists themselves – including a group which promotes women’s health but who were attacked by the Twitterati for using the word ‘vagina’ in their literature because it’s Trans-exclusionary.

    http://m.thenation.com/article/178140-feminisms-toxic-twitter-wars

    This is how toxic the FTB brand of feminism is: they’d rather see women die of cancer than offend a minority of a minority.

  30. Is Morales really claiming that if Myers can sack a blogger, that blogger can be called ‘independent’ of Myers?

  31. @John Morales:

    Such sarcasm!

    Such cogency!

    Indeed, the den of iniquity is FTB and Pharyngula in particular, (according to Slymepit narrative), right?

    Wrong. The Slymepit is an equal-opportunity mocker. I cannot speak for every slymepitter, but I believe we share a common disrespect for dogma, including religion and the social justice warrior cookbook.

  32. If I’m permitted to speculate, based on PZ’s heated defense of Avicenna both immediately before his expulsion (on his blog) and immediately after (on Hemant Mehta’s blog, though it was a somewhat more grudging defense), PZ was likely not the one who made the call to kick him off. Being as it’s Brayton’s network, and Avicenna’s plagiarism was a big red target for legal action by a number of journalists and news organizations, his hand was essentially forced.

    I’m very inclined to think that were Brayton not protective of his financial interests Avicenna would still be blogging.

  33. John Morales: I can but repeat that I represent myself, and that I speak for myself, and that I’m not an ideologue before noting that your assertion is contrary to the facts: he has not been banned from Pharyngula

    Grasping at what your ‘English’ might be trying to convey; my assertion is not contrary to the facts as I did not assert that Deepak has been banned from Pharyngula. You invented that ‘fact’ in order to refute it.

    nor is it that a couple of typical (for the place) constitute the consensus of the “Horde”

    You might want to try putting appropriate words into some kind of order.

    accusations and if you imagine that the response to him there is some sort of worrysome in-group dogpiling, you should do some research on my own history there.

    Maybe you can save me the effort and repeat your criticisms of Myers here – then we can feed them back to Thunderdome and see what happens.

  34. John Morales’s English is pretty difficult to unpick, but I think we should cut him some slack because I don’t think it is his first language, Morales being a Spanish or Portuguese name, I think.

  35. piero:

    @John Morales:
    Can you explain how the decision to expel a blogger is reached? By consensus? By majority vote? By sheer whim? Who is the “they” in “their platform”? Can you “spin the facts” in a less stupid way?

    To your first four questions: No.

    (The reason being that I am utterly independent of them, and therefore have no inside information about them that is not available to anyone else)

    To your last: perhaps I could, but I do not generally spin facts, rather I note them; when I speak of possibilities, however, unlike Noel Plum I do not reject all but one and call it my assumption, nor do I consider possibilities which are contrary to those facts.

    (Of course, that I cannot personally explain them does not entail that they are unexplainable any more than that others (no more informed than I) purporting to explain them are perforce correct)

  36. @Steven Carr:

    Is Morales really claiming that if Myers can sack a blogger, that blogger can be called ‘independent’ of Myers?

    Yes, he is. Apparently, Morales believes Myers’s bullshit explanation concerning the inner workings of FTB, yet he also likes to think of himself as a clever guy. Go figure.

  37. Yes, Slymepit is the puppetmaster. It’s all part of our nefarious plot to extort PZ Myers out of…
    ONE MILLION DOLLARS
    (pinky)

  38. “Indeed, the den of iniquity is FTB and Pharyngula in particular, (according to Slymepit narrative), right?”

    It’s more like a train wreck. Not much iniquity, more SJW inanity and assorted authoritarian idiocy.

    And the occasional plagiarist and confessed child rapist.

    “The consequences so far seem to me to be that the Slymepit has infested Michael Nugent’s blog, though of course it’s arguable whether that will reflect upon the organisation he chairs, absent results over time.”

    Interesting word you used there, “infested”. Thank you for confirming that at least you seem to see the Slymepit as a den of iniquity.

    The organization he chairs seems to be pretty OK with Micheal’s policy of allowing comments from everyone, regardless of whether they are Slymepitters or not. You can (and do) post on this blog. Have you ever wondered about the difference between a policy of allowing difference of opinion and the very liberal use of the ban hammer?

    “(So far, so good for PZ)”

    He’s been alienating potential allies for years, he’s considered a laughing stock by pretty much anyone who isn’t part of his commentariat, even his old posts are considered Islamophobic by the members of the Horde, Dawkins doesn’t want to have anything to do with him, same for Harris and pretty much every other influential atheist on the planet, and even most people who agree with him still dislike him for his methods.

    But yes, except from all of that, so far so good for PZ. He’s just lost another potential ally in Micheal Nugent, but so far so good.

  39. Minnow: John Morales’s English is pretty difficult to unpick, but I think we should cut him some slack because I don’t think it is his first language, Morales being a Spanish or Portuguese name, I think.

    If he’s having trouble with the language he should try not packing his sentences with polysyllabic words, sub-clauses and parentheses. His latest comment has parentheses inside parentheses.

    Tip: if you can’t read something out loud it’s probably not readable.

  40. @John Morales:

    Since it was you who said “just not on their platform” (my emphasis), are you going to pretend that you don’t know whom you were referring to? In other words, are you going to admit you don’t know what you’re talking about? Can I then deduce that you have nothing to say that remotely resembles truth?

  41. Shatterface:

    Grasping at what your ‘English’ might be trying to convey; my assertion is not contrary to the facts as I did not assert that Deepak has been banned from Pharyngula. You invented that ‘fact’ in order to refute it.

    You wrote that “Your former ally Deepak Shetty is now a ‘Slymepitter’” — how do you reconcile that with the narrative (which is, admittedly, PZ’s claim and practice) that those considered to be Slymepitters are automatically banned from there, if he’s now a Slymepitter yet has not been banned?

    nor is it that a couple of typical (for the place) constitute the consensus of the “Horde”
    You might want to try putting appropriate words into some kind of order.

    Certainly, and the opportunity you afford me to correct my hasty (bibulous, even!) editing is appreciated. It should have read “I can but repeat that I represent myself, and that I speak for myself, and that I’m not an ideologue before noting that your assertion is contrary to the facts: he has not been banned from Pharyngula, nor is it that a couple of typical accusations (for the place) constitute the consensus of the “Horde”, and if you imagine that the response to him there is some sort of worrysome in-group dogpiling, you should do some research on my own history there.” rather than “I can but repeat that I represent myself, and that I speak for myself, and that I’m not an ideologue before noting that your assertion is contrary to the facts: he has not been banned from Pharyngula, nor is it that a couple of typical (for the place) constitute the consensus of the “Horde”, accusations and if you imagine that the response to him there is some sort of worrysome in-group dogpiling, you should do some research on my own history there.”.

    (Thanks!)

    accusations and if you imagine that the response to him there is some sort of worrysome in-group dogpiling, you should do some research on my own history there.
    Maybe you can save me the effort and repeat your criticisms of Myers here – then we can feed them back to Thunderdome and see what happens.

    Well, there’s 8 years’ worth, but actually those instances where the typical dogpiling occurred were overwhelmingly (if not totally) about issues unrelated to criticism of PZ.

    (I don’t blame you; over eight years’ worth of commenting is quite a set of data to sift… but yeah, you clearly have no idea)

  42. piero @43:

    Is Morales really claiming that if Myers can sack a blogger, that blogger can be called ‘independent’ of Myers?

    Yes, he is. Apparently, Morales believes Myers’s bullshit explanation concerning the inner workings of FTB, yet he also likes to think of himself as a clever guy. Go figure.

    Tip: if you can’t read something out loud it’s probably not readable.

    <snicker>

    Leaving aside that I, for one, manage to read without vocalising, your personal incompetence is not a sound basis for a maxim.

    @47:

    @John Morales:

    Since it was you who said “just not on their platform” (my emphasis), are you going to pretend that you don’t know whom you were referring to? In other words, are you going to admit you don’t know what you’re talking about? Can I then deduce that you have nothing to say that remotely resembles truth?

    What actual facts to which I have referred do you dispute?

    Is not Thunderfoot blogging as he wishes–without editorial oversight–now just as he was when he was part of FTB? Did he have editorial oversight in his blogging there, at the time? Is it any different for any other blogger who at any time has been there? 😉

    (It should amuse me that how I am accused of making hand-waving claims, yet by now I am inured to sort of irony)

  43. @John Morales:

    My question is very, very simple: whom were you referring to in “just not on their platform”? Even a bibulous idiot can answer that.

  44. John Morrales: You wrote that “Your former ally Deepak Shetty is now a ‘Slymepitter’” — how do you reconcile that with the narrative (which is, admittedly, PZ’s claim and practice) that those considered to be Slymepitters are automatically banned from there, if he’s now a Slymepitter yet has not been banned?

    I don’t ‘reconcile’ it. Regular posters at Thunderdome have labelled Shetty a ‘Slymepitter’ and a ‘misogynist’. Myers is open about banning Pitters. You can infer from these facts what you will but don’t project your inference into my words and then say ‘Ta-da! Shetty isn’t banned so you’re wrong!’

    You go on to say the accusations are ‘typical’ for that place but do not represent a ‘consensus’. If they are ‘typical’ then they are representative.

    Well, there’s 8 years’ worth, but actually those instances where the typical dogpiling occurred were overwhelmingly (if not totally) about issues unrelated to criticism of PZ.

    Ok, you haven’t criticised Myers. Saves me researching 8 years of drivel. If you haven’t criticised Myers I’m not sure why you pinted me to your history to disprove that witch-burning is the automatic response to ingroup criticism of Myers.

  45. Kirbmarc @45:

    “Indeed, the den of iniquity is FTB and Pharyngula in particular, (according to Slymepit narrative), right?”

    It’s more like a train wreck. Not much iniquity, more SJW inanity and assorted authoritarian idiocy.

    And the occasional plagiarist and confessed child rapist.

    So, you don’t dispute my contention, rather you add to it. There you go.

    “The consequences so far seem to me to be that the Slymepit has infested Michael Nugent’s blog, though of course it’s arguable whether that will reflect upon the organisation he chairs, absent results over time.”

    Interesting word you used there, “infested”. Thank you for confirming that at least you seem to see the Slymepit as a den of iniquity.

    Heh. Interesting, perhaps — apposite, certainly.

    (You imagine I find bacteri colonies to be dens of iniquity?)

    The organization he chairs seems to be pretty OK with Micheal’s policy of allowing comments from everyone, regardless of whether they are Slymepitters or not. You can (and do) post on this blog. Have you ever wondered about the difference between a policy of allowing difference of opinion and the

    Terrible thing, that Pharynguloid banhammer! It totally stops you from expressing yourself anywhere on the internet, ever.

    (Yeah, that was sarcastic)

    “(So far, so good for PZ)”

    He’s [PZ] been alienating potential allies for years, he’s considered a laughing stock by pretty much anyone who isn’t part of his commentariat, even his old posts are considered Islamophobic by the members of the Horde, Dawkins doesn’t want to have anything to do with him, same for Harris and pretty much every other influential atheist on the planet, and even most people who agree with him still dislike him for his methods.

    Such vindication! 😉

    But yes, except from all of that, so far so good for PZ. He’s just lost another potential ally in Micheal Nugent, but so far so good.

    Perhaps, but consider the converse: Michael Nugent has also lost another potential ally in PZ.

    (Is it, do you think, relevant that Michael goes on and on and on about PZ, yet PZ at most has a bit of a laugh about it?)

  46. John Morales: Leaving aside that I, for one, manage to read without vocalising, your personal incompetence is not a sound basis for a maxim.

    My tip was to help you write clearly but you obviously aren’t interested in doing so.

    Please continue to pile on sub-clauses and parentheses and mangle your syntax while you do so. It’s not like there’s any meaning behind your words that is being obscured.

  47. piero @50:

    @John Morales:
    My question is very, very simple: whom were you referring to in “just not on their platform”? Even a bibulous idiot can answer that.

    You’re that confused? I referred to the person banned from FTB, who can at any time blog on whatever platform will accept them (or their own, if no established one will).

    Or: bannination from FTB does not entail that those so banned cannot evermore blog anywhere.

    (Why, were you yourself forevermore stymied from commenting on blogs due to your banning? 😉 )

  48. Shatterface:

    John Morales: Leaving aside that I, for one, manage to read without vocalising, your personal incompetence is not a sound basis for a maxim.
    My tip was to help you write clearly but you obviously aren’t interested in doing so.

    That it’s not clear to you doesn’t mean it’s not clear to those who exceed your own degree of nous.

    Please continue to pile on sub-clauses and parentheses and mangle your syntax while you do so. It’s not like there’s any meaning behind your words that is being obscured.

    So… your hobby is to respond to meaningless comments? 🙂

    (I rather think my meaning is all too clear to you, editing errors notwithstanding)

  49. Minnow @41,

    John Morales’s English is pretty difficult to unpick, but I think we should cut him some slack because I don’t think it is his first language, Morales being a Spanish or Portuguese name, I think.

    It probably is difficult to have English as a non-native language combined with a desire to say nothing of substance in as many words as possible. I still somehow lack empathy for him.

  50. Shatterface @51:

    John Morrales: You wrote that “Your former ally Deepak Shetty is now a ‘Slymepitter’” — how do you reconcile that with the narrative (which is, admittedly, PZ’s claim and practice) that those considered to be Slymepitters are automatically banned from there, if he’s now a Slymepitter yet has not been banned?

    I don’t ‘reconcile’ it. Regular posters at Thunderdome have labelled Shetty a ‘Slymepitter’ and a ‘misogynist’. Myers is open about banning Pitters. You can infer from these facts what you will but don’t project your inference into my words and then say ‘Ta-da! Shetty isn’t banned so you’re wrong!’

    I am fully aware that you don’t reconcile it (or even attempt to do so), but it’s nice that you admit that.

    I refer to our mutual contention that “Myers is open about banning Pitters.”

    Well, we both agree on that, so that when you claim “Your former ally Deepak Shetty is now a ‘Slymepitter’” whilst acknowledging that the person has not been banned, you must perforce (well, strictly, only if you care about logical consistency) acknowledge either that PZ himself does not himself consider this to be the case or that he does not in fact automatically ban those he considers “a ‘Slymepitter’”.

    (A paradox you failed to address)

    You go on to say the accusations are ‘typical’ for that place but do not represent a ‘consensus’. If they are ‘typical’ then they are representative.

    You should re-read that to which you refer; I wrote about “the typical dogpiling”, which is not the same as “the typical accusations”.

    (As to how representative dogpiling is, these very comment-threads are a datum, though of course nothing like Pharyngula in its heyday)

    Thing is, there’s over eight years’ worth, but those instances where the typical dogpiling occurred were overwhelmingly (if not totally) about issues unrelated to criticism of PZ.

    Ok, you haven’t criticised Myers. Saves me researching 8 years of drivel. If you haven’t criticised Myers I’m not sure why you pinted me to your history to disprove that witch-burning is the automatic response to ingroup criticism of Myers.

    Logical entailment is clearly not your strong suit; I here clarify for you: that the overwhelming proportion of dogpiling was incurred other than by virtue of criticism of PZ does not entail that none of it was.

    (In fact, it actually entails that some of it did, else the qualification would have been different)

  51. Partick: It probably is difficult to have English as a non-native language combined with a desire to say nothing of substance in as many words as possible.

    If Morales was an isolated example I might put it down to English being his second language but that tortuous grammar is part of the intellectual toolkit of those who have come here to defend Myers.

    See also latsot, Ariel, Theo, etc.

  52. John Morales: Logical entailment is clearly not your strong suit; I here clarify for you: that the overwhelming proportion of dogpiling was incurred other than by virtue of criticism of PZ does not entail that none of it was.

    Then give us some examples of your criticisms of Myers so that we can repost then on Thunderdome just to see what happens.

    Look upon it as an experiment.

  53. Shatterface @58, English is in fact not my native language (I am a native of Spain, where I spent my formative years, but now a naturalised Australian).

    (And I am quite amused at your continuing perception that if one is not against PZ, one is perforce defending him.)

  54. Shatterface:

    John Morales: Logical entailment is clearly not your strong suit; I here clarify for you: that the overwhelming proportion of dogpiling was incurred other than by virtue of criticism of PZ does not entail that none of it was.
    Then give us some examples of your criticisms of Myers so that we can repost then on Thunderdome just to see what happens.

    The concept of the burden of proof is obscure to you?

    (You made the claim, it is up to you to uphold it, not to me to show it mistaken)

  55. I would be surprised if John Morales and Nerd of Redhead could pass the Turing Test. They are probably somebody’s secret AI project (although Nerd’s upgrade is long overdue).

  56. John Morales: Well, we both agree on that, so that when you claim “Your former ally Deepak Shetty is now a ‘Slymepitter’” whilst acknowledging that the person has not been banned, you must perforce (well, strictly, only if you care about logical consistency) acknowledge either that PZ himself does not himself consider this to be the case or that he does not in fact automatically ban those he considers “a ‘Slymepitter’”.

    The logical failure is not on my part. If Myers hasn’t – yet – banned Shetty despite threatening to do so and despite his Horde declaring Shetty a ‘Slymepitter’, a ‘misigynist’, a ‘rape apologist’ and someone who does not believe women ‘are people too’ – all of which accusations were plucked out of Tony! and Nerd’s arses even as we watched the thread develop – there’s no inconsistency on my part.

  57. Jan Steen: I would be surprised if John Morales and Nerd of Redhead could pass the Turing Test. They are probably somebody’s secret AI project (although Nerd’s upgrade is long overdue).

    I’ve been following the development of AI and it is way more in advance of anything commenting at FTB.

  58. “So, you don’t dispute my contention, rather you add to it. There you go.”

    Are being deliberately thick? “Not much iniquity, more SJW inanity and assorted authoritarian idiocy.”

    How on earth can your interpret this sentence as “not disputing your contention”?

    To reiterate my point: there isn’t much “iniquity” at FTB, more “stupidity” and “authoritarian thinking”. Stupid, authoritarian people can be stupid and authoritarian without committing unethical actions.

    There are exceptions of course, like the infamous confessed child rapist (pretty bad on an ethical scale) and, until a few weeks ago, a plagiarist (merely a blimp when compared to child rape, but still a violation of integrity).

    “Heh. Interesting, perhaps — apposite, certainly.

    (You imagine I find bacteri colonies to be dens of iniquity?)”

    Sorry for assuming that you still considered the Slymepit posters as humans. I should have understood that for you they’re “white dudebros” (the SJW synonym for untermenschen) and basically no more than bacteria, but I was being charitable.

    “Terrible thing, that Pharynguloid banhammer! It totally stops you from expressing yourself anywhere on the internet, ever.”

    It stops you from replying to what other people have said in the appropriate venue, which is where those comments were written.

    It stops anyone from questioning PZ’ opinions on his own blog. It allows Myers to “win” arguments without providing any evidence or reason for them. It allows the dogmatic SJWs on his blog to spew more bullshit without anyone pointing out that what they’re saying is bullshit.

    It creates a circle jerk of like-minded people who are ready to toss aside anyone who doesn’t follow the party line.

    By the way you’ve missed my point. I simply highlighted the huge difference between an open space like this blog and a heavily regulated space like Pharyngula.

    If Micheal Nugent run this blog like PZ does with his own, and if he really sided with the Slymepitters, you’d have already been banned. The fact that you’re still allowed to post in here should tell you something about the different nature of this place, if you were willing to think about it.

    “Such vindication!”

    Do you any evidence that what I wrote about PZ’ failures is untrue? Or do you simply have more smilies to offer to the Internet?

    “Is it, do you think, relevant that Michael goes on and on and on about PZ, yet PZ at most has a bit of a laugh about it?”

    Micheal documented a common behavior of PZ and his ilk: they feel free to accuse anyone of anything and laugh when people ask them to apologize for their smears.

    PZ thinks he’s entitled to call anyone else a rapist, a rape apologist, a harasser or a misogynists whenever he feels like it.

    Nugent simply wants him to face responsibility for what he said. I don’t think that Nugent considers Myers a potential ally (feel free to correct me if he does).

  59. I’ve been following the development of AI and it is way more in advance of anything commenting at FTB.

    It’s probably just a student’s project.

  60. Shatterface:

    The logical failure is not on my part. If Myers hasn’t – yet – banned Shetty despite threatening to do so and despite his Horde declaring Shetty a ‘Slymepitter’, a ‘misigynist’, a ‘rape apologist’ and someone who does not believe women ‘are people too’ – all of which accusations were plucked out of Tony! and Nerd’s arses even as we watched the thread develop – there’s no inconsistency on my part.

    Heh.

    I was personally accused of such by many more than a mere two regulars, years and years ago, yet I’m still not banned.

    I take it this is your grudging admission that what “his Horde” think is now what PZ thinks; if not, how do your reconcile the facts with your claim?

    Jan Steen: I would be surprised if John Morales and Nerd of Redhead could pass the Turing Test. They are probably somebody’s secret AI project (although Nerd’s upgrade is long overdue).
    I’ve been following the development of AI and it is way more in advance of anything commenting at FTB.

    An easily-testable claim, though I know you won’t dare to test it.

    (What about things commenting here? 😉 )

  61. Meta Morales:

    ‘Leaving aside that I, for one, manage to read without vocalising…’

    Oo, well done you!

  62. John Morales: I take it this is your grudging admission that what “his Horde” think is now what PZ thinks; if not, how do your reconcile the facts with your claim?

    Your reading is as bad as your writing. The ‘fact’ Myers hasn’t banned Shetty yet – and that may no longer be true – doesn’t imply Myers doesn’t regard Shetty as an honorary Slymepitter.

    He has threatened to ban Shetty if he repeats his call for Myers to answer Michael.

  63. So I have been given a copy of the “John Morales” software and I asked it to respond to the line “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”

    This was the response:

    [OT + meta] The supposition that someone’s interlocutor could be compared to a day between 21 June and 21 September, if such is provisionally taken to mean a summer’s day, strikes me as being somewhat remarkable but in want of further corroboration . Heh.

    Fail.

  64. Jan @ comment 70

    C’mon. ‘John Morales software’ my arse. Admit it, you just used the ponciness plugin on the Steersman app, didn’t you.

  65. As it happens, I also laid my hands on a copy of “Nerd of Redhead 2.12”.

    I posed it the same challenge:

    Citation needed, fuckwitted rape apologist. I have been an active scientist for 40+ years and in my experience only misogynist liberturds like you make such inane comparisons. Welcome to science and stop JAQing off.

  66. Shatterface @69:

    Your reading is as bad as your writing.

    In that we concur.

    The ‘fact’ Myers hasn’t banned Shetty yet – and that may no longer be true – doesn’t imply Myers doesn’t regard Shetty as an honorary Slymepitter.

    Which, as a corollary, entails that a “honorary Slymepitter” is not necessarily subject to banning.

    Clearly, you are now contending that there are two classifications relating to membership of the Slymepit category: the honorary ones and the non-honorary ones, and that dshetty is in the latter category, the which doesn’t incur the automatic bannination.

    (Such nuance!)

    He has threatened to ban Shetty if he repeats his call for Myers to answer Michael.

    Your purported paraphrase falls short of the actuality: I dare you to quote PZ’s actual statement.

  67. Jan Steen, you imagine your failed fantasy is of any relevance to my reality?

    <snicker>

    Have at it.

    (Walter Mitty was a piker, compared to you!)

  68. Tigzy @68:

    Meta Morales:

    ‘Leaving aside that I, for one, manage to read without vocalising…’

    Oo, well done you!

    That you find the ordinary impressive is… not impressive.

    (Heh)

  69. @John Morales:

    You’re that confused? I referred to the person banned from FTB, who can at any time blog on whatever platform will accept them

    I think you’ve managed to get lost in the meanders of your own labyrinthine prose. Let’s have a look at what you actually wrote:

    when they lose their membership there, they can still blog whatever they wish all they want (cf. Thunderfoot) — just not on their platform.

    Obviously, “their” cannot refer to the person banned from FTB. Can you please answer the question?

  70. John Morales @67:

    The fact that Myers is capricious in his banning habits doesn’t imply some sort of leniency in his mindset. At Pharyngula, the Dissenter is considered a “chew toy” (Myers’ words) for his fan club to take their frustrations out on. If PZ is in a vindictive mood (!) he may decide to allow the Dissenter to keep commenting so that The Horde can throw as many “Fuck off, rapist!” type abuse at the miscreant.

    An interesting example of this is the case of ‘ChasCPeterson’, who I note has commented here on this site. Despite frequently irritating the Hordelings, Chas has managed to avoid the banhammer pretty much from the start of FtB. My guess is that ‘Chas’ may in fact be a key figure in the atheist movement, or at least someone PZ sees as useful to his own agenda — but that’s only a guess.

    Maybe Myers is just fond of the fella.

  71. Kirbmarc @65:

    Are being deliberately thick? “Not much iniquity, more SJW inanity and assorted authoritarian idiocy.”

    How on earth can your interpret this sentence as “not disputing your contention”?

    Easy; “Not much X” means (at least) some “X”, therefore “X”.

    To reiterate my point: there isn’t much “iniquity” at FTB, more “stupidity” and “authoritarian thinking”. Stupid, authoritarian people can be stupid and authoritarian without committing unethical actions.

    Fine, I accept your assertion that “there isn’t much “iniquity” at FTB”.

    (My accommodation should please you at least somewhat, no?)

    There are exceptions of course, like the infamous confessed child rapist (pretty bad on an ethical scale) and, until a few weeks ago, a plagiarist (merely a blimp when compared to child rape, but still a violation of integrity).

    Ah yes, the person whose putative guilt is entirely based on his testimony, but whose testimony is not to be believed. Right.

    Sorry for assuming that you still considered the Slymepit posters as humans. I should have understood that for you they’re “white dudebros” (the SJW synonym for untermenschen) and basically no more than bacteria, but I was being charitable.

    Your apologetic sentiment is appreciated, but inane; that which infests need not perforce be that which is iniquitous, but rather that which infests, contrary to your claim that it confirms your imputed reading.

    (To quote that to which I responded, the which which incurred your quoted response: “Interesting word you used there, “infested”. Thank you for confirming that at least you seem to see the Slymepit as a den of iniquity.”)

    “Terrible thing, that Pharynguloid banhammer! It totally stops you from expressing yourself anywhere on the internet, ever.”

    It stops you from replying to what other people have said in the appropriate venue, which is where those comments were written.

    It stops anyone from questioning PZ’ opinions on his own blog. It allows Myers to “win” arguments without providing any evidence or reason for them. It allows the dogmatic SJWs on his blog to spew more bullshit without anyone pointing out that what they’re saying is bullshit.

    It creates a circle jerk of like-minded people who are ready to toss aside anyone who doesn’t follow the party line.

    By the way you’ve missed my point. I simply highlighted the huge difference between an open space like this blog and a heavily regulated space like Pharyngula.

    Given that the number of comments there (though now not what it was back in the day) exceeds comments here by an order of magnitude, it should not be surprising that the comparison between the number of moderated comments and the proportion of moderated comments between the two sites is quite different — IMO, Pharyngula wins the comparison by the latter metric.

    (Right now, I have a comment held in moderation here)

    If Micheal Nugent run this blog like PZ does with his own, and if he really sided with the Slymepitters, you’d have already been banned. The fact that you’re still allowed to post in here should tell you something about the different nature of this place, if you were willing to think about it.

    Again, you state opinion as if it were fact.

    I do appreciate Michael’s tolerance, but I don’t hold it as superior to PZ’s — more like par overall.

    (But then, it’s still early days for this place and a multiplicity of comments; Pharyngula has been around for over a decade.

    “Such vindication!”

    Do you any evidence that what I wrote about PZ’ failures is untrue? Or do you simply have more smilies to offer to the Internet?

    Are those the only two possibilities you can imagine? 🙂

    Nugent simply wants him to face responsibility for what he said. I don’t think that Nugent considers Myers a potential ally (feel free to correct me if he does).

    I take you at your word; you think that PZ has yet “to face responsibility for what he said”.

    Whyever would I even attempt to correct you? Whether or not “Nugent considers Myers a potential ally”, it is a fact that it is not PZ who has been blogging (and tweeting) several times a week about Michael, for months on end.

    (But I guess it’s no laughing matter, to you, right? 😉 )

  72. Piero @79:

    when they lose their membership there, they can still blog whatever they wish all they want (cf. Thunderfoot) — just not on their platform.

    Obviously, “their” cannot refer to the person banned from FTB. Can you please answer the question?

    (sigh)

    Since your question indicates that parsing uncomplicated grammar is difficult for you, I hereby accommodate you.

    Referents: “when they lose their membership there” → “when those who have been evicted from FTB lose their membership in FTB”; “they can still blog whatever they wish all they want” → “those who have been evicted from FTB can still blog whatever they wish all they want”; “just not on their platform.” → “just not on FTB’s platform.”

    What part of that do you still find opaque, and with which part of that do you disagree?

  73. @John Morales:

    Thank you for your ludicrous non-explanation. FTB is an abstract entity which cannot exercise will; it is not FTB that determines whether a blogger is to be expelled. The question – obvious to anyone but you – is which people you referred to.

    Can you now answer the question, please?

  74. To quote that to which I responded, the which which incurred your quoted response: “Interesting word you used there, “infested”.

    Looks as if “John Morales” needs some maintenance.

  75. “Looks as if “John Morales” needs some maintenance.”

    Try switching it off and then switching it on again. Or maybe forget step 2.

  76. KennyD fantasized: “PZ Myers visits Ireland for an atheist conference or book tour….”

    That scenario would necessarily entail: 1) PZ actually writing a second book (perhaps another compilation of old blog posts?); 2) an atheist organization in Ireland inviting him to a conference.

    Neither will happen. Myers simply is not a very good writer, and a passable presenter at best. He has no novel ideas or insights to share, either regarding A/S or Science. His controversial views, caustic temperament, and violence-laden rhetoric make him unsuited as a public representative of A/S. He’s insulted & smeared too many prominent A/S figures to be anything other than a pariah.

    PZ’s glory days on the speaking circuit are over. His 2015 calendar is sparse: a local debate vs. a young-earth creationist; a gig with Gateway 2 Reason, hosted by some regional atheists’ club & held in a run-down motor lodge by the side of the highway; a science presentation at CfI-LA, where he will embarrass himself with his politically-motivated attacks on orthodox evolutionary biology. (CfI in any case is bankrupt of legitimacy, having coddled the abrasive agitators, Melody Hensley & Amy Roth.) PZ will surely get called back to Skepticon, that SJW-college-student-rave joke of an event. That’s it.

  77. @Shatterface
    Regular posters at Thunderdome have labelled Shetty a ‘Slymepitter’ and a ‘misogynist’.
    I count exactly one poster – can you please describe why you used the plural? I believe using a plural form for the singular causes heartburn in your lot.

    Also please stop taking offense on my behalf. I could easily have told you that my response would be taken as “tone trolling” – It’s not even necessarily anything I said – but that these arguments are way old and both sides have a been there, done that attitude.

  78. Deepak Shetty:

    You display a huge sense of entitlement with your DEMAND that PZ explain himself.

    Dshetty’s real offense was in requesting that Peezus do the impossible–justify his untrue accusations.

    None there will dare to say that Peezus can’t, but they’re supposed to know that it was just so much unfair and unjust smearing, then to double down and support it.

  79. Also please stop taking offense on my behalf.

    I’m not ‘taking offence’ on your behalf, I am using this as an example of what happens on Pharyngula if someone does so much as request civility.

    I could easily have told you that my response would be taken as “tone trolling” – It’s not even necessarily anything I said – but that these arguments are way old and both sides have a been there, done that attitude.

    It’s more than accusations of ‘tone trolling’. Nerd called you a misogynist leaning troll, a rapist apologist and a TROLLING WANKER (his capitals); Tony! called you a fucking asshole before he was ‘done addressing your tone trolling fuckwittery.’

    Can’t you see that if you are not a ‘rapist apologist’ then accusations that Nugent is a ‘rape apologist’ might be equally bullshit?

    Can’t you see that when Myers himself attacks you for ‘demanding’ Myers address Nugent’s complaints and threatens to ban you (see below) that this calls into question Myers’ characterisation of Nugent’s position as ‘obsessive bullshit ‘?

    PZ Myers
    28 January 2015 at 6:20 pm
    I am not going to address Nugent’s obsessive bullshit. And if dshetty continues to demand it, I’ll be happy to kick him outta here.

  80. Nerd of Redhead is now saying to dshetty:

    You want PZ to apologize to someone with misogynist blog. Not the behavior of someone who doesn’t have those leanings.

    I wonder what on earth can give anyone the impression that Michael runs a misogynist blog?

    I am repeating this next part here because everyone has moved on from the previous thread:
    246 John Morales

    I well remember when the Slymepit was about free speech and having yuks, rather than about moral rectitude.

    Since this is not the Slymepit, and many of us posting here are not from there, whatever the ‘pit was or is “about” is irrelevant. People supporting Michael here do so because the evidence shows him to be correct. As I said, Michael supplies us with plenty of evidence, as a good skeptic does when presenting an argument. PZ supplies us with no evidence but with plenty of invective and ad hominems, as a creationist does.

    When seeking the truth, Evidence wins over evasion and bile pretty much every time.

    Michael is right and deserves an apology.

    You quite sure about the entailment of your perception?

    I find pomposity to be amusing. Thank you for the giggles.

    247 John Morales

    OK, so you write about Nerd of Redhead without using a personal pronoun, and you are compelled to wonder whether “it” “has suffered some sort of brain damage”.

    I use “it” because I do not know if Nerd is male or female. This may be old-fashioned of me but does not negate my point.

    …but Nerd of Redhead is, in your estimation, not a real human being.

    I am not aware of having said any such thing. Of course, it may be a ‘bot for all I know, but my assumption, based on the evidence of its posts, is that it is a human being with some sort of sociopathic difficulty or brain problem.

  81. To clarify, I use “it” out of politeness, when I do not know the gender or gender identity of the person.

  82. John Morales: Your purported paraphrase falls short of the actuality: I dare you to quote PZ’s actual statement.

    33 PZ Myers
    28 January 2015 at 6:20 pm
    I am not going to address Nugent’s obsessive bullshit. And if dshetty continues to demand it, I’ll be happy to kick him outta here.

    https://archive.today/5MpTA

    That clear enough for you?

  83. @Nerd called you a misogynist leaning troll,
    Nerd called you a misogynist leaning troll
    Correct – One regular commenter did that . Tony didnt call me misogynist so why the plural?
    What conclusion do you want me to draw about Myers or the Horde from that one sample (careful now you might be arguing for”slymepit” generalizations)?

    called you a fucking asshole before he was ‘done addressing your tone trolling fuckwittery.’
    I suppose if he had called me words that rhyme with punt some commentariat here would probably leap to his defence.

    Can’t you see that if you are not a ‘rapist apologist’ then accusations that Nugent is a ‘rape apologist’ might be equally bullshit?
    it might be , it might not.

  84. Carrie: I use “it” because I do not know if Nerd is male or female. This may be old-fashioned of me but does not negate my point.

    You can bet if you got their personal pronouns wrong you’d be accused of sexism, trans-erasure or some such thought-crime.

    I am not aware of having said any such thing. Of course, it may be a ‘bot for all I know, but my assumption, based on the evidence of its posts, is that it is a human being with some sort of sociopathic difficulty or brain problem.

    You haven’t denied Nerd is human but Nerd frequently accuses others of being Vulcans and contrasts them with ‘Earthlings’.

    ‘Vulcan ‘ is often a term of abuse directed at Aspies, hence the digs about empathy. Nerd is quite big on ableist slurs (deaf, blind, etc) so this is a likely interpretation.

  85. Deepak Shetty @87,

    I could easily have told you that my response would be taken as “tone trolling” – It’s not even necessarily anything I said – but that these arguments are way old and both sides have a been there, done that attitude.

    This argument is only old because Myers refuses to either substantiate his libelous accusations or retract them and apologize for smearing Michael Nugent. The only thing “done” is Myers’ defamatory smears.

    That being said, I am impressed that you suggested on Pharyngula that Myers respond to Michael Nugent. That is the right thing for him to do and the right thing for those of you allowed to participate there to call him on.

    My recognition of your ethical behavior and $5 will get you a coffee at Starbucks.

  86. it might be , it might not.

    Is it or isn’t it? You spend a lot of time defending Myers for someone who hasn’t committed himself to whether his accusations were fair on not.

    If you don’t think Myers was correct in calling Nugent a rape apologist why are you here?

  87. Odious people like PZ Myers cannot gain influential positions without those who support him or who, while not approving of his behaviour, just roll their eyes and say “well, that’s PZ for you; it’s how he is,” and do not speak up.

    Bullies will keep on bullying until people stand up to them. Myers has become what he is and, more importantly, where he is, thanks to his apologists and enablers. People like Ed Brayton. They are as bad as he is and deserve the same measure of contempt as Myers does.

    Good people don’t behave like Myers. Don’t be fooled by the pretence that he is “fighting the good fight”. Don’t fall for the false propaganda that his opponents are all harassers, misogynists and rapists. Above all, don’t think that the end justifies the means.

  88. So, unless that announcement was also a joke, there is an authority within FreeThought Blogs to police ethical breaches by bloggers.

    Nice try, but I doubt it. There is authority at FTB to react to liability threats and to keep out anyone who questions their beliefs too much, but concerns over ethical breaches appear to have a low priority, at best.

    Policing PZ’s ethical breaches seems not to be a thinkable option there.

  89. And people deny that Myers misrepresents people. A critic can’t suggest something to PZ, or ask him to do something he is averse to, they have to be made out to be demanding. It’s a trivial example that illustrates a consistent behaviour.

    Myers is either in a constant state of bile that causes him to misread others or, more likely, he deliberately misreads. I think there is a strong possibility that he is interpreting Deepak’s suggestion as a demand in order to ‘legitimise’ his intolerant response. It’s very consistent with all the other standard devices they employ over there to avoid simple questions.

  90. @Shatterface
    Is it or isn’t it?
    I have already said – I find Michaels views on the alleged incident harmful. I dont think Michael understands whats being said.
    I dont know his motivations or why he thinks what he thinks (for this specific incident). By default I do not assume someone is a rape apologist and unlike Myers I don’t hold Michael responsible for your or other people’s views or comments, even if he does occasionally pat their back – but I can understand why Myers thinks what he does.

    why are you here?
    already summarized – you were on that thread.

  91. Something that occurs to me is that PZ may be manifesting the tendency for some nerds to go overboard because they misunderstand non-nerd social rules, imagining them to be far more selfishly malign than they actually are, so they act out in an inappropriate display of extreme bravado.

    While I was a youngster at boarding school, during morning break one of the maids would bring a big tin of cakes or biscuits over from the main boarding house to the new boys house.There was always one extra, so we’d rush the maid half way in an attempt to get the extra treat. There was this shy, skinny kid who would never join in, until one day, he made a mad rush for the tin with such violence that everything went flying. The same kid was forced to play field hockey and was always standing back. Then on one occasion he suddenly resolved to challenge for the ball, approached the player on the ball with a huge backswing, missed the ball entirely and drew forth a stream of blood from the other players nose. Nerd projection and overcompensation is what it is.

  92. Gerhard: Something that occurs to me is that PZ may be manifesting the tendency for some nerds to go overboard because they misunderstand non-nerd social rules, imagining them to be far more selfishly malign than they actually are, so they act out in an inappropriate display of extreme bravado.

    Well Tony! The Queer Shoop admitted he doesn’t get to practice ‘social justice’ in ‘meat space’ so it’s pretty clear they’ve never tried communicating with real people in real situations: it’s all theoretical bullshit communicated purely with other ‘theorists’ – no real world application.

    Oh, and ‘meat space’? Do they all have to talk like a cyberspace cowboy from an Eighties novel? There’s a real hatred behind those words for a real world where people have a physical presence.

  93. Deepak #102

    Thanks for asking PZ to respond. I appreciate it.

    With regard to some of your comments here:

    “I dont think Michael understands whats being said.”

    Do you think PZ understands what is being said?

    “I dont know his motivations or why he thinks what he thinks (for this specific incident).”

    I hope that I’ve written enough about this to enable people to know my motivations and why I think what I think. It is based on a lifetime of campaigning for justice and fairness in various fields, both for victims of crimes ranging from petty crime to terrorism, and for victims of miscarriages of justice, along with campaigning for states and police to enforce the law vigorously and impartially and greater resources for education and victim support. It is also based on a desire for robust but respectful dialogue to take precedence over personal abuse and defamation as the best way to address these issues.

    “but I can understand why Myers thinks what he does.”

    What enables you to understand why PZ thinks what he does, but not understand why I think what I do?

  94. Deepak Shetty: I have already said – I find Michaels views on the alleged incident harmful. I dont think Michael understands whats being said.

    Michael understands what’s being said. He understands what Myers has said, he understands what you are saying, and I’d even guess he understands what John Morales is saying once he has shuffled the words around into meaningful sentences.

  95. Michael understands what’s being said.

    Does he understand that PZ cannot be wrong, unless possibly not sufficiently SJW-pure?

    If not, he just doesn’t understand that you have to shift meanings, complain about understanding number to be meaningful, and restate his sentences in various ways until they come out to be Truth. Much as fundamentalists do with the Bible.

  96. @Michael Nugent
    Do you think PZ understands what is being said?
    Yes

    What enables you to understand why PZ thinks what he does, but not understand why I think what I do?
    I can put myself in his position and come up with plausible reasons (not necessarily correct) – I put myself in yours and I cannot.

  97. @Deepak.

    I can put myself in his position and come up with plausible reasons (not necessarily correct) – I put myself in yours and I cannot.

    I wonder if you understand what that says about you.

  98. Deepak Shetty
    **..//…..I don’t hold Michael responsible for your or other people’s views or comments, even if he does occasionally pat their back.**

    What do you mean by this?

    Do you mean that he agrees with posts here? If so, then that wouldn’t be surprising as I’m sure we’d all agree with at least a couple of posts in any comments forum.

    Although, even if he does agree with some posts I don’t recall MN ever coming on to comment with something like ‘I agree with xxxx and what they said regarding yyyyyyy’. And I’ve certainly never seen any evidence of ‘back patting’ (insofar as I can imagine what it is that you probably mean by that).

  99. Deepak #108

    Do you think PZ understands what is being said?
    Yes

    Okay, let’s start with this example. When you suggested that PZ should respond to me, do you think PZ understood that as a suggestion, and if so, why did he describe it as a demand?

    What enables you to understand why PZ thinks what he does, but not understand why I think what I do?
    I can put myself in his position and come up with plausible reasons (not necessarily correct) – I put myself in yours and I cannot.

    When you put yourself in my position, what do you think are my reasons why I think what I do?

  100. KennyD @8

    Of course I’ve heard of the Gelato Guy. I’ve been a regular reader and commenter on Pharyngula practically since the beginning. I think PZ Myers handled that religious bigot the right way. I’m glad he didn’t accept his apology. That Gelato guy was ok with discriminating against atheists until he realized it might affect his business, so his apology was phony. Screw him.

    What is the relevance of this? Are you one of those people who thinks PZ was “mean” to Gelato Guy? Do you really expect me to believe that his apology was sincere?

    and here we see Kenny illustrating the central hypocrisy of the FTB Clear. When a clear, like PZ treats someone like shit for a really stupid reason, doubles down, etc., Kenny thinks that’s completely okay, and hell, the apology has to be bullshit.

    Why is the apology bullshit? Because PZ didn’t accept it.

    Why didn’t PZ accept it? Because the apology was bullshit.

    That’s Kenny’s worldview right there. But anyone saying anything harsh at all about PZ and the other Clear? Oh no, no, no, that has to be ended and fought and every possible gesture made to accommodate PZ et al.

    What a wondrous, glorious load of crap.

    Franc @16:

    I am rather jealous of you remembering Baghdad Bob so perfectly.

    In a stunning discovery, I have found actual video of Morales!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fa8Iap7Ta1k

  101. Deepak @ 108:

    I can put myself in his position and come up with plausible reasons (not necessarily correct) – I put myself in yours and I cannot.

    So you can come up with a plausible reason for completely and falsely accusing multiple commenters here of being rapists and of michael *knowing* they are rapists, and still allowing them to comment here…

    But you cannot come up with a plausible reason for wanting an apology for and retraction of those false accusations?

    …well damn son. I can’t even begin to imagine the level of mental walling-off that requires.

  102. Deepak@108
    I can put myself in his position and come up with plausible reasons (not necessarily correct) – I put myself in yours and I cannot.

    I believe it. Much in the same way I believe it’s perfectly plausible to a Christian that God can be omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient, while evil still exists in the world.

    Actually asking Myers to address Nugent’s grievances is a positive step though, Deepak. Much like the Christian who asks the pastor a hard question. Give it another few years, you may even come around to our way of thinking.

  103. @Michael nugent
    Ok to be clear – when I say i dont understand why you think as you do Im referring specifically to the alleged rape incident, Myers publication of that on his blog, your subsequent categorization of [named person] as demonized by Myers because of that publication, your other comments that you believe that alleged victim should go to the police(here I think you don’t understand the specifics of the case) .

    When you suggested that PZ should respond to me, do you think PZ understood that as a suggestion, and if so, why did he describe it as a demand?
    My initial comment was poorly phrased – I can only guess that he felt that I am doing what you are doing.

    When you put yourself in my position, what do you think are my reasons why I think what I do?
    Like I said I don’t know (but the scope is limited to the above). I have already told you that you are giving generic platitudes – Do you think anyone on this side seriously disagrees with Victims should go to the Police? Or that the Police need to be sensitive and robust? or that false accusations can cause tremendous amounts of harm (hell thats why Myers and Lousy canuck even described their own experience – but you do know how your commentariat portrays that , right?)

    But you do not seem to understand the specifics of the case – I have no idea why . Again instead of asking you – you can tell me – given the current situation i.e. years have passed – What do you think alleged victim should do? Bear in mind , from whatever we know , the legal standard of evidence can probably not be met (or atleast the victim does not believe it can be)

  104. @Jetlagg
    Give it another few years, you may even come around to our way of thinking.
    I would have much preferred you call me a fucking asshole instead of insulting me in this fashion. Hell I’ll even settle for leans misogynist.

  105. Deepak Shetty wrote:

    I would have much preferred you call me a fucking asshole instead of insulting me in this fashion. Hell I’ll even settle for leans misogynist.

    How about if we call you a “rapist”. That seems to be OK for you when Myers throws that around rather casually.
    I guess you don’t find that offensive.

  106. Deepak Shetty: Like I said I don’t know (but the scope is limited to the above). I have already told you that you are giving generic platitudes – Do you think anyone on this side seriously disagrees with Victims should go to the Police? Or that the Police need to be sensitive and robust? or that false accusations can cause tremendous amounts of harm (hell thats why Myers and Lousy canuck even described their own experience – but you do know how your commentariat portrays that , right?)

    Actually your side does say don’t go to the police. They do say the police should accept allegations and they universally deride those who suffer false accusations. The Myers and Canuck stories were there to illustrate how ‘easy’ false allegations could be refuted and that there would be no fall out. Most people who are falsely accused don’t have the option of keeping their accuser occupied while they get to give their story to their principle because most don’t live in a bubble were rape allegations are dealt with in-house.

    If Myers had spent months in remand held on the nonce-wing for his own protection while his name and reputation was dragged through the first he could generalise from his own experience.

  107. Hunt wrote: I have to disagree. I would advise Michael to keep going. This is now starting to get ridiculous, as in a good way […]

    That’s a misunderstanding then. I only made the suggestion to move on to other aspects of the very same problem, yet not necessarily connected to a particular slander where I believe everything that can be done via blogging and writing mails have been tried – to no avail. At some point the correspondence will look like a Count von Count skit: “I have not written, 1, 2, 3, not four, or five, not six, but seven *thunder* SEVEN mails to Ed Brayton and he has yet to respond to a single one”. Who doesn’t love the Count? However, the insights generated by adding a number 8 are relatively limited.

    piero wrote: @Aneris: I, like Hunt, disagree. I don’t think Michael is insisting on the same point; rather, every civilised attempt by Michael to initiate a dialogue has been met by fresh incivility and mendaciousnes, and that needs to be broadcast as widely and as frequently as possible.

    An illusion. PZ Myers is determined to sit this one out. Ed Brayton seems to have the same idea, too. There is no dialogue. None is intended. Michael Nugent is an unperson and his sole purpose from now on is to provide outrage material, or be ignored.

    When I was quite new to all of this, I somehow wound up in the “atheist-skeptics dialogue”. One of the first things I learned was that one side doesn’t even want to have a dialogue and worse, as Notung wrote in April 2013: “So part of the team moderating the discussion doesn’t believe that the dialogue should even be taking place.

    This can be analyzed to the death; how it is necessarily one sided, since they want to present their story as auteurs with themselves as heroic protagonists facing opponents that are “just right” between threatening yet defeatable and for that they need to adjust the opponent’s side to be “just right”. The opponent must be nefarious. Not too intellectually challengenging so that they feel they are in control and winning, and it must be emotionally charged so that their personalities are being addressed. It must further presented in such a way that the Kommentariat can identify and pile on with stories of their own, where they are themselves the heroic warriors against the Windmills of the Patriarchy that wants to oppress them at all times and microagressively demands to adhere to what is true.

    I agree however, that there are intesting aspects on the table. PZ Myers phrasing is interesting. Of course he’s an authoritarian. He rules over his blog and wants to answer nobody. With some rhetorical trickery and strawmanning he simply presents it differently. Had they have a separate instance that can look into some matters is precisely not authoritarian (provided they don’t also dictate what people can blog). Again, he can’t help but strawman what other people are writing and again, the Flock™ totally believes it. His strawmanning is about pretending a separate instance was totally controlling what some blogger can write, and then that would be authoritarian. Yet, nobody is claiming that. He then, carefully, phrases each blogger as “completely independent” as “not telling anyone else what to write, and no one is ordering” and there was no “central authority”.

    Fair enough, though of course comical since they want Twitter and Facebook and so forth to control the content. Double standards. Double standards. People should be even controlled across different sites (e.g. Michael Nugent should take into account what people allegedly write elsewhere, instead of taking care of his comment sections only).

  108. (reposted from the previous thread)

    When someone abuses you, and you are the one making up excuses for the person who abuses you, then something is deeply wrong.

    I am looking at you, Deepak. You are being treated like shit by PZ Myers, and you go out of your way to find excuses for him. It’s sickening. Absolutely sickening.

  109. @Jan Steen
    When someone abuses you, and you are the one making up excuses for the person who abuses you, then something is deeply wrong.
    Just to be clear since many people here have said many things about me – if I say I understand why they said it (Not that i agree) – Then you’d find that deeply wrong.
    If on the other hand I just use some profanities to respond – Then you’d find everything is right with the world?

  110. When you suggested that PZ should respond to me, do you think PZ understood that as a suggestion, and if so, why did he describe it as a demand?
    My initial comment was poorly phrased – I can only guess that he felt that I am doing what you are doing.

    Your initial comment was not a demand and it is very common for him to respond in that fashion. It appears that the only way to get along with Myers is to indulge his inability to read plain english.

    But you do not seem to understand the specifics of the case – I have no idea why . Again instead of asking you – you can tell me – given the current situation i.e. years have passed – What do you think alleged victim should do? Bear in mind , from whatever we know , the legal standard of evidence can probably not be met (or atleast the victim does not believe it can be)

    Failure to take timely action does not entitle the alleged victim to expect due process to be set aside in order to facilitate public shaming. If the alleged victim is in fact a victim then it is unfortunate that justice is n0t attainable but the fact is that we do not know the truth and some of us feel that facilitating unproven allegations of criminality is horribly irresponsible.

  111. “I have already told you that you are giving generic platitudes – Do you think anyone on this side seriously disagrees with Victims should go to the Police? Or that the Police need to be sensitive and robust? or that false accusations can cause tremendous amounts of harm (hell thats why Myers and Lousy canuck even described their own experience – but you do know how your commentariat portrays that , right?)”

    The “commentariat” doesn’t actually portray Myers and Lousy Canuck’s experience as true accusation of rape.

    The “commentariat” is simply saying that IF we judged Myers and Lousy Canuck with the same standards that they use with others their side would call them rapists and publish their names on the Intenet with the stories of the women who accuse them.

    It’s called “playing the devil’s advocate”.

    It’s good that you admit that false accusations can and do cause a lot of harm. Not everyone agrees with them (Zerlina Maxwell for example thinks that false rape accusations cause little to no harm; Catherine Comins thought that they might be even beneficial).

    I take your sentence as a sign of integrity and openness to debate, so let me ask just one question: how do you know that the accusation against [named person] isn’t false?

    I don’t know whether the accusation is true or false, and I think it’s not my job to decide. Since there is still a reasonable doubt that it might be flase, though, it’s better to err on the side of caution and take down the name of [named person] to avoid any possible harm to a possibly innocent person.

    Do you find my position unreasonable? If so, why?

  112. @John Morales:

    Assuming you are neither an unsuccessful experiment in Artificial Intelligence nor a successful one in Artificial Stupidity, can you give a human-like answer to the question I’ve posed about four times already?

  113. @Deepak:

    I would have much preferred you call me a fucking asshole instead of insulting me in this fashion. Hell I’ll even settle for leans misogynist.

    Come on, Deepak, surely you can take a joke, can’t you? You know, and we know, that there is no way you can ever think like a slymepitter. Ever. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

  114. I’ve been growing ever more dismayed at this issue.

    Michael has made his case and it is unanswerable. Myers has behaved in the most offensive manner. He’s not going to back down. Ever.

    The sad thing for me is that so many people are disappointed. Myers has always been a dick. That has been obvious for over a decade. The host desecration stunt was kind of a clue; he has always been an anti-theist of the broadest stripe. As an atheist I disassociate myself from that strain.

  115. @Nialler:

    What Phil said. There are some character traits that have little to do with one’s ideas. Though Myers provides a counterexample, it is possible to be an anti-theist and a decent person simultaneously.

  116. piero:

    @John Morales:

    Assuming you are neither an unsuccessful experiment in Artificial Intelligence nor a successful one in Artificial Stupidity, can you give a human-like answer to the question I’ve posed about four times already?

    Your question, given your stated assumption, is equivalent to “Assuming you are human, can you give a human-like answer?”.

    But fine; if you cared to provide me with your criteria for considering a reply to be other than inhuman, I could certainly attempt to phrase it within those constraints, but whether I could succeed at it by your standard remains open to question.

  117. Nialler:

    The sad thing for me is that so many people are disappointed. Myers has always been a dick. That has been obvious for over a decade. The host desecration stunt was kind of a clue; he has always been an anti-theist of the broadest stripe. As an atheist I disassociate myself from that strain.

    Ah, the Cracker incident… Good times, good times. 🙂

    For mine, that was PZ at his very best; quite an admirable achievement, in my estimation.

    (I am glad you disassociate yourselves from us anti-theists of the broadest stripe — we who would see religion losing its current degree of unwarranted authority and being becoming no more than a hobby)

  118. Deepak@116
    I would have much preferred you call me a fucking asshole instead of insulting me in this fashion. Hell I’ll even settle for leans misogynist.

    Maybe in another few years you won’t feel that way <3

  119. I missed this, earlier (Kirbmarc @65):

    By the way you’ve missed my point. I simply highlighted the huge difference between an open space like this blog and a heavily regulated space like Pharyngula.

    If Micheal Nugent run this blog like PZ does with his own, and if he really sided with the Slymepitters, you’d have already been banned. The fact that you’re still allowed to post in here should tell you something about the different nature of this place, if you were willing to think about it.

    The fact that I’m still allowed to post in here can hardly tell you something about the different nature of this place, since I’m likewise still allowed to post in there — what it does tell you is about a similarity between the two places.

  120. @John Morales:

    Piero asked:

    Who is the “they” in “their platform”?

    John answered:

    Piero asked:

    My question is very, very simple: whom were you referring to in “just not on their platform”? Even a bibulous idiot can answer that.

    John answered:

    You’re that confused? I referred to the person banned from FTB, who can at any time blog on whatever platform will accept them (or their own, if no established one will).

    Piero replied:

    Obviously, “their” cannot refer to the person banned from FTB. Can you please answer the question?

    “just not on their platform.” → “just not on FTB’s platform.”

    [Note: Therefore, “the person banned from FTB” = “FTB’s platform” (!)]

    Piero replied:

    Thank you for your ludicrous non-explanation. FTB is an abstract entity which cannot exercise will; it is not FTB that determines whether a blogger is to be expelled. The question – obvious to anyone but you – is which people you referred to.

    Can you now answer the question, please?

    John answered:

    Piero asked:

    Assuming you are neither an unsuccessful experiment in Artificial Intelligence nor a successful one in Artificial Stupidity, can you give a human-like answer to the question I’ve posed about four times already?

    John replied:

    if you cared to provide me with your criteria for considering a reply to be other than inhuman, I could certainly attempt to phrase it within those constraints, but whether I could succeed at it by your standard remains open to question.

    And that, in a nutshell, is John Morales.

  121. John Morales: Ah, the Cracker incident… Good times, good times.

    For mine, that was PZ at his very best; quite an admirable achievement, in my estimation.

    Myers twatting about with crackers was Myers ‘at his very best; quite an admirable achievement’.

    Meanwhile, others were publishing best sellers on atheism, fighting blasphemy laws and for women’s productive rights, uncovering sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, etc.

    But twatting about with crackers; that’s really something to congratulate a Myers about .

  122. John Morales: if you cared to provide me with your criteria for considering a reply to be other than inhuman, I could certainly attempt to phrase it within those constraints, but whether I could succeed at it by your standard remains open to question.

    That’s something you’d have to ask your programmer about.

  123. What surprises me about the PZ apologists is that they seem to think that it is just the slymepit. The fact is that it in the skeptic/atheist world it isn’t a rift but the FTB crowd are getting more and more isolated from the rest of the world. Most skeptical/atheist writers seem to be either silent or critical of PZ.
    Now outside of the slymepit and a handful of PZ commentators, the reaction to these posts has been silence. I can think of three reasons:
    1. People think that PZ and Michael are not worth talking about
    2. People don’t think it is worth the backlash from PZ
    3. People don’t think it is worth the backlash from Michael

    1. Well Michael is the Chair of Atheist Ireland and so isn’t unimportant. Has PZ rendered himself irrelevant?
    2. Well PZ has a history of going off the deep end over any disagreement.
    3. Definitely not this one as Michael has shown himself willing to have a dialog with anyone.

  124. Shatterface@134
    But twatting about with crackers; that’s really something to congratulate a Myers about .

    It really was though. That’s about the only thing I’d heard of him for (prior to his shitting up the online A/S community, which only people already involved in that community really knew anything about). So, we finally agree with Morales on something. The most relevant Myers has ever been was when he fucked about with a cracker all those years ago.

  125. Pasting this from the previous comment thread:

    Deepak Shetty (249):
    @Shatterface

    It really is a perfect illustration of how these witch-hunts spring up.

    Yawn. And this is a perfect illustration of the narrative you have tried to create. One person calling me names and another person arguing (I assume sincerely) constitutes a witch hunt – On a thread that specifically says it is no holds barred – while ignoring the couple of other regulars who disagree with the two people above on some matters and agree with them on others.

    But yeah – witch hunt.

    What’s amazing to me is how you Pharyngula nutters honestly think that the kind of rhetoric in question isn’t just excusable, but is actually praiseworthy, justified, righteous—provided, of course, that it comes from the right people. The members of your clique are the ethical diamond in the rough of humanity, and everybody else isn’t just wrong; they’re evil! Abusive behavior toward the evil outsiders isn’t actually abusive, you see, because they deserve it.

    And so when your in-group turns on you, what can you do? On the one hand, you’ve allowed yourself to be indoctrinated into thinking that they’re the few good people in this shitty world, and that anyone on their receiving end deserves it. On the other hand, you might have some shred of dignity left somewhere in that damaged psyche of yours, and if it was anyone else hurling that nastiness at you, you’d immediately recognize it as unacceptable and abusive.

    Quite a conundrum. Either you admit that you deserved it, or you wake up and acknowledge that you’ve been hoodwinked—that these people are anything but the “good people,” and that you yourself are also accountable for having partaken in their viciousness. Neither option is appealing, but the first is easier: yes, it entails some short-term prostration, but it avoids any need for serious self-reflection. So nobody is surprised, really, that you went in that direction with your (frankly cowardly and pathetic) “My initial comment was poorly phrased.”

    There’s nothing normal or okay or healthy about people being vicious.

    There’s nothing admirable about a college professor hosting a “no-holds-barred” blog thread so that he can watch and encourage real people being vicious toward each other.

    I mean, reflect for a moment on the very fact that he felt the need to create such a thread. What does that tell you about the people who visit his site?

    What does that tell you about him?

    [And I added in a follow-up comment:

    I take part of that back—

    I said, “There’s nothing normal or okay or healthy about people being vicious.” In fact, being vicious is all too normal, and most people who are vicious think they’re justified. They’re the problem.]

  126. John Morales: The fact that I’m still allowed to post in here can hardly tell you something about the different nature of this place, since I’m likewise still allowed to post in there — what it does tell you is about a similarity between the two places.

    The fact that both Slymepitters and yourself can post here tells you something about this blog; the fact that you can post at Pharyngula but Pitters cannot tells you much about FTB.

    You seem to have difficulty grasping salient details.

    Men can be catholic priests or they can be members of the congregation; women can be members of the congregation but not members of the priesthood. Can you get your head around the fact that the freedom for men to do both is not the important factor when assessing the sexism inherent in the Catholic Church?

  127. Shatterface @134, exactly.

    piero @133, recapitulation can be useful.

    Here is the genesis of that to which you refer as “the question”:

    @John Morales:
    Can you explain how the decision to expel a blogger is reached? By consensus? By majority vote? By sheer whim? Who is the “they” in “their platform”? Can you “spin the facts” in a less stupid way?

    To recapitulate my responses hitherto:

    (1) The answer to “Can you explain how the decision to expel a blogger is reached?” is: No, the reason being that I am utterly independent of them, and therefore have no inside information about them that is not available to anyone else.

    (2) The answer to “By consensus?” is: No, I cannot say whether it is by consensus, the reason being that I am utterly independent of them, and therefore have no inside information about them that is not available to anyone else.

    (3) The answer to “By majority vote?” is: No, I cannot say whether it is by majority vote, the reason being that I am utterly independent of them, and therefore have no inside information about them that is not available to anyone else.

    (4) The answer to “By sheer whim?” is: No, I cannot say whether it is by majority vote, the reason being that I am utterly independent of them, and therefore have no inside information about them that is not available to anyone else.

    (5) The answer to “Who is the “they” in “their platform”?”* (@54) is: I referred to the person banned from FTB, who can at any time blog on whatever platform will accept them (or their own, if no established one will). You might find it helpful to replace every instance of “they” with “the blogger”, who remain independent whether or not they post at FTB.

    (6) The answer to “Can you “spin the facts” in a less stupid way?” is: Perhaps I could, but I do not generally spin facts, rather I note them.

    Do any of those enumerated responses still remain confusing to you?

    * I here emphasise the “they”
    “You are confused as to what blogging independence entails; given FTB is a platform for a collection of independent blogs whose powers amount to either (a) admit bloggers to it or (b) dismiss bloggers from it, it makes perfect sense.

    While the blogger is there, they can blog whatever they wish (cf. Thunderfoot); when they lose their membership there, they can still blog whatever they wish all they want (cf. Thunderfoot) — just not on their platform.”

  128. I found this essay by Jamie Stanton thanks to Based Zebra.

    Hashtag mythology
    The stone age mind in a digital world

    https://medium.com/@djamiestanton/hashtag-mythology-dbddb49a83fa

    While discussing factions, and insular communities radicalizing, and speech and blocklists, it indirectly connects for me The Schism to GamerGate to JonathanChaitGate.

    (It’s on medium, so it’s basically in an unreadable format to those of us on desktops, but I use Evernote’s Clearly to reformat it for humans.)

  129. Deepak #115

    Ok to be clear – when I say i dont understand why you think as you do Im referring specifically to the alleged rape incident, Myers publication of that on his blog, your subsequent categorization of [named person] as demonized by Myers because of that publication, your other comments that you believe that alleged victim should go to the police(here I think you don’t understand the specifics of the case).

    I accept that you don’t understand why I think as I do about that.

    Do you understand why I think as I do about the other aspects of PZ’s behaviour that I have documented?

    I don’t mean every detail, just the general pattern of behaviour that I have documented?

  130. #Deepak 115

    Let’s keep this question in its context:

    You: I dont think Michael understands whats being said.

    Me: Do you think PZ understands what is being said?

    You: Yes

    Me: Okay, let’s start with this example. When you suggested that PZ should respond to me, do you think PZ understood that as a suggestion, and if so, why did he describe it as a demand?

    You: My initial comment was poorly phrased – I can only guess that he felt that I am doing what you are doing.

    Okay. Now, I assume that you don’t believe that you are doing what I am doing (whatever that may be), since you are disagreeing with me about what you think I am doing? Is that fair?

    If so, is it fair to say that, in this instance, PZ didn’t understand what was being said by you?

    And if so, is it fair to say that he also may not understand what is being said by me?

    And if so, is it fair to say that you also might not understand what is being said by me?

  131. JetLagg @137:

    So, we finally agree with Morales on something. The most relevant Myers has ever been was when he fucked about with a cracker all those years ago.

    I inform you that I do not agree that we agree on the claim upon which you imagine we agree.

    You think you agree with me because you imagine I claimed he was at his most relevant, when the actual claim was (and I quote) “that was PZ at his very best”.

    (You do remember why he did it, right?)

  132. @Shatterface:

    You seem to have difficulty grasping salient details.

    I think he’s just playing dumb. Nobody can be that stupid and use a computer. Or even be one.

  133. @Deepak Shetty,

    Just to be clear since many people here have said many things about me – if I say I understand why they said it (Not that i agree) – Then you’d find that deeply wrong.

    What I find wrong is not that you try to understand why they [Myers and his Flock] said nasty things to you, but that you try to find the blame in yourself; that you try to provide them with excuses. When you made a polite suggestion that Myers should at least once respond to Michael, the response by Myers was to twist your words (you made a ‘demand’) and to threaten that he would kick you out if you did it again.

    What is your reaction? It is obvious that you refuse to admit to yourself that the Myers you admire so much is actually a vile thug, as Michael and others have demonstrated ad nauseam. Your response is to suggest that maybe you phrased your suggestion in the wrong way. You blame yourself, in order to excuse Myers’s bullying behaviour. It’s a sad spectacle. A victim blaming himself. That is wrong, profoundly wrong.

    If on the other hand I just use some profanities to respond – Then you’d find everything is right with the world?

    Where did I suggest anything like that?

    I’ll tell you what the proper response would have been: “PZ, you are a deranged bully. I want to have nothing to do with people like you. You can stuff it.”

    Nobody is asking you to become a Pitter. But don’t defend horrible people just because you agree with things they say. Don’t debase yourself for such people. They don’t deserve it.

  134. piero, shatterface, I am flattered that you reassure each other so about my incompetence and my stupidity.

    (People remarking about me means I’m remarkable!)

  135. @John Morales:

    Do any of those enumerated responses still remain confusing to you?

    No. Your exhaustive enumeration has elucidated all my hitherto extant perplexities: you are indeed a dishonest jerk.

  136. piero @147, in what manner and upon what basis do you consider my response to have been dishonest?

    (I don’t need to ask why you consider me a jerk)

  137. Deepak #115

    Me: When you put yourself in my position, what do you think are my reasons why I think what I do?
    You: Like I said I don’t know (but the scope is limited to the above). I have already told you that you are giving generic platitudes –

    I don’t see them as generic platitudes. I see them as principles by which I try to live my life and conduct my campaigning for justice.

    Do you think anyone on this side seriously disagrees with Victims should go to the Police? Or that the Police need to be sensitive and robust? or that false accusations can cause tremendous amounts of harm (hell thats why Myers and Lousy canuck even described their own experience – but you do know how your commentariat portrays that , right?)

    Yes, I have had variations of those arguments put to me. I’ll try to track them down when I have time to do so.

    But you do not seem to understand the specifics of the case – I have no idea why .

    I don’t understand the specifics of the case for the same reason that you don’t, which is that neither of us were there.

    Again instead of asking you – you can tell me – given the current situation i.e. years have passed – What do you think alleged victim should do? Bear in mind , from whatever we know , the legal standard of evidence can probably not be met (or atleast the victim does not believe it can be)

    I’ll answer that in general terms, by what I have repeatedly said during the past four months. For example, I made the following points on 2nd October last year:
    http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/10/02/another-week-another-set-of-misrepresentations-and-personal-smears/

    I agree with After Silence, an online support group, message board, and chat room for rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse survivors, who say that while reporting rapes is always preferable to not reporting, if you decide not to report it to the police, do seek out professional counseling to help you through the emotional turmoil that the rape can have on you.

    I believe victims of sex crimes should discuss their experience in as much detail as they wish with rape crisis professionals, doctors, lawyers, family, trusted friends, persons with responsibility for the circumstances involved, and whoever else can help them deal with the unique trauma they have experienced.

    I also believe we need better education and responsible media reporting to make the public aware of the nature of sex crimes and how to combat them, including how to improve the police service to make reporting less traumatic.

    Deepak, bear in mind that I said that four months ago. Since then, the misrepresentation that I have said people should go to the police or else do nothing has been perpetuated by some people even after I have made my position clear.

    I don’t believe that you or I, and certainly not PZ Myers, is in a position to best advise a person reporting a sex crime as to what they should do in their unique circumstances.

    That said, I think the chances of a responsible rape crisis professional advising somebody to publish an allegation on PZ Myers’ blog, with a title about a hand grenade and a closing line of ‘Boom.’, is approaching zero.

  138. “Ah, the Cracker incident… Good times, good times. 🙂

    For mine, that was PZ at his very best; quite an admirable achievement, in my estimation.”

    For me it was PZ at his very best, too, back when he fought against religious bullshit instead of sucking up to religious extremists.

    Back when he used to think that Islam was a serious threat, not “the religion of oppressed people”.

    But today if you post some quotes from PZ of those times on PZ’ blog you’re going to be called an Islamophobe by his own Horde, and PZ will delete his own “offensive” words.

  139. Kirbmarc:

    For me it was PZ at his very best, too, back when he fought against religious bullshit instead of sucking up to religious extremists.

    You seriously believe PZ no longer contends against religious bullshit but instead sucks up to religious extremists?

    Remarkable.

  140. Morales @144
    I inform you that I do not agree that we agree on the claim upon which you imagine we agree.

    That’s because you foolishly insist on using the dictionary definition of the word “agree”. We’ve moved on from that. Please educate yourself.

  141. “You seriously believe PZ no longer contends against religious bullshit but instead sucks up to religious extremists?”

    He does that whenever instead of condemning violent attacks to people who mocked religious extremists without “ifs” and “buts” he chooses to focus on whether the people who mocked those religious extremists were being unintentionally racist (they weren’t).

  142. JetLagg:

    Morales @144
    I inform you that I do not agree that we agree on the claim upon which you imagine we agree.
    That’s because you foolishly insist on using the dictionary definition of the word “agree”. We’ve moved on from that. Please educate yourself.

    At your request, I here comply. A good first step in my education is for you to inform me regarding what definition of the word “agree” you were employing, the which you intimate is not the dictionary definition.

    (Obviously, contrary to your assertion, we have yet to move on from that!)

  143. Now that I’ve read through this thread, I find that I still don’t know who John Morales meant by ‘their’ in ‘…just not on their platform’. Is it just me?

  144. Kirbmarc @154, thank you for confirming that you indeed seriously believe PZ no longer contends against religious bullshit but instead sucks up to religious extremists, and for your provision of the basis upon which you made that determination.

    (It’s thin gruel upon which to subsist, but one takes what one can, right?)

  145. Steven @156, obviously it is not just you, since there have been others.

    Perhaps this will help you: the question (feel free to backscroll and re-examine the original) was “Who is the “they” in “their platform”?”.

    Obviously, I cannot answer that literally, since literally there is no “they” in “their platform”, there is only a “their”, which is a possesive.

    Take another look at the entirety of my initial response: there are only two places where the term ‘platform’ is used: in the first paragraph being “given FTB is a platform”, in the second, being “their platform” — the platform refers to FTB, and the pronoun “their” refers to those whose platform it is.

  146. Is it just me or do other people think of a bad Richard III doing asides to the audience when they read the parentheses in a John Morales posts?

    (Aside: Richard III isn’t necessarily rhyming slang.)

    (Aside: it is)

  147. Morales@155
    A good first step in my education is for you to inform me regarding what definition of the word “agree” you were employing, the which you intimate is not the dictionary definition.

    It’s not my job to educate you.

  148. Steven@156
    Now that I’ve read through this thread, I find that I still don’t know who John Morales meant by ‘their’ in ‘…just not on their platform’. Is it just me?

    Not just you. I don’t believe Morales knows what he meant either. The A.I. comparison was apt.

  149. John Morales @158, so the particular ‘their’ that Piero was asking about refers to ‘the people whose platform FTB is’. Meanwhile, elsewhere in that paragraph, the word ‘they’ means ‘the blogger’ that you mention to begin with. Right? So what you were saying in your comment 28 is effectively:

    “While the blogger is there, that blogger can blog whatever they wish (cf. Thunderfoot); when the blogger loses their membership there, they can still blog whatever they wish all they want (cf. Thunderfoot) — just not on the platform of the people whose platform FTB is.”

    So the question Piero was asking is this. When you refer to (what I now understand to mean) the platform of the people whose platform FTB is, *who* are those people you are talking about?

  150. JetLagg:

    It’s not my job to educate you.

    I see. Though it was you (“Please educate yourself.”) who expressed the desire that such educating should occur, and it was you who additionally requested it of me, and I was willing to accommodate your request, yet you don’t care to contribute to pleasing yourself on the basis that it is not your job.

    (Unlike you, I find pleasing myself a worthy task even when it’s not my job to do so)

  151. Steven @162:

    So the question Piero was asking is this. When you refer to (what I now understand to mean) the platform of the people whose platform FTB is, *who* are those people you are talking about?

    I quoted piero, and what I quoted was not that.

    Nonetheless, the answer to your question is: those who make the determination whether or not to provide (and continue to provide) any given blogger with FTB’s resources for the purposes of blogging.

  152. John Morales @164:
    Thank you. I suppose Piero can take up the conversation from here (if he feels any desire to), given that it was his question originally and not mine. It might have been easier, though, if you had given that answer to his question in the first place.

  153. @ Shermertron #9

    ******No, I’m pointing out that the rigidity of your ideology is a problem. You have two choices, really. 1) Ignoring that PZ is a massive hypocrite. He likes to accuse people of rape and say that people like Mr. Nugent “harbor” rapists, but refuses to boot Ogvorbis, a self-confessed serial child rapist who has a “monster” that tells him to do it again, from FTB.

    2) Acknowledging that you just don’t care what PZ says, you’re on his side. That’s okay; logic and reason aren’t for everyone. I guess I just hoped we’d have those things in the secular community.*******

    “Rigidity”? Please! If standing up for what I believe in makes me “rigid”, then I plead guilty. I make no apologies for confronting rape culture. It’s the elephant in the room that nobody except people on my side want to talk about.

    Rape culture is the real monster here, not PZ Myers. I honestly don’t know how he does it. No one here ever bothers to try to imagine what it is like being in PZ Myers’ shoes. There are very powerful social forces that are against everything he stands for. He stands tall, he stands strong while a hurricane of right-wing rage and vicious untrue claims tries to knock him down and bury him. You bet he’s angry. I am angry too. I am angry at all those who support or choose to ignore rape culture. His worst sin is that he may not always choose the best tactics when doing battle with reactionary forces, but then again, no one is perfect. The good thing is that he is learning from his mistakes and getting better.

    As far as PZ not interested in having a dialog with Nugent, I think that is for the better. I believe it is temporary. PZ is probably just waiting for the situation to cool down before opens a dialog.

    Just like Brayton had a problem with PZ and now they are good friends and business partners, I believe Nugent will eventually come around and realize that PZ can be a very valuable ally in promoting atheism, reason, and compassion.

  154. Steven @165, no worries.

    My actual (#28) point was that bloggers’ independence at FTB is the lack of editorial guidance — the which is not disputed either any current blogger there or any former blogger there.

  155. Shatterface @159:

    Is it just me or do other people think of a bad Richard III doing asides to the audience when they read the parentheses in a John Morales posts?

    Parenthetical phrases have multiple uses (though they are all explanatory), none of which I repudiate.

  156. Morales@163
    I see. Though it was you (“Please educate yourself.”) who expressed the desire that such educating should occur, and it was you who additionally requested it of me, and I was willing to accommodate your request, yet you don’t care to contribute to pleasing yourself on the basis that it is not your job.

    It’s not possible you have autism, is it? Nec could describe it very well from a phenomenological standpoint, in case you were uncertain on any specifics. What say you, Nec? Care to jump in and share your thoughts on the subject? I think everyone here would appreciate it 😀

  157. Another I missed: Nathan@80:

    John Morales @67:

    The fact that Myers is capricious in his banning habits doesn’t imply some sort of leniency in his mindset. At Pharyngula, the Dissenter is considered a “chew toy” (Myers’ words) for his fan club to take their frustrations out on. If PZ is in a vindictive mood (!) he may decide to allow the Dissenter to keep commenting so that The Horde can throw as many “Fuck off, rapist!” type abuse at the miscreant.

    An interesting example of this is the case of ‘ChasCPeterson’, who I note has commented here on this site. Despite frequently irritating the Hordelings, Chas has managed to avoid the banhammer pretty much from the start of FtB. My guess is that ‘Chas’ may in fact be a key figure in the atheist movement, or at least someone PZ sees as useful to his own agenda — but that’s only a guess.

    Maybe Myers is just fond of the fella.

    Arguendo, the fact that Myers is capricious in his banning habits doesn’t imply some sort of leniency in his mindset, but it does imply that functional lenience is a result of his mindset.

    (“Intent is not magic”)

    A couple more things:

    Chew-toys are people like you, who may or may not be “the Dissenter”.

    As for your contention about ‘ChasCPeterson’*, the very same considerations apply to me — so, do you also guess that I may in fact be a key figure in the atheist movement, or at least someone PZ sees as useful to his own agenda? 😉

  158. JetLagg @169:

    It’s not possible you have autism, is it?

    It’s highly unlikely.

    Nec could describe it very well from a phenomenological standpoint, in case you were uncertain on any specifics.

    I’m not unfamiliar with the symptoms of autism, though admittedly not versed in the specifics.

    What say you, Nec? Care to jump in and share your thoughts on the subject? I think everyone here would appreciate it 😀

    I take it that this is addressed to some third party, and not to me.

    (Were I to be wrong about this inference, would you consider that a symptom of autism? 😉 )

  159. John Morales is either being deliberately obtuse and deliberately dishonest (i.e., he’s trolling); or he is struggling with one, or perhaps a series of, serious cognitive limitations (i.e., I’m an ableist); or a little of both.

    I’m not sure which is the more charitable interpretation. However, those seem like the only reasonable options, given that he alone seems to be having so much trouble following the thread and understanding the question posed to him.

    Whatever the explanation, there seems to be a pattern on display here.

  160. FishCakes, I don’t dispute you imagine I must either be trolling or be cognitively impaired; notable, however, is your lack of objection to my contention at #28, to which I recently referred in (currently) #167 when responding to Steven.

    Your opinion as to the basis of my participation here being duly noted, do you have anything to say about the ostensible subject, i.e. that “For PZ Myers, the idea of responding justly to complaints is literally a joke”?

  161. John Morales @152

    You obviously missed the fun a few weeks ago. Kirbmarc literally copy/pasted PZ’s comments on Islam from the past (2008-2011, I believe) into comments on Pharyngula.

    “PZ” was called an “Islamophobe.”

    You need to keep up with this stuff!

  162. KennyD 166

    Yes, “rigidity.” Rigidity is bad when it prevents you from accepting information that contradicts what you currently believe. If you were a skeptic, you would believe things that are backed by evidence, not just things you believe.

    If you want to confront rape culture, please confront Lousy Canuck, who admits that he was accused of rape. There was no police investigation of this accusation and the woman’s account has never entered the conversation…by your criteria, we don’t know what to believe. Please confront PZ Myers, who was accused of sexual impropriety with a student. There was no police investigation of this accusation and the woman’s account has never entered the conversation…by your criteria, we don’t know what to believe. Please confront Ogvorbis, who admitted to serial child rape and was literally “pouncehugged” by many commenters by FTB and is still protected to this day.

    I like your optimism, but I’m not sure Mr. Nugent can be friends with someone who accused him of harboring people who have committed reprehensible crimes. You know, the kinds of crimes that PZ and Lousy Canuck admit they were accused of and Ogvorbis admits he committed.

  163. John Morales @172,
    Why exactly would you expect me to have anything to say about comment number 28, in particular? I don’t disagree or dispute anything you wrote in that comment, nor do I understand the point of you bringing that up in reply to me.

    Though I may be wrong, I strongly suspect you are tolling – which in this case I now consider to be the more charitable interpretation.

  164. Here’s a fun little exchange from above, wherein John Morales acts as if he didn’t write something that he very clearly did write.

    Any explanation for this one John Morales?

    Shatterface @51 wrote:

    You go on to say the accusations are ‘typical’ for that place but do not represent a ‘consensus’. If they are ‘typical’ then they are representative.

    John Morales @57 replied:

    You should re-read that to which you refer; I wrote about “the typical dogpiling”, which is not the same as “the typical accusations”.

    Here’s the comment to which Shatterface was referring, (which John Morales suggests should be re-read).

    John Morales @48 wrote:

    I can but repeat that I represent myself, and that I speak for myself, and that I’m not an ideologue before noting that your assertion is contrary to the facts: he has not been banned from Pharyngula, nor is it that a couple of typical accusations (for the place) constitute the consensus of the “Horde”, and if you imagine that the response to him there is some sort of worrysome in-group dogpiling, you should do some research on my own history there.

    To my eye, John Morales wrote pretty much exactly what Shatterface said that he wrote @51 [“nor is it that a couple of typical accusations (for the place) constitute the consensus of the “Horde””]. Yet John Morales implies and acts as if he never said any such thing @57.

    nor is it that a couple of typical accusations (for the place) constitute the consensus of the “Horde”

    What’s the deal John Morales?

  165. FishCakes @176, good point. The specific accusations adduced were few, but such types of accusations are indeed typical, much like the dogpiling.

    nor is it that a couple of typical accusations (for the place) constitute the consensus of the “Horde”

    What’s the deal John Morales?

    Whether or not that couple of typical accusations actually represent the consensus, they certainly do not constitute it but rather they are a constituent.

    The deal is that it is neither dshetty nor I who is so indignantly exercised about the shenanigans there, but rather others who claim bewilderment at such apparent insouciance.

    (Is it a den of iniquity which spreads hatred among the innocent sheep in need of a shepherd?)

  166. FishCakes:

    John Morales @172,
    Why exactly would you expect me to have anything to say about comment number 28, in particular? I don’t disagree or dispute anything you wrote in that comment, nor do I understand the point of you bringing that up in reply to me.

    I had no such expectation, nor did I give indication that I did; it was an observation to the effect you chose to opine about my motivations for posting rather than to dispute what I had posted in relation to a comment actually on-topic.

  167. John Morales @176 wrote:

    The specific accusations adduced were few, but such types of accusations are indeed typical, much like the dogpiling.

    Whether or not that couple of typical accusations actually represent the consensus, they certainly do not constitute it but rather they are a constituent.

    Fair enough, thanks. That seems like a reasonable enough response. Though it is possible for reasonable people to disagree and to argue that the aforementioned constituency is disproportionately vocal and influential in terms of setting the general tone.

    The deal is that it is neither dshetty nor I who is so indignantly exercised about the shenanigans there, but rather others who claim bewilderment at such apparent insouciance.
    (Is it a den of iniquity which spreads hatred among the innocent sheep in need of a shepherd?)

    I don’t pretend to know with any certainty and I can’t speak for anyone else, but I definitely don’t look at it that way [as a den of iniquity…]. That seems hyperbolic and too simplistic. I tend to believe, generally speaking, most of the people there are probably decent well-meaning people, if in some cases very misguided. There is some very unethical behavior at times and there are more than a few who seem like thoroughly unpleasant and toxic individuals, but I don’t think that defines the whole lot of them by any stretch.

  168. John Morales @177 wrote:

    I had no such expectation, nor did I give indication that I did; it was an observation to the effect you chose to opine about my motivations for posting rather than to dispute what I had posted in relation to a comment actually on-topic.

    With due respect, this doesn’t seem to make sense in light of what you actually wrote.

    You wrote @172,

    notable, however, is your lack of objection to my contention at #28, to which I recently referred in (currently) #167 when responding to Steven.

    What, pray tell, would be notable about me not doing something that you had no expectation that I would do?

    Are you saying that your expectations are borne out or consistent with reality so rarely that, when it does happen, it’s announcing it?

  169. That should read:

    Are you saying that your expectations are borne out or consistent with reality so rarely that, when it does happen, it’s worthy of announcing it?

  170. FishCakes @180:

    What, pray tell, would be notable about me not doing something that you had no expectation that I would do?

    Are you saying that your expectations are borne out or consistent with reality so rarely that, when it does happen, it’s worthy of announcing it?

    What I noted is what I found notable; specifically, that you chose to opine about my motivations for posting rather than to dispute what I had posted in relation to a comment actually on-topic.

    I have already informed you that I had no such expectation, which is not the same thing as telling you that I had an expectation which was not borne out, so no, I am not saying that my expectations are borne out or consistent with reality so rarely that, when it does happen, it’s worthy of announcing it.

    So, what about the post topic?

    Here’s something from the OP:

    He added that there is no authority within FreeThought Blogs to police what any blogger writes. But the network recently expelled blogger Avicenna after receiving complaints of repeated plagiarism. So, unless that announcement was also a joke, there is an authority within FreeThought Blogs to police ethical breaches by bloggers.

    Do you dispute that there are two possible senses of what it means to “to police what any blogger writes”, one of which relates to editorial control, and another which relates to the power to stop hosting a blogger if their blogging is deemed unacceptable?

  171. Since the Pharyngulites acknowledge the harm of false accusation and are very concerned about publicising wrongs, I trust that they will shortly be launching a concerted effort to undo the damage done to sexual miscreant no. 1 after they exercised the bullhorn to death telling the world how bad he was. We heard all about how he was a powerful bully silencing the poor little victim by taking legal action. When it began to become apparent that the accuser was likely a vindictive psycho we were told that he may not be as rapey as suspected but the pics he put up as evidence were just so ungallant so he really was a cad. Not much about the damage done to his career or the amounts of money it cost him to defend himself. I note that there is no ongoing campaign to publically lynch the malicious accuser in contrast to their actions toward the accused.

    This folks, is what happens when you subsume the role of the justice system in your righteous crusade.

  172. @Piero (128):

    I’m quite sure that it is possible to be both anti-theist and a decent person, but I’m not sure that anti-theism is a logical position to hold. Why spend energy trying to counter gods whose existence you (and I) deny. A bizarre example: I hate tennis and all that surrounds it, but the most energy I have spent on articulating that is the energy I have just expended in typing that sentence. Tennis has no effect on my life so I just ignore it.

    Ditto religion. I live in France, which is comfortably secular and where I can operate easily without religion ever intruding on my life. Yet there are very many theists here. Whatever. They don’t intrude on me so there’s no problem. Here, in a secular republic, being antitheist would mean that the roles havve been reversed; rather than theists inserting their beliefs between me and the freedoms I desire, it would be me as an atheist inserting my values into their freedoms.

    Positive action is certainly needed to advance the cause of secularism and to eliminate the impact of religion in Government policy. Secularism, though, is a fight against the restrictive manifestations of religion on society and the freedom to live in freedom of them.

    Anti-theism is not secularism; it is an obnoxious step further.

    In fact, I will revisit my first sentence. On reflection, I think that to be an anti-theist involves a necessary element of being a dick.

  173. So religion doesn’t affect events in France very much?

    I think you may have missed one or two recent news bulletins.

  174. @Steven Carr:

    I wasn’t aware that the recent events at Charlie Hebdo were carried out within the constitutional and legislative framework of the French Republic.

    My bad.

  175. Tennis doesn’t hurt people (much). Religion, on the other hand, clearly does.

    This is why tennis, while seeming to be a pastime Oolon enjoys (thus making me scratch my head about its benefits. At least it keeps him off the internet sometimes), doesn’t have to be fought, or at least not too hard. I usually switch channels when there’s a tennis match. Come to think of it, I don’t even watch TV, so I’m well safe from tennis.

    Religion, with its restrictions, misguided worldviews, savage murders, imposition on the general public and, yes, blatant actual misogyny, should be fought on every front possible.

    But in a smart way, not the equivalent of a 12 years old having a tantrum (which is what Myers is all about. Tantrums).

  176. A quick factual question. Myers’ original smears about Michael were on twitter, but has he repeated them on his blog? There was the case where he corrected a commenter over something trivial thus deliberately leaving the main accusation in place, but has he actually repeated the smears himself?

  177. Michael J 136

    Now outside of the slymepit and a handful of PZ commentators, the reaction to these posts has been silence.

    Not entirely. There are people such as myself who are in neither of those groups but who comment here. When we do, it seems to me that our comments are critical of PZ. I agree with you that the “FtB crowd” seem to be becoming more and more isolated, in some ways (by which I mean of course the “SJW” axis of FtB / Skepchick). However, unfortunately they have fingers in some of the mainstream media, so the general public is being programmed to think that the PZ school of thought is the correct face of atheism. This is what is so worrying when he lashes out at / smears decent atheists who are doing good work, and this is why this particular case is important.

    Steven, I think that John Morales is really not trying to make any useful comments in this discussion. He uses pomposity and semantics to derail, which is amusing enough up to a point but is becoming predictable and banal.

    At least Deepak Shetty is apparently trying to engage in the discussion of Michael’s points, which is an encouraging change from many of the PZ apologists who come here. I am intrigued that Shetty thinks that the simple request on FtB’s blog to respond to Michael was badly worded. “I do think you should respond once to Michael Nugent.” There is nothing in that wording that could translate into a “demand”.

    No matter what nuances people try to bring in to the debate, however, if you go to the original material of what Michael and PZ have said in this case, it is clear that Michael is owed a sincere apology.

  178. @Phil Giordana FCD

    Of course tennis doesn’t hurt anyone — other than its adherents who willingly take the risk of a hamstring injury or being beaned between the eyes by an errant serve.

    The point is that I can ignore it entirely without expending energy and without impact on my life.

    Thus I don’t need to be an anti-tennist (thanks for the neoligism). I wouldn’t urge action being taken to prevent tennists pursuing their dream. That’s because there are laws in place which directly prevent them from disturbing the (occasionally) serene progress of my life. They cannot murder me or harm me (granted, they are capable of both, but legally are forbidden from doing either).

    I just don’t see the point in being actively anti-theist. What are the aims? What are the chances of achieving them?

    In the meantime, if some religious organisations begin a campaign to ban divorce or such, I *will* heft myself from the sofa and get active.

    In the meantime I can peacefully co-exist with theists and have no time on my hands to fight their imagined god(s).

  179. I’m free of religion.

    Bully for you.

    Now try exercising your freedom-privilege in Saudi Arabia.

  180. I wasn’t aware that the recent events at Charlie Hebdo were carried out within the constitutional and legislative framework of the French Republic.

    So because the killings weren’t authorised religion isn’t a problem?

  181. As a secularist first and foremost, I think that everyone should be free to practice their own religion in their own home or designated space.

    Religion isn’t the problem- it’s people who think their religion allows them to force it on others or act outside the law

    Anti-theism has a utility, particularly in countries where there is blatant theocracy, but by just aligning ourselves just against religion and not wilful ignorance, mob mentality, or any one of the other factors that allow theocracy to exist, all we will do is create a vacuum for any other sufficiently persuasive occupier to take its place.

  182. Nialler @187:

    Using the word “obnoxious” to describe anti-theists is somewhat Salon-ish, I have to say.

    I consider anti-theism to be a highly respectable philosophical attitude. It makes a bolder claim than garden-variety atheism to state that not only does God not exist, belief in that idea in itself is a negative. I think a perusal of the historical record would find that to be a claim with very strong foundations.

  183. Rogmeister @199:

    Religion isn’t the problem- it’s people who think their religion allows them to force it on others or act outside the law

    All three Abrahamic religions are based on the idea of global domination.
    This is mentioned numerous times in the Holy Bible.

  184. “All three Abrahamic religions are based on the idea of global domination. This is mentioned numerous times in the Holy Bible”

    This is true, but not all followers of all religions are committed to the idea of world domination. Most of them simply use religion as a tool for psychological support or as a badge to which they attach their identity.

    It’s possible to “tame” the Abrahamic religions until they’re little more than a club of like-minded people who love to get on their knees and whisper prayers. Religion as a private matter is pretty harmless.

  185. Nathan (formerly GerardO) @201

    Christians can be christians without actively trying to convert other people, much like some can be christian without being young-earth creationists.
    Some can actually keep it to themselves, regardless of whether the bible says it should be spread around the world or not.

    And people can believe whatever they want to.
    They have the freedom to believe that their religion is the best one, and they have the freedom to think that theirs should be spread worldwide.

    This in and of itself alone is not the problem, but when the belief is translated into real world actions, whether it be forcing creationism into schools or persecuting innocent homosexual teenagers.

    I am an atheist- but I don’t want to force atheism on anybody the way religion was forced on me at an early age.
    I think that secularism is the way forward, part of that is having the courage to stand up when there is real legitimate oppression.

    If we work against mob mentality, ignorant credulity, and work to minimize human suffering then that is the best way forward.

    Don’t wage war on religion, wage war on the tools that allow religion to cause decent people to comprimise their ethics, and wage war on the people that break the law in the name of those compromised ethics.
    Confront the people who incite others to do the same.

    There are some who see what I’ve just said and anti-theism as one and the same, but we need to keep the root causes in mind- there are other ways to wield strict and disparaging power without the use of the religion label.

    If we don’t keep the root causes in mind then we run the risk of eliminating one cause of despotism and leaving a vacuum for another, the FtB brigade’s wanton smear tactics and juvenile behaviour for instance.
    Everything they’ve been doing has not been under the religious umbrella, but they have the same holier-than-thou attitude, the same inability to tolerate criticism, and the same inability to substantiate their claims in many cases.

    Imagine if we abandoned religion, and someone like PZ took the fore- he may be an atheist, but based on everything I’ve seen thus far he is not fit to be considered an ethical or moral leader in the truest sense.

    We’d be trading King Louis for Robespierre- not a pleasant situation at all.

  186. Kirbmarc

    This is true, but not all followers of all religions are committed to the idea of world domination. Most of them simply use religion as a tool for psychological support or as a badge to which they attach their identity

    I keep hearing from Christians about how it’s a private thing. I also hear about their emotional experiences with Jebus at their Mighty Man gatherings and how harmless that is. They are blissfully ignorant of the homophobia and theocratic leanings of the leaders of these events and their affiliates who gain political power through the numbers they attract. Almost none of these people understand the dominionist nature of the organisations they indirectly support.

  187. People’s need for religion is the need for certainty where there is uncertainty, the need for answers where there are no answers.

    As long as we don’t deal properly with this underlying need, the world will not become a better place simply by eliminating religion. The only thing that would happen is that zealots with totalitarian ideologies like PZ Myers fill the vacuum left by the disappearance of religious belief. Hardly an improvement.

  188. @Steve:
    Thank you for prising a kind of answer off John Morales. I had given up in despair.

    @John Morales:
    those who make the determination whether or not to provide (and continue to provide) any given blogger with FTB’s resources for the purposes of blogging.
    Morales, I knew that, thank you. I also happen to know that a circle is circular, and a host of other tautologous factoids.

    My question is: what are the names of the people who decide whether or not to provide a blogger with hosting at FTB?

  189. @Shermertron #175

    The simple fact of the matter is that I am not an ultra-hyper-skeptic or a reactionary. I’m just a skeptic. It seems no amount of evidence can ever satisfy a rape apologist.

    I, and others have offered evidence that backs up our statements in previous threads on the subject of PZ on this very blog, but it gets ignored. The Slyme Pitters continue to cry, whine, and sling mud whenever they are exposed to anything that contradicts them, their idiocy, and their rewriting of history.

    I am truly astonished by how long the Slyme Pitters have been having a tantrum, for what, 5 years now? 5 years, wow! I think that is something that belongs in the Guiness Book of World Records. Ever since Rebecca Watson challenged male entitlement with “guys don’t do that”, it has been nothing but untrue claims, hate, and vile threats. Yeah yeah I know the Slyme Pit didn’t exist at the time of that video, but it was this event that eventually lead the misogynists of the A/S community to found the Slyme Pit. The proto-Slyme Pit certainly did everything it possibly could to try to destroy Rebecca Watson.

    If it hadn’t been for PZ Myers’ support and influence, the Slyme Pitters probably would have succeeded in suppressing the feminists and progressives. That was PZ Myers’ original “crime”, and that is why the Slyme Pit will never ever forgive him.

    The rape accusation against PZ has already been discussed to death. No point in rehashing it.

  190. I consider myself an anti-theist. I respect other people’s right to believe whatever they want, to gather in churches and to perform any action required by their cult, provided that it does not:

    1. cause physical or psychological damage to anyone, particularly the children of the believers

    2. interfere with the exercise of other people’s rights, such as the right to abort

    In other words, believers should be allowed neither to act against the law, nor to excuse themselves from legally mandated action, on account of their beliefs (i.e. a Catholic doctor should not have the right to deny a woman an abortion)

  191. @Nathan (formerly GerardO) (200)

    antitheism by most dictionary definitions implies active opposition to theism. It seems to me that it is impossible to be opposed to theism without at some stage being opposed to theists. It is, after all, only in the manifestations on our freedoms that we detect the presence of theists. My position is that I’m not against the loudspeakers themselves, but against the sound coming from them when it is a sound I dislike.

    It is only at the nexus where things have a negative impact on me that I have a problem. Selfish, maybe, but I have enough on my hands without taking on other things. Life is funny like that.

  192. @Shatterface (198)

    What it shows is that such actions are illegal and that such is the determining factor when the State comes face to face with a religion.

    A State legislating against a religion will have no effect except to make things worse. A State can be secular but must never be anti-theism. It can sanction certain acts committed in the name of religion (and regularly does) but it cannot be seen to be anti-theist. A State should hold a position of complete and total neutrality with respect to religion.

  193. Michael J opined:
    What surprises me about the PZ apologists is that they seem to think that it is just the slymepit. The fact is that it in the skeptic/atheist world it isn’t a rift but the FTB crowd are getting more and more isolated from the rest of the world. Most skeptical/atheist writers seem to be either silent or critical of PZ.
    Now outside of the slymepit and a handful of PZ commentators, the reaction to these posts has been silence. I can think of three reasons:
    1. People think that PZ and Michael are not worth talking about
    2. People don’t think it is worth the backlash from PZ
    3. People don’t think it is worth the backlash from Michael

    1. Well Michael is the Chair of Atheist Ireland and so isn’t unimportant. Has PZ rendered himself irrelevant?
    2. Well PZ has a history of going off the deep end over any disagreement.
    3. Definitely not this one as Michael has shown himself willing to have a dialog with anyone.

    Now just you stop being so friggin’ reasonable! There are people (OK, not sure about Morales) having an argument here!

  194. JetLagg wrote:
    It’s not possible you have autism, is it?

    Two days ago ago I wrote a post relevant to that, but for some reason either it didn’t go through or it was removed. I felt it was quite cute that John Morales, who was obviously on the spectrum, continued to try to interact with others. I hoped he would carry on with such actions, and, with a little luck and a whole shitload of effort, stimulate one or two of his dormant mirror neurons into life. I still wish him all the best in this regard, and will continue to follow the slow progress he makes in this respect.

    John: it is the formal, old fashioned, excessively knowledgeable vocabulary that gives it away. I’ve been there and done it (see? I just showed how by using a contraction and a popular meme-phrase together!). Ask me how. I can help you pass.

  195. KennyD most unfortunately happened to press the keys to expel this:
    Rape culture is the real monster here, not PZ Myers. I honestly don’t know how he does it. No one here ever bothers to try to imagine what it is like being in PZ Myers’ shoes. There are very powerful social forces that are against everything he stands for. He stands tall, he stands strong while a hurricane of right-wing rage and vicious lies tries to knock him down and bury him. You bet he’s angry. I am angry too. I am angry at all those who support or choose to ignore rape culture. His worst sin is that he may not always choose the best tactics when doing battle with reactionary forces, but then again, no one is perfect. The good thing is that he is learning from his mistakes and getting better.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I, and others, will use your quote for years to come to show the ridiculous nature of your cultish beliefs. I do agree that your master has room to become better and that no one, as you correctly say, is perfect. I do believe, that with no further effort from me, your words here can get you banned at Pharyngula—after all, you have intimated that PZ isn’t perfect. In return I shall spend countless hours trying to imagine what it is like to be in PZ Myers shoes. Fortunately, I have a legitimately obtained prescription for ondansetron. If it gets me through chemotherapy, it might just get me through my attempt to imagine life in PZ Myers’ shoes. If it doesn’t work, may I bill you for the difference? Otherwise, do please go and do something, somewhere else, that doesn’t involve a porcupine, oxidised or otherwise.

  196. Nialler@208
    My position is that I’m not against the loudspeakers themselves, but against the sound coming from them when it is a sound I dislike.

    I’ve never been able to make a functional distinction between individuals acting and the actions themselves, or individuals speaking and the words themselves. Just not something I can square in my mind, given my belief that you literally are your words and actions. When Christians say they love homosexuals, but hate homosexuality (from a moral standpoint, analogies to tennis fail here), it sounds equivalent to saying you love a murderer but hate murder.

    The only out I see stems from the fact that people are mind-bogglingly complex. There’s noone for whom “murderer” defines their entire being any more than there is a person for whom “Christian” defines their entire being. Thus I can say I hate the aspect of this Christian that is defined by their Christianity, and still have logical room to say I love the individual (convenient, as much of family is Christian). If that doesn’t make me an anti-theist, I don’t know what would.

  197. KennyD wrote:

    Rape culture is the real monster here, not PZ Myers. I honestly don’t know how he does it. No one here ever bothers to try to imagine what it is like being in PZ Myers’ shoes. There are very powerful social forces that are against everything he stands for. He stands tall, he stands strong while a hurricane of right-wing rage and vicious lies tries to knock him down and bury him.

    The term ‘fawning sycophant’ doesn’t begin to describe this. The last time I have seen such a ridiculously over-the-top eulogy was when I read about the personality cults of Stalin and Mao. However, the people who composed those had the excuse that they were ordered to write them and lived in a society where to openly criticize the leader, or merely fail to praise him enough, could carry a death sentence. You have no excuse (unless there are medical reasons).

    Are you for real? Please tell me you were joking.

  198. @Lancelot Gobbo:

    John: it is the formal, old fashioned, excessively knowledgeable vocabulary that gives it away

    I think John’s syntax tends to be latinate, which is to be expected from a native Spanish speaker. He never ends sentences with a preposition, preferring “the guy to whom I referred” to “the guy I referred to.” Also, he is a pedant.

  199. piero wrote:
    I think John’s syntax tends to be latinate, which is to be expected from a native Spanish speaker. He never ends sentences with a preposition, preferring “the guy to whom I referred” to “the guy I referred to.” Also, he is a pedant.

    Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put. Pedantic, yes. “Little professor” – absolutely. He’s on the spectrum.

  200. How can Father Myers fail, with the support he receives from Kenny and the other apologists seen here?

    Demagogues like Myers want their sycophants, but I don’t think they quite imagine what a sorry lot they turn out to be. You own them now, PZ.

  201. @Piero,

    The term ‘fawning sycophant’ doesn’t begin to describe this.

    You mean it’s not a parody?

    It would restore my faith in humanity if it was, but alas, I believe he actually meant what he wrote. O depraved new world that has such people in’t.

  202. KennyD:

    ..No one here ever bothers to try to imagine what it is like being in PZ Myers’ shoes….

    I have thought about that very thing and concluded it involves sticky socks and a lot of odour, but I’ll never be able to fully understand because I’ve never worn clown shoes.

  203. I am also anti-theistic and a positive atheist. That is, I believe, positively, that the universe doesn’t feature deities. There are some good reasons to go this step further beyond merely not believing, but I consider it as practically unimportant (to me at least, I don’t wave it around and don’t intent to be atheistier than atheistic). I break this anyway by submitting “Discordianism” as my religion.

    Religion is unfortunately a very complicated matter where the more interesting parts sit in the continua and between the categories we impose. It’s a collection of mind hacks, in some parts occurring anyway (with or without some guiding principle) where some are even beneficial. The problem with religion is that it is false, yet provides believers with divine rationalisations for their follies. Religion is ultimately a tool that synchronizes believers on some system, and then provides an apotheosis of that community. Being divinely cocksure while working with false information can never be a good principle.

    I am still gobsmacked by this whole “haven for rapist” affair. PZ Myers accuses people he doesn’t know and who post here as “harassers, misogynists, and rapists” (!) and does that with apparent Insane Troll Logic. Even if it was somehow known that secretly two or more rapists were posting in the forum, how does PZ Myers know that they are the ones who post here? The mere idea that PZ Myers could have ANY respect or is defended by ANYONE is absolutely mind-blowing. I know we ran out of superlatives a long time ago, and aren’t seeing it anymore, but this is sheer amazing what is happening here. If a screenwriter would invent the story, and include that PZ Myers himself has a confessed rapist in his comment sections, which he, PZ Myers, defended and protected (and that is true), the script would be rejected for being too unrealistic.

    This atheist-skeptics movement is really incredible.

  204. No one here ever bothers to try to imagine what it is like being in PZ Myers’ shoes

    ‘Before you criticise a man you should walk a mile in his shoes. That way you’ll be a mile away. And you’ll have his shoes.’

  205. Rape culture is the real monster here, not PZ Myers. I honestly don’t know how he does it.

    I’d define ‘rape culture’ as any culture where rape allegations are brushed under the carpet because you gave your version of the story to the principle first.

    I don’t live in a rape culture. I live in a culture where rape allegations are more than an inconvenience.

    I’d say someone was fighting rape culture if they lived in a rape culture but refused to exploit their position.

  206. KennyD 207

    You said: “The rape accusation against PZ has already been discussed to death. No point in rehashing it.”

    Do you feel the same way about all of the allegations that PZ and his friends have lobbed at Voldemort, et. al.? That these accusations of criminal behavior are simply bygones?

    You tried to moralize in the context of “rape culture.” “Discussing” an accusation does nothing. “Police investigation” DOES offer justice for the victim and accused. Do you support full police investigations of the situations in which PZ, Lousy Canuck and Ogvorbis told everyone they are involved? If we are to dismantle the “rape culture” you describe, shouldn’t we push for police investigation of such claims?

  207. If I remember right, FTB is jointly owned by Myers and Brayton. So, in fact, he could do something about it. Except, of course, he’s the problem and sure as heck isn’t.

  208. Going back and looking over KennyD’s words

    Rape culture is the real monster here, not PZ Myers. I honestly don’t know how he does it. No one here ever bothers to try to imagine what it is like being in PZ Myers’ shoes. There are very powerful social forces that are against everything he stands for. He stands tall, he stands strong while a hurricane of right-wing rage and vicious untrue claims tries to knock him down and bury him. You bet he’s angry. I am angry too. I am angry at all those who support or choose to ignore rape culture. His worst sin is that he may not always choose the best tactics when doing battle with reactionary forces, but then again, no one is perfect. The good thing is that he is learning from his mistakes and getting better.

    I find myself unable to read them without hearing Thunderfoot’s voice. Am I somehow wrong or dysfunctional, or is there some small universe where my interpretation is accurate?

  209. piero @206:

    My question is: what are the names of the people who decide whether or not to provide a blogger with hosting at FTB?

    I cannot tell you the specific names, the reason being that I am utterly independent of them, and therefore have no inside information about them that is not available to anyone else. I can tell you I think that it includes (but is not limited to) PZ and Ed Brayton.

    If the information you sought from me is in the public domain, there’s nothing to stop you from searching for it, you know.

    For the purposes of the point I was making [bloggers’ independence at FTB], that they exist is sufficient — and you don’t dispute that.

  210. KennyD January 31, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    @Shermertron #175

    The simple fact of the matter is that I am not an ultra-hyper-skeptic or a reactionary. I’m just a skeptic. It seems no amount of evidence can ever satisfy a rape apologist.

    And it’s this really helps to illustrate one of the major causes of the problem. That is, KennyD takes things on faith and does not apply skepticism.

    And, since he brought up rape appologizing, I’ll use that to illustrate.

    Here in America, over 5,000 black men were lynched (usually without repercussions) simply because a white woman claimed to have been raped. That’s a classic ‘believe the victim’ result.

    In Mississippi alone, they lynching capital of America, over 500 black men were lynched for ‘raping’ white women. Even though, in fact, most of those claims were false. Even moreso than the estimated regular false-claim rate (which is orders higher than that idiotic 2% made up number even the FBI pegs it at a minimum of 1-in-6 with the caveat it may be a lot more).

    But KennyD doesn’t care. Because you MUST BELIEVE THE VICTIM even when it’s not established the accuser is the victim. So, KennyD, seeing himself as a ‘good, honest’ man would be one of those, in those days, that would string up a black man because a white woman cried rape. And then when some Damn Yankee, such as myself, would point out how awful KennyD and his co-criminals were, KennyD would claim I was a ‘rape apologist’ and why didn’t I ‘believe the victim.’

    As for rape culture, there’s no such thing as ‘rape culture.’ In fact, here in the US, there are so many rape shield laws that rape suspects are routinely denied their Constitutional 4th and 5th Amendment protections. Many men and boys are forced into plea bargains to avoid a potentially harsher sentence, such as Brian Banks who spent 6 years in jail and 5 more years in high-supervision parole because a girl lied (even worse the ever-changing (and frequently contradicting and impossible) story should have set alarm bells ringing).

    And I won’t even go into the scientific studies that show false claims are disturbingly high, that at least 10% of all convicted rapists may be innocent, and there is nothing unique about Myers and his co-blogger being accused of rape.

    But KennyD wouldn’t care the evidence is wholly against his naive and ill-informed world view. All KennyD wants is a good lynching so he can pat himself on the back and tell himself that he’s a ‘good man.’

    Whereas, I seek justice. I seek a fair trial. I seek a full and vigorous defense. Because that’s what separates us from the horrors of our barbaric past.

    And, of course, none of that excuses rape. Or apologizes for rape.

    But the lynch mob lead by KennyD doesn’t care. They’d just soon string me up next to their victim, because, unlike them, I believe in the rule of law and justice.

    And that’s a key difference between the Cult of FTB and the rest of skepticism.

  211. Lancelot Gobbo @212:

    I felt it was quite cute that John Morales, who was obviously on the spectrum, continued to try to interact with others. […]
    John: it is the formal, old fashioned, excessively knowledgeable vocabulary that gives it away. I’ve been there and done it (see? I just showed how by using a contraction and a popular meme-phrase together!). Ask me how. I can help you pass.

    It’s remarkable how remarkable people here find me.

    Your diagnosis reveals your wishful thinking, and furthermore your ostensibly condescending offer is declined on the basis that my lexicon (excessive though you find it) is quite tame and entirely under my conscious control.

    Later:

    Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put. Pedantic, yes. “Little professor” – absolutely. He’s on the spectrum.

    There sure is a lot of chatter about what I am like and what my motivation for being here is and what my purpose here is, but relatively few responses to my topical comments.

    I don’t dispute my proclivity to pedantry, however.

    For example, when I read Aneris above (“This atheist-skeptics movement is really incredible.”), my first thought was amusement on the basis that I find that an absurd idea. Of course, I well know it was intended to mean that it is remarkable, rather than literally incredible.

    (There are reasons I eschew colloquial vernacular when commenting here)

  212. @John Morales:

    Myers said:

    We also formed an executive committee to deal with network wide crises…like a deranged blogger who is shitting all over the network. But otherwise, nope, no one here meddles in anyone else’s blog.

    John Morales said:

    FTB is a platform for a collection of independent blogs whose powers amount to either (a) admit bloggers to it or (b) dismiss bloggers from it

    and

    I can tell you I think that it includes (but is not limited to) PZ and Ed Brayton.

    Given the above, can you please tell me how you think the decision to expel Avicenna was arrived at? It wasn’t Myers and Brayton who decided, because that would contradict “no one here meddles in anyone else’s blog”, and plagiarism does not qualify as “a deranged blogger who is shitting all over the network”. It couldn’t have been a democratic vote of all FTB bloggers, because that would contradict your description of FTB decision-makers as including, but not limited to, Myers and Brayton (if you had meant “all bloggers”, you wouldn’t have had to specify two of them). So, is there any set of circumstances compatible with logic that can explain how decisions are made at all within FTB?

  213. You know – I didn’t realise this at the time, but KennyD may be the first person I’ve actually seen using the term “rape culture” seriously, in cold blood – not merely quoting and mocking the people who use this phrase.

    I’ve heard of such people, and seen them quoted anc mocked, but I’ve never run into a primary source before.

    Do people really believe in this stuff? Even now I find it hard to credit that they do. Maybe these people somehow inhabit a culture completely different from the one I inhabit, on a different planet perhaps.

  214. @Henry:

    Ha ha, yes, I’m still not convinced that KennyD is for real. I hope, pace Jan Steen, that s/h/it is a parody. However, there is no shortage of primary sources; just Google “rolling stone rape campus” and you’ll find endless examples of delusion in action.

  215. “Ah, the Cracker incident… Good times, good times.”

    PZ burnt a page of a Koran around the same time.

    What a blazing Islamophobic racist, eh? A great example of how PZ and his Horde are traitors to the liberal cause, and are to be regarded as Hard Left authoritarian fascists. All secularists, liberals, and humanists should be on the lookout for these troublemakers – for they are enemies.

  216. John Morales: You seriously believe PZ no longer contends against religious bullshit but instead sucks up to religious extremists?

    The Charlie Hebdo affair exposed PZ Myers for the anti-liberal defender of religious fascism that he now is. He enabled victim-blaming. His focus on the supposed “racism” of Charlie Hebdo, and the “I’m not blaming the cartoonists, but…..” attitude of Myers and the Horde, told us everything we already knew. PZ is an anti-liberal traitor.

    The likes of PZ, the fraud CJ Werleman, Alex Gabriel, and an increasing number of FTB bloggers who are abandoning liberal values, and try to score “SJW cred points” by attacking Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins as waycists (yawnorama!), simply do so because it is easier for them and allows them to practice their intellectual cowardice.

    My prediction is that it will be the Islam issue that separates the wheat from the chaff in the liberal, secular, humanist sphere. It will be the Islam issue that allows us to purge the Hard Left authoritarian fascists such as PZ Myers from the movement. He and Werleman can then f**k off and do the odd interview with Press TV about how Islamists are misunderstood, or something. That is there future.

  217. piero @231:

    Given the above, can you please tell me how you think the decision to expel Avicenna was arrived at?

    No, I can’t. I find it an insufficient basis upon which to make a determination.

    It wasn’t Myers and Brayton who decided, because that would contradict “no one here meddles in anyone else’s blog”, and plagiarism does not qualify as “a deranged blogger who is shitting all over the network”.

    I think your inference is invalid unless it uses the hidden premise that losing the privilege of blogging in FTB amounts to FTB (that’s used as a metonym for the “they” about which you were earlier so very inquisitive) meddling in someone else’s blog — a premise which I thought was established as unsound during our earlier exchanges.

    In any case, that information doesn’t particularly help me towards the determination which you request of me.

    It couldn’t have been a democratic vote of all FTB bloggers, because that would contradict your description of FTB decision-makers as including, but not limited to, Myers and Brayton (if you had meant “all bloggers”, you wouldn’t have had to specify two of them).

    How so? You assert it’s contradictory, but I believe that the sets are not disjoint. The only disjoint set is the {PZ, Ed Brayton}, which I explicitly excluded.

    So, is there any set of circumstances compatible with logic that can explain how decisions are made at all within FTB?

    In relation to circumstances, rather than to people as with the previous sections of this response, I think so, yes: what PZ wrote in his blog post hyperlinked in the OP under the section “The idea that Customer Service is a Joke”.

  218. You obviously missed the fun a few weeks ago. Kirbmarc literally copy/pasted PZ’s comments on Islam from the past (2008-2011, I believe) into comments on Pharyngula.

    “PZ” was called an “Islamophobe.”

    Some of the threads at Pharyngula are now so bad and anti-liberal that I am tempted to post comments from Anjem Choudary under a different name, and see the Horde fawn over them.

    Yes, it was hilarious to see PZ get done up like a kipper. It thoroughly exposed him for the anti-liberal shyster he has become. Who the hell gave him that “Humanist of the Year” award – they must be demanding their award back.

  219. Carrie: However, unfortunately they have fingers in some of the mainstream media, so the general public is being programmed to think that the PZ school of thought is the correct face of atheism.

    Indeed. That’s why I have always said that we should hit the comment boards and expose PZ and his fellow SJWs should they ever get one of their poison narratives out in the media. Present links to Nugent’s blog with regard to any reference to PZ Myers. Reveal the situation about Ogvorbis and their double standards and trivializing of rape at FreeThoughtBlogs. Make it so these #FTBullies think twice before they write something for one of these clueless online hack organizations such as Buzzfeed and Salon. Attack and expose!

  220. Richard Sanderson @235, on the theme of PZ being a Poopyhead:

    “Ah, the Cracker incident… Good times, good times.”

    PZ burnt a page of a Koran around the same time.

    What a blazing Islamophobic racist, eh?

    I don’t recall any burning; what I recall is that he threw pages from the Koran, The God Delusion, coffee grounds and banana peel into a rubbish bin and photographed that.

    Primary sources are helpful: The Great Desecration.

  221. John Morales: I don’t recall any burning; what I recall is that he threw pages from the Koran, The God Delusion, coffee grounds and banana peel into a rubbish bin and photographed that.

    Oh, right. He desecrated a Koran, then. I guess that makes him a far-right Islamophobe according to the Horde. Lol.

  222. He desecrated a Koran, then. I guess that makes him a far-right Islamophobe according to the Horde. Lol.

    Why guess, Richard? Ask them.

    (It sure doesn’t seem so to me)

  223. MosesZD @229:

    […]
    But the lynch mob lead by KennyD doesn’t care. They’d just soon string me up next to their victim, because, unlike them, I believe in the rule of law and justice.

    And that’s a key difference between the Cult of FTB and the rest of skepticism.

    So… you hold that the Cult of FTB is a terrible, terrible thing (lynch mobs led by KennyD!) but nonetheless it’s part of skepticism.

    Interesting.

    Whether passionate or dispassionate, your opinion is duly noted by me, and surely Richard (“Attack and expose!”) above is approbatory of your endeavour.

  224. Henry@232
    You know – I didn’t realise this at the time, but KennyD may be the first person I’ve actually seen using the term “rape culture” seriously, in cold blood – not merely quoting and mocking the people who use this phrase.

    I think, as a theoretical concept (which is all it is, despite assertions to the contrary from third wavers and SJWs), it has some value. I enjoy being forced to confront what if scenarios, and the phenomenon the thought experiment assumes (increased prevalence of a behavior through its normalization) has plenty of backing evidence from psychology. The question is just then whether or not that normalization occurs, and I’d argue it doesn’t, at least to any significant degree.

    The one exception, ironically enough, comes from crusaders who credulously publish things like the now infamous Rolling Stone UVA story, or refer to porn and prostitute work as rape. Because of this kind of behavior, I have to make a serious effort these days to not be instantly suspicious when a rape accusation emerges. I’ve been pressured by these self proclaimed activists into becoming exactly what they claim they were fighting against.

    Fortunately, I’m not the sort to allow my prejudices ,as instilled by personal experience, inform how I respond to an entire population. Still, it’s telling that these “warriors” (I use the quotes here to hopefully make the irony more obvious to any SJW lurkers, who have thus demonstrated a stunning lack of awareness for humor) have gone some way in making a bleeding heart liberal such as myself at least marginally more cold hearted. They’ve shown that the “victim” these days is just as likely to the perpetrator.

  225. JetLagg: SJW lurkers who have shown that the “victim” these days is just as likely to the perpetrator?

    I don’t dispute your perception, but upon what basis do you make that determination?

  226. Ah, sorry, JetLagg. Clearly, your contention is that the non-lurking Warriors are those who have shown that the “victim” these days is just as likely to the perpetrator, rather than those who do lurk.

    (My question remains the same, though its referent is now amended accordingly.)

  227. Richard, do you find similar significance in his concurrent desecration of The God Delusion?

    Since nobody ever thought The God Delusion was ‘sacred’ nobody thinks ‘desecration’ of it mattered a toss. It was a fatuous gesture at the time and it remains so now.

    Myers has renounced his previous criticisms mocking of Islam, hence the banning of commentators who quoted his previous comments back to him. According to his current position the beliefs he held when he ‘desecrated’ the Quran were Islamophobic. If a French person did the same now Myers would be making excuses for their killers.

  228. Shatterface, you have answered for Richard, and so I address your answer:

    Since nobody ever thought The God Delusion was ‘sacred’ nobody thinks ‘desecration’ of it mattered a toss. It was a fatuous gesture at the time and it remains so now.

    But you don’t think that the Koran is sacred, right?

    (So presumably its desecration matters not a toss to you, except to the degree that it’s ‘sacred’)

    Myers has renounced his previous criticisms mocking of Islam, hence the banning of commentators who quoted his previous comments back to him.

    Strictly, PZ has removed those comments in his blog which maliciously and trollishly quoted statements of his made years after the employment of him and banned those who thus trolled.

    I acknowledge that you consider that the ends justify the means, so that you consider trolling to be useful if it suits your ends.

    According to his current position the beliefs he held when he ‘desecrated’ the Quran were Islamophobic.

    Strictly, according to your perception of his current position the beliefs he held when he ‘desecrated’ the Quran were Islamophobic.

    If a French person did the same now Myers would be making excuses for their killers.

    Your speculative judgement is duly noted for whatever relevance it has to the post topic or even to the current digression.

  229. Michael, in reference to these portions of your deposition…

    PZ’s original post seemed to be a positive step in proactively welcoming and addressing such complaints in a structured way.

    […]

    Although PZ’s initial announcement was phrased somewhat flippantly, the underlying message was welcome. Coming soon after it had expelled Avicenna, it seemed that FreeThought Blogs was finally beginning to practice some principles of justice in a structured way.

    […]

    Sadly, it was not to be. The following day, PZ announced that the post about the Complaints Department was, and I quote:

    “intended as a joke — we don’t have such a thing — to mock the idea that we do have such a thing. We don’t.”

    … I see no reference to whether you attempted to email the address provided between the time when you hopeful about that information and the time you came to believe that PZ meant it as a joke.

    Did you?

  230. Michael Kingsford Gray, your request is hereby granted; should you wish for further pleasing posts, do not hesitate on behalf of my inconvenience, but merely provide me with further motivation for such easy and satisfying appeasement of your desire.

  231. Well, having just caught up on the Myers threads since returning from a rather wonderful skiing trip, I have to congratulate John Morales on successfully playing the diversion game so beloved of the less obviously dimwitted FtB/Myers/SJW defenders. It really is a waste of time trying to engage with people of his type, because their intent is to diffuse the conversation, and hence the criticism, not to clarify points of contention or argue in good faith.

    All the standard tactics are there: wilfully arch and unnecessarily convoluted syntax; goalpost-shifting; definitional retreat; tu-quoqueism; red-herring-strewing; honing in on minor points in order to ignore key ones…

    Really, these people make noise to drown signal. That’s their m.o. They’re best ignored or derided.

  232. Jack Rawlinson, your opinion about me is duly noted.

    Really, these people make noise to drown signal. That’s their m.o. They’re best ignored or derided.

    I see; contrary to Michael Kingsford Gray, you’d rather I were ignored or derided.

    You yourself haven’t done the former, and the latter only ambiguously; in any case, how you imagine you have purified the signal is opaque to me.

    (Do you practice what you preach?)

  233. Morales: You yourself haven’t done the former, and the latter only ambiguously; in any case, how you imagine you have purified the signal is opaque to me.

    See? You can even point out that he tu-quoques and writes pompously and his response is to tu quoque and write pompously. It’d be funny if it weren’t so tiresome.

  234. Jack Rawlinson:

    It’d be funny if it weren’t so tiresome.

    I do see: You address me, I respond directly. This, you find tiresome, and thus unfunny, and you inform every reader to ostensibly warn them about those you believe make noise that drown the signal, so that they can choose to (as you advocate) ignore or deride me.

    (I take it that was your version of derision)

  235. Morales:

    JetLagg:” SJW lurkers who have shown that the “victim” these days is just as likely to the perpetrator?”

    I don’t dispute your perception, but upon what basis do you make that determination?

    Probably on the basis that kangaroo courts in US academia and the bastardisation of definitions means that any non-male student who feels affronted can claim rape and take out their issues on some poor sap with the support of the system. The idea that you can put such power in the hands of the young and immature while simultaneously filling their heads with entitlement and anti-male bullshit and not have a problem is deranged. Not to mention the likes of Myers casting around for “victims” to promote in the atheist sphere.

  236. “He desecrated a Koran, then. I guess that makes him a far-right Islamophobe according to the Horde. Lol.”

    Why guess, Richard? Ask them.

    (It sure doesn’t seem so to me)

    Because it would be a pointless endeavour. The chances of getting more than one or 2 yesses are remote once they know who did the desecrating.

  237. Morales:

    PS

    Richard, do you find similar significance in his concurrent desecration of The God Delusion?

    You for real? You know that the idea was to contrast the differing reaction from atheists and Muslims, right?

  238. Gerhard:

    You know that the idea was to contrast the differing reaction from atheists and Muslims, right?

    What I know is what PZ wrote at the time:

    By the way, I didn’t want to single out just the cracker, so I nailed it to a few ripped-out pages from the Qur’an and The God Delusion. They are just paper. Nothing must be held sacred. Question everything. God is not great, Jesus is not your lord, you are not disciples of any charismatic prophet.

    John Morales would have been banned from Pharyngula way back for “making it all about him”.

    John Morales was a regular commenter there for eight years or so, beginning in 2005, and was never banned for “making it all about him”.

    (Facts trump speculation)

  239. I would say that Myers’ “greatest moment” (aside from being referred to by Richard Dawkins) was when he got expelled from a screening of ‘Expelled’ while Richard wasn’t.

    At the time, I thought it was pretty hilarious and a big oversight on the CDesign Proponentsists’ part. But now with hindsight, which is always 20/20, I can completely understand why a polite man like Dawkins would be left in while a rabid verbal abuser* like Myers would be left out.

    So, as hard as it is to say, the CDPs may have indeed made the better choice there.

    *and that’s coming from me, a Slymepitter.

  240. I do see: You address me, I respond directly. This, you find tiresome, and thus unfunny, and you inform every reader to ostensibly warn them about those you believe make noise that drown the signal, so that they can choose to (as you advocate) ignore or deride me.

    Morales, I only addressed you in the sense of addressing the sort of irritant you are. Nothing in my initial comment requested a response from you. My second comment merely observed how amusing it was that your response involved displaying two of the very diversionary behaviours I had only just called out.

    That, very verifiably, is the reality of the situation. Now, if you care to continue trying to spin this, exaggerate that and infer the other in order to try to get me playing your transparent game of deflecting the heat from Myers and his mob of hypocritical, venomous jackals, you go right ahead and fill your boots, old son. Two responses to highlight just how spot-on my initial assessment of your character was is already two more than you deserve. I have nothing more to say to you about your nonsense. Others apparently feel differently. I suggest you continue playing with them.

  241. John Morales was a regular commenter there for eight years or so, beginning in 2005, and was never banned for “making it all about him”.

    (Facts trump speculation)

    Well, yes, Captain Obvious. You are a regular there. The point being that you are at odds with the blogger here. As a “non-regular” at Pharyngula going against the blog owner you would have been out of there. It has happened more than enough times there to make it a “thing”.

  242. Gerhard:

    Well, yes, Captain Obvious. You are a regular there.

    I was a regular there, I’ve made only two posts in the last couple of years. I do find it suggestive that you now claim it was obvious.

    Jack Rawlinson:

    Morales, I only addressed you in the sense of addressing the sort of irritant you are. Nothing in my initial comment requested a response from you. My second comment merely observed how amusing it was that your response involved displaying two of the very diversionary behaviours I had only just called out.

    I think that you addressed the general readership, of which I am a member, but fair enough: you addressed the irritant that I am rather than the person that I am.

    That, very verifiably, is the reality of the situation. Now, if you care to continue trying to spin this, exaggerate that and infer the other in order to try to get me playing your transparent game of deflecting the heat from Myers and his mob of hypocritical, venomous jackals, you go right ahead and fill your boots, old son.

    If I cared to do that, I would not need your permission to do so, but no, I don’t care to even start doing that, and it would be only possible for me to continue doing it once I had started.

    Two responses to highlight just how spot-on my initial assessment of your character was is already two more than you deserve. I have nothing more to say to you about your nonsense. Others apparently feel differently. I suggest you continue playing with them.

    I duly note both your suggestion to me and your initial assessment of my character, as well as your assertion that you have nothing more to say to me about what you perceive to be my nonsense.

  243. John Morales:

    I was a regular there, I’ve made only two posts in the last couple of years. I do find it suggestive that you now claim it was obvious.

    Suggestive of what? Even I know you as a long term member, as many people do. I’m sure Myers does too.

  244. Gerhard:

    Suggestive of what?

    Among other things, it suggests to me that, given you wrote “John Morales would have been banned from Pharyngula way back for “making it all about him”” and now contend that what you intended to express was actually “John Morales would have been banned from Pharyngula way back for “making it all about him”, except that as a regular commenter there he obviously would not have been banned from Pharyngula way back for “making it all about him””, you actually meant to write (in the shorter form) that “John Morales would not have been banned from Pharyngula way back for “making it all about him””, yet ended up writing the exact opposite.

    (Which, unlike the original, is a factual statement)

  245. John Morales. Is it true that this is not your native language? That would explain it.

    The statement “John Morales would have been banned from Pharyngula way back for “making it all about him””, in this context, clearly means that you would have been banned at Pharyngula way back in the thread in similar circumstances. I wasn’t more explicit because I didn’t think that anyone would misinterpret, deliberately or otherwise.

  246. KennyD @3

    PZ Myers visits Ireland for an atheist conference or book tour, and reaches out to Michael. They meet, they have a few drinks, they laugh, they settle their differences. After putting this episode behind them, they realize they are not so different after all, become good friends, and Michael becomes an FTB blogger and/or collaborates with PZ on some kind of atheist project in Ireland.

    This is what one would expect from people who simply make mistakes, realise what they have done and apologise. Sadly, it looks as if PZ has dug himself into a hole wherein he is not able to apologise even if he sees that he has done wrong. Your scenario seems very unlikely, given that Myers apparently believes that Michael is deeply wrong, and his past track record of firm non-acceptance of those he believes to be wrong. Brayton seems to be the exception to this rule, and it is interesting to note that there is apparently no public apology involved in ending that fight. Given the public nature of this event, it would be very surprising if Michael were to “settle their differences” without making sure that a public apology / explanation from Myers a vital part of that settlement.

    Slyme Pitters will do all they can to sabotage their friendship and joint projects. However, by then, the Slyme Pitters will be so irrelevant(except as a minor annoyance) that almost no one will pay attention to their vicious mudslinging and hate campaigns against progressives.

    This is simply nonsense, fueled by the mis-perceptions of the ‘pit that are constantly being spread around and even making their way into the mainstream media. It smears a whole group of skeptics who happen to behave like true skeptics, taking nothing on faith. And it does no good at all for atheist “movements” / acceptance of atheists as a whole. I would expect that, if PZ were to change enough to heal his rift with Michael (and with other prominent atheists whom he has smeared, including good people at the ‘pit), the Slymepit would have a party and would continue to discuss wood-burning stoves and chainsaws with their usual fervour.

    KennyD @8

    I think PZ Myers handled that religious bigot the right way. I’m glad he didn’t accept his apology. That Gelato guy was ok with discriminating against atheists until he realized it might affect his business, so his apology was phony

    You cannot possibly know whether his apology was phony or not. The idea that his business would suffer is not necessarily true, given that his shop is in a highly religion-friendly country. He took that sign downvery quickly and sounded really repentant; it would be graceful to take it as such, not put PZ’s own ideas into the man’s meaning. The take-away message at this point for that man and his family and friends is: Atheists are cold, hard people who never forgive. It would be better if they were to be able to spread the word, instead, that atheists are just as kind and thoughtful as anyone.

    John Morales? His pompously convoluted posts were amusing at first but get dull and are now just re-treading the semantics game. He seems to be simply one of the derailment team, taking the focus away from the basic fact that Myers smeared Michael and now laughs at him for trying to clear his name. It is unfortunate that some people come here simply to try and obscure the facts when they are really very clear.

  247. Ophelia Benson cites what I consider to be a perfect descriptor for PZ Myers: he’s a reflexive smearer.

    She wrote:

    Chris Moos draws up a catalogue of the more wrongheaded responses to the Charlie Hebdo massacre. He counts five of them:

    the reflexive smearer, the moral relativist, the condescending bonhomme, the politician-cum-theologian and the winner of the competition, the Islamist abuser.

    The reflexive smearer says the CH cartoonists and CH were and are racist.

    PZ Myers called CH a racist publication, so by logical implication, Ophelia here calls Myers a reflexive smearer.

    I couldn’t agree more. Well said, Ophelia.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2015/01/islamists-do-not-want-to-debate/#more-17925

  248. John Morales: I don’t dispute your perception, but upon what basis do you make that determination?

    The high-profile exclusions are mainly against white male heterosexual students so your side doesn’t really give a shit; once false rape accusations mount up against black and/or gay students – the traditional victims of false accusations made by regretful or embarrassed sexual partners – we’ll see how committed FTB are to social justice.

  249. John Morales: Richard, do you find similar significance in his concurrent desecration of The God Delusion?

    Playing dumb, or just dumb, John?

    The Islamophobia claim is me satirizing the type of reaction you would see from PZ and his horde in recent years. In comparison to pre-2011. Also, no, the desecration of the God Delusion is not of similar significance, because in the minds of SJW’s and the Horde, that was written by an “old white guy”, and is not a book revered by billions of brown-skinned people.

    This is how the likes of anti-liberals such as PZ and the horde now “think”.

  250. John Morales: Strictly, PZ has removed those comments in his blog which maliciously and trollishly quoted statements of his made years after the employment of him and banned those who thus trolled.

    Still got a sad on?

    Those comments on his blog brilliantly exposed his hypocrisy, and the desertion of liberal and humanist values. The liberal PZ of 2006 would have slammed the screaming “yeah , but if CH wasn’t waycist….” and put them in the sack. These anti-liberals now inform his behaviour.

    The trolling was a brilliant expose. PZ, Gay Tony, Nerd, and the rest of the Horde enforcers had steam coming out of their ears. Everybody else was pointing and laughing at them. Rightly so. We will expose PZ again. The statements of Anjem Choudary are primed and ready to go on PZ’s next piece of apologist shite for Islamism.

    ATTACK and EXPOSE!

  251. Richard Sanderson @238,

    Carrie: However, unfortunately they have fingers in some of the mainstream media, so the general public is being programmed to think that the PZ school of thought is the correct face of atheism.

    Indeed. That’s why I have always said that we should hit the comment boards and expose PZ and his fellow SJWs should they ever get one of their poison narratives out in the media. Present links to Nugent’s blog with regard to any reference to PZ Myers. Reveal the situation about Ogvorbis and their double standards and trivializing of rape at FreeThoughtBlogs. Make it so these #FTBullies think twice before they write something for one of these clueless online hack organizations such as Buzzfeed and Salon. Attack and expose!

    This is important. Myers works very hard to stay in fora where he controls who may comment and what can be said. Any time he sticks his head outside his safe-for-Myers space, he should face questions about his egregious behavior.

    Myers is dishonest, hypocritical, and utterly lacking in integrity. He is a horrible representative for atheism and skepticism. We need to make it clear that he speaks only for his own little fringe group of SJWs and sycophants. Hit him where it hurts — dry up his speaking gigs.

  252. Jan Steen: PZ Myers called CH a racist publication, so by logical implication, Ophelia here calls Myers a reflexive smearer.

    I couldn’t agree more. Well said, Ophelia.

    Indeed. As I keep saying, the Islam issue will destroy the SJWs, and will ultimately separate anti-liberals like PZ Myers from the liberal, secular, humanist movement. The thing is, which side of the line will Ophelia fall down on. The issues of blasphemy, ‘waycism towards Islam’ (lol – some #FTBullies actually thing this is a thing), etc. is the weapon we can use to divide the likes of PZ and Ophelia. Always point out this stark difference of liberal/anti-liberal stance. Given the identity politics of FTB, this will rip them apart and get them fighting amongst themselves. You can already SMELL the fear of these anti-liberals when the issue of Islam arises. They fill their underpants. As they tear flesh from themselves, the rest of the secular, humanist, atheist, liberal movement can get on with actually campaigning and promoting “alien concepts” such as free speech, freedom of religion, human rights, etc. PZ, and the rest can join the hard left anti-authoritarian fascists in being on the wrong side of history.

    I personally intend to make it so their demise comes quicker sooner than later. We exposed and caused the downfall of the likes of CJ Werleman and the odious anti-GamerGate racist Shanley, and we have ruined the reputations and credibility of Rebecca Watson, PZ Myers, Ophelia Benson, and Stephanie Zvan + many more. It will continue…

  253. @Richard “The King” Sanderson,

    we have ruined the reputations and credibility of Rebecca Watson, PZ Myers, Ophelia Benson, and Stephanie Zvan

    I think they have largely ruined their own reputations and credibility by being dishonest, dogmatic and intolerant. We just need to show the evidence for these flaws.

  254. John Morales wrote:
    Jack Rawlinson, your opinion about me is duly noted.

    Really, these people make noise to drown signal. That’s their m.o. They’re best ignored or derided.

    I see; contrary to Michael Kingsford Gray, you’d rather I were ignored or derided.

    If you think Michael Kingsford Gray was suggesting you not be derided, I do believe you have misunderstood him. He wants nothing more than further opportunities to deride you.

  255. Whilst John Morales is doing his best to prevent this comment thread from addressing the rights and wrongs of Pizzle’s “It was all a joke that we have a complaints department” post (strangely, I think it was the SJWs who invented a term to describe Morales’ behaviour—’derailing’, I believe is the word they use, and dreadfully insensitive to those of us who have had relatives die in rail crashes), it’s still time to celebrate the hilarious KennyD who posted this gem with, presumably, a straight face:

    Rape culture is the real monster here, not PZ Myers. I honestly don’t know how he does it. No one here ever bothers to try to imagine what it is like being in PZ Myers’ shoes. There are very powerful social forces that are against everything he stands for. He stands tall, he stands strong while a hurricane of right-wing rage and vicious lies tries to knock him down and bury him. You bet he’s angry. I am angry too. I am angry at all those who support or choose to ignore rape culture. His worst sin is that he may not always choose the best tactics when doing battle with reactionary forces, but then again, no one is perfect. The good thing is that he is learning from his mistakes and getting better.

    Or was he actually posting that as a tongue-in-cheek poe and risking a ban of his account at Pharyngula? I truly cannot tell whether it is a parody or a true believer at work. The very definition of a poe. If I were PZ (and I thank my stars I have no such disability) I would be keeping a very close watch on him.

  256. @Patrick (238):

    PZ Myers is not an representative for atheism, well certainly not for mine. Nor is Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennet, Harris or anyone else. In fact I’m pretty pissed-off at the negative attributes that they have often brought to atheism.

    It’s seems ironic in the context of freethought and atheism that so many people seem to need someone to act as a touchpoint.

  257. I think it was the SJWs who invented a term to describe Morales’ behaviour—’derailing’

    Hell no. That term was in common internet use many, many years before FtB was even a gleam in Ed Brayton’s wallet.

  258. Rawlinson@252
    Really, these people make noise to drown signal. That’s their m.o. They’re best ignored or derided.

    I believe it’s intentional. Using all the tactics you outlined, the likes of Morales can swamp the comment section with lengthy, verbose responses (as opposed to belligerent, obvious trolling) and create, for the casual reader, who has no desire to wade through it all, the illusion that there is some sort of reasonable and civilized opposition to Nugent’s position.

    The truth, of course, is as simple as it first appeared to be. Myers said Nugent defends criminals of the vilest kind, has refused to apologize for the smear, and now openly mocks the idea of listening to someone’s complaints (valid or not). He’s a despicable human being. This is but one example of his horrendous behavior.

    I’ll be joining the others in making sure everyone knows what kind of man he is, whenever the opportunity arises.

  259. @Lagg.

    I’ll be joining the others in making sure everyone knows what kind of man he is, whenever the opportunity arises.

    The idea is good, but who has the time to do it properly. We can all tell people about PZ’s behaviour but it means nothing unless it is backed up. Most of us have been at this long enough that we’ve gone through the cycles of doubt about whether he is as bad as it seems and been repeatedly brought back to reality by his antics. You can’t expect anyone else to take your word for it, so an exhaustive catalogue of examples of his distortions and “doubling down” when questioned and examples of his inane excuses for banning is in order. There is enough out there even with the convenient loss of many of the Scienceblogs posts. Scented Nectar has archived some of that missing stuff if needed.

  260. @Jack R.

    Dunno about John Morales deliberately swamping the thread with verbosity. That is certainly the effect, but I think he’s always been like that. Sometimes I think we see cunning plans where none exist.

  261. Dunno about John Morales deliberately swamping the thread with verbosity. That is certainly the effect, but I think he’s always been like that. Sometimes I think we see cunning plans where none exist.

    I was kind of thinking the same thing, especially that SJWism must be heaven to the pedant. It’s all about tearing down others, faulting their words, and banishing people for misstatements and violating a long list of taboos.

    Dull, plodding trolls think that at last they’re the apex of being.

  262. @Gerhard

    I’ve been using Nugent’s blogs as just that sort of resource. I belong to an atheist discussion group on facebook, and Myers’ blog has been linked before. I didn’t make a huge issue of it, but I did link them to this blog and explain that Myers is a very unpleasant guy that they should be wary of. The response was basically one of surprise and gratitude.

    It’s in Myers’ nature to marginalize himself through his own abusive behavior. I just want to accelerate that process by directing more attention to said behavior.

    As for illusory cunning plans, you could be correct. It’s easy enough to look at the intricacy of an ant colony and draw the conclusion that there must be some sort of intelligence responsible for its construction, but of course there isn’t. Derailing, goal post shifting, and definitional retreats could just be in Morales’ nature.

  263. @JLagg

    I’ve been using Nugent’s blogs as just that sort of resource

    Although he’s assembled a lot of evidence MN has just scratched the surface.

  264. Nialler @279,

    @Patrick (238):

    PZ Myers is not an representative for atheism, well certainly not for mine.

    Mine either, but he puts himself forward as a spokesperson. I, for one, intend to rebut that presumption at every opportunity when he ventures out of venues where he can control the discussion.

    Nor is Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennet, Harris or anyone else. In fact I’m pretty pissed-off at the negative attributes that they have often brought to atheism.

    Unlike Myers, the Four Horseman are accomplished scientists, writers, and thinkers. Agree or disagree with them, they have something substantial to say.

    Myers, as was pointed out by Michael Nugent just before Myers made his defamatory smears, brings nothing but rage blogging, insults, and libel to the table.

    It’s seems ironic in the context of freethought and atheism that so many people seem to need someone to act as a touchpoint.

    I concur. Let’s keep Myers, in particular, from claiming that role.

    “Nae king! Nae quin! Nae laird! Nae master! We willnae be fooled again!”

  265. JetLagg @281,

    The truth, of course, is as simple as it first appeared to be. Myers said Nugent defends criminals of the vilest kind, has refused to apologize for the smear, and now openly mocks the idea of listening to someone’s complaints (valid or not). He’s a despicable human being. This is but one example of his horrendous behavior.

    I’ll be joining the others in making sure everyone knows what kind of man he is, whenever the opportunity arises.

    Hear hear!

    If just one person constantly notes Myers’ egregious behavior, it’s easy to dismiss him as a crank.

    If two people link to Michael Nugent’s blog whenever Myers is mentioned, they might be seen as sock puppets.

    But if three people, three people respond with facts and citations every time Myers sticks his garden gnome skull over the wall of FtB, why then people might start thinking it’s an Organization!

    And can you imagine fifty people? If fifty people started quoting from Michael Nugent, calling Myers on his libel and trivialization of rape, knocking down every forced SJW narrative with evidence and logic and Myers’ very own words, why then we’d have a Movement! The Anti-Defamation Bring Skepticism and Ethics Back Into the Atheist Movement Movement!

    All you gotta do to join is link to this blog the next time you see someone link to Myers’.

    (With sincere apologies to Arlo Guthrie.)

  266. While Michael has been waiting for a reply to his emails, Ed Brayton has been churning out post after post that begin like this:

    If you’re wondering why Bryan Fischer was removed as the American Family Association’s Director of Issues Analysis and spokesperson but allowed to keep his radio show, the Southern Poverty Law Center has the real story [Yeah, I was losing sleep over this, J.S.]. They sent a letter to the Republican National Committee because the RNC is taking a trip to Israel sponsored by the AFA and informed them of some of the more bizarre and vile things Fischer has said.

    *Yawn.*

    Ed bravely scours the internet to find something reprehensible or stupid that he can wag his finger against. Such nuggets of vileness or stupidity are not hard to find. Brayton’s blog almost writes itself: just paraphrase something that was already discussed or reported on another site, sprinkle some righteous indignation over it, and presto! another blog post written.

    But there is a mote-and-beam-like quality to his writing, in that he will never address vile or stupid things that can be attributed to his ideological congeners. In particular, he has apparently decided to turn a blind eye to all the reprehensible stuff produced by his own bloggers, especially his BFF, PZ Myers. This partisan one-sidedness undermines Brayton’s moral credibility; it gives his indignation a hollow ring.

    It is easy to scold yet another halfwitted Republican for saying something outrageous. It requires considerably more courage, however, to do the same to people who are on your side. And if you downright refuse to address the failings of the latter, if you just play deaf and blind, then you are not only a coward, you also lack integrity. Your self-appointed position as a moral arbiter then comes across as misplaced, your outrage blasted from half a dozen daily blog posts then sounds hypocritical.

    Ed Brayton is apparently fine with Myers’s joke about the FTB Customer Service Department, even though it exposes Brayton’s Blog network as an amateurish organisation. Eddy keeps his mouth shut when Michael Nugent raises a serious issue about one of his bloggers.

    This is not the behaviour of a “man of integrity”. This is the behaviour of a third rate hack. Which is exactly what Brayton is.

  267. Apparently Myers hates the Super Bowl enough to resort to homophobia:

    thought it would be nice to have the superbowl playing in the background while I was working this evening — I have good memories of my father and uncles enjoying the game when I was young, even if I never got into it myself. But I turned it on 15 minutes ago, and it was actually rather intolerable: the self-importance, the hyperbole, Bob Costas (that was Costas, right?) fellating the players and telling them how important their ball-catching and people-hitting abilities are, and going on and on about trivial statistics from past games. It’s all kind of icky.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20150202002841/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2015/02/01/i-may-not-be-able-to-do-this/

  268. Patrick wrote: Unlike Myers, the Four Horseman are accomplished scientists, writers, and thinkers. Agree or disagree with them, they have something substantial to say.

    I don’t disagree, but that is unfair to PZ Myers. His Courtier’s Reply was a great analogy, and as good he is in tearing a community apart is he in building it — something the “Horsemen” aren’t even trying. It now seems the “horsemen” actually play no role (voluntarily and not so voluntarily in case of one), except Richard Dawkins due to his active tweeting and organisation. It’s fine, but I think expectations of many people are not in line with what’s happening.

    It looks like that the age of visible atheists is already coming to an end: in part because atheism is no longer the new next thing; in part because it was succesful and on the internet no longer unusual; in part because the movement is now drawn and quartered, accommodationists, social justice warriors, new atheist and others are their own factions and the visible people no longer enjoy support everywhere; and I suspect a lot of people already turned their back, either from normal “moving on” or from the random-non-relevant incursions, in-fighting and the Rape Scare. If someone told me Atheism was actually about Patriarchy and Rape Culture, I’d never bothered.

  269. Aneris @291:

    These sentiments are similar to those I made a few months ago, except I believe that ex-Muslims will be at the forefront of atheist activism in the 21st century, with the Anglo-American domination of secularism gradually coming to an end.

    I think it’s time to forget ideas like ‘The Four Horsemen’. Hitchens is dead anyway, and he seemed more motivated by Tory Protestant bigotry than genuine secular values.

  270. JetLagg @285, yours is a recent one, so I respond directly to your comment:

    As for illusory cunning plans, you could be correct. It’s easy enough to look at the intricacy of an ant colony and draw the conclusion that there must be some sort of intelligence responsible for its construction, but of course there isn’t. Derailing, goal post shifting, and definitional retreats could just be in Morales’ nature.

    Have you considered that perhaps the derailing*, goal post shifting, and definitional retreats are no less illusory than the cunning plans were?

    (Or do you rule that out?)

    * For one thing, it is notable how the overwhelming proportion of my comments here are direct responses to others’ comments to or about me — and, at that, the ratio of responses to comments is less than unity.

  271. Aneris @291,

    Patrick wrote:

    Unlike Myers, the Four Horseman are accomplished scientists, writers, and thinkers. Agree or disagree with them, they have something substantial to say.

    I don’t disagree, but that is unfair to PZ Myers. His Courtier’s Reply was a great analogy, . . .

    You make a fair point with respect to The Courtier’s Reply. That’s the best piece of writing I’ve seen Myers produce. If his book had been of similar quality, he would be more of an asset to the atheism and skepticism cause. He might be less bitter now, too.

    Unfortunately, Myers is apparently a one trick pony. The Courtier’s Reply was written over eight years ago. Since then he’s produced significantly more vitriol than substantive content. As Michael Nugent documented in the post that triggered Myers’ defamatory smears, Myers has been at best a distraction and more often a distinct liability to the online atheist and skeptic communities.

    . . . and as good he is in tearing a community apart is he in building it — something the “Horsemen” aren’t even trying. It now seems the “horsemen” actually play no role (voluntarily and not so voluntarily in case of one), except Richard Dawkins due to his active tweeting and organisation. It’s fine, but I think expectations of many people are not in line with what’s happening.

    I disagree with your assessment of Myers being good at building a community. He has created a truly toxic environment at Pharyngula and is attempting to spread it further. He isn’t interested in atheism and skepticism per se, he want to feed his own ego by riding the SJW horse rough shod over other atheists and skeptics.

    It looks like that the age of visible atheists is already coming to an end: in part because atheism is no longer the new next thing; in part because it was succesful and on the internet no longer unusual; in part because the movement is now drawn and quartered, accommodationists, social justice warriors, new atheist and others are their own factions and the visible people no longer enjoy support everywhere; and I suspect a lot of people already turned their back, either from normal “moving on” or from the random-non-relevant incursions, in-fighting and the Rape Scare. If someone told me Atheism was actually about Patriarchy and Rape Culture, I’d never bothered.

    I don’t think we’re going to get away from self-proclaimed and media-ordained “leaders” of the atheist and skeptic movements any time soon. We’re still an untrusted minority in the U.S. Whenever there is a church-state separation issue the media look for spokespeople. We need to make sure that they don’t latch on to dishonest, hypocritical, authoritarian SJWs like Myers.

  272. I had a look at Michael’s twitter feed, and came across these gems from some of PZ Myers’s most deranged apologists.

    Improbable Joe:

    When is Mick Nugent going to stop hurting atheism by smearing PZ Myers constantly?

    Either: Improbable Joe accidentally interchanged the two names, or: Improbable Joe is the most disgusting and dishonest victim blamer on the planet. Hmm. That’s a tough call.

    SpokesGay:

    He believes that when PZ says true things about him, it’s prima facie defamation.

    No, he believes that when PZ Myers smears him with false accusations, that is defamation. When PZ says true things about him, it’s a miracle.

    VitaBrevi:

    Your blog comments section IS a haven for rapists yet you spend 36 blogs of effort on harassment, not fixing it

    From other tweets I have seen from this person I have inferred that we are dealing with a complete lunatic. Otherwise it would have been worthwhile asking for evidence for their assertion. But their idea of evidence is probably: PZ Myers said it. I believe it. That settles it.

    What these cultist SJWs have in common is their most salient character trait: they are, by all appearances, physiologically incapable of being honest. I suspect they will get a headache if they even try to be honest. It would fry their brains.

    But what can you expect from people who feel the urge to defend an individual like PZ Myers? Honest, decent people don’t do that.

    However, the Peezus apologists should get their story straight. Some claim that Myers’s words are not to be taken literally: they suggest that he did not really mean that Michael supports and provides a haven for actual rapists. On the other hand, the likes of SpokesGay et al. appear to think otherwise. Are we seeing a schism within the Peezus cult between the fundies (SpokesGay, VitaBrevis, Improbable Joe, Nerd of Redhead), who believe in a literal interpretation of their idol’s words, and the moderates (Aratina Cage, Latsot, Ariel), who do not believe that the sacred tweets are to be taken literally? Life is not easy as a cult member. What to believe? Their Master remains cruelly silent on the matter.

  273. I think I should have added Stephanie Zvan to the camp of the moderates.

    What should we think of those who deny the obvious, literal interpretation of The Tweets?

    Are they even more dishonest than the fundies for preferring a twisted interpretation, or is their denial a sign of embarrassment? Do they feel that if Myers really meant what he said that he has gone too far? Is this their way of distancing themselves from the smears? Hard to tell, isn’t it?

  274. Jan Steen @296,

    Do they [The Myers non-literalists] feel that if Myers really meant what he said that he has gone too far? Is this their way of distancing themselves from the smears?

    That’s an excellent question, one that I’d like to hear Aratina Cage and KennyD answer.

    So how about it, apologists: Assuming arguendo that Myers meant exactly what he said, taking his words at face value, would you consider his assertions to be defamatory smears?

  275. However, the Peezus apologists should get their story straight. Some claim that Myers’s words are not to be taken literally: they suggest that he did not really mean that Michael supports and provides a haven for actual rapists. On the other hand, the likes of SpokesGay et al. appear to think otherwise.

    The appalling aspect of this is that infidels like ourselves do not know what the Truth of Myers is any more.

    Aratina rebukes us for understanding Myers’ words, as, well, sane people would, rather than the Revised and Interpreted version.

    Good Believers like Spokesgay insist that normal understandings do rule, and that most here must give up their rapiness, harassiness, and misogyniness.

    No, we cannot convert to the Holy Order of Myers unless we know what the True Myers Message is. It’s not our fault, we have been confused by the lack of the Uncorrupted Truth of the Myers’ Text. Get your dogma right before you expect us to adopt it.

  276. Morales@293
    Have you considered that perhaps the derailing*, goal post shifting, and definitional retreats are no less illusory than the cunning plans were?

    Yes it’s possible. And it’s possible that when Myers said Nugent defends rapists, he didn’t really mean defends, or rapists, or Nugent. Possible =/= plausible (a fact that seems to evade every Myers apologist who comes this way).

  277. No, we cannot convert to the Holy Order of Myers unless we know what the True Myers Message is.

    But Myers now has a dilemma.

    If he were to proclaim his tweets being literally true he would make his moderate apologists look like fools. But if he were to assert the opposite, he would alienate his fundie followers, arguably the more deranged and fanatical, but also the more loyal*, of the lot.

    Maybe that’s why the cowardly creep keeps his mouth firmly shut.

    *None more loyal than Nerd of Redhead, who once said that he learned to “shut up and listen” after Myers rebuked him for his repetitive and inane OPINION-EVIDENCE posts. Nerd was oblivious to the fact that the “shut up and listen” incitement only applies to privileged people who are supposed to shut up and listen to oppressed minorities. Myers is hardly an oppressed minority, now is he?

  278. @Michael Nugent
    , since you are disagreeing with me about what you think I am doing?
    Lets split this into – I disagree with your views on the alleged rape and the publishing of that by Myers. I find your position harmful (your intent is less clear). I disagree that this demonises [named accused] and I think your mixing that incident with the other examples conveys a very different impression (again your intent in doing so is not clear)

    I am ok with you calling out Myers for some of the terms he uses – though some of your examples – Im merely going to shrug – because I find the targets have done more harm (as well as I didnt see you complain about the targets views – for e.g. Harris/Dawkins) – it doesn’t mean you agree/disagree with their views but it does mean that your priorities are different than mine.

    I think your approach now does have elements of unhealthy obsessiveness. You could summarise and leave it and let the people draw their conclusions – I fail to see the point of some of your posts (whether or not Brayton thought the same of Myers years ago is not a point in your favor unless the number of people who agree with you makes a difference in whether you are right or wrong). You cant have a discussion with someone who doesnt want to talk to you. I understand why you want to do it though.

    is it fair to say that you also might not understand what is being said by me?
    Sure.

    I don’t understand the specifics of the case for the same reason that you don’t, which is that neither of us were there.
    The creationist argument? Some facts are not in dispute , correct? Alleged victim has verified that she did indeed tell Myers. [named accused] said consensual sex was involved , alleged victim denies consent , but effectively says that she was in a state where consent would not have been possible. Another witness comments that he did pick up alleged victim 30 minutes after the incident and was quite drunk. head of foundation says complaints have been received about [named accused]. Two other women say [named accused] demonstrated some creepy behavior. No known motivation for alleged victim to make up stuff.

    To characterise this as “neither of us were there” is frustrating . Im not sure why you seem to agree with Sharia law (hyperbole, I know you dont)- You probably want 4 male eyewitnesses and one of them should be you?. Rape that does not involve violence or drugs by its nature is going to be “he said – she said”. This is where the “wheres the evidence?” crowd loses me – What is the evidence you were expecting to find , that you didnt? This is (imo) a crucial thing to understand provides a haven for rapists (though as specified I think it needs nuance that was not provided and could have been phrased way better than it can in twitter response)

    I said that four months ago.
    Yes and there is nothing to disagree with what you said in general. But for this specific case (and for cases like this) – What you seem to be missing is why did victim approach Myers? Why will some women (like my spouse) say they would prefer knowing the name of the person rather than it being replaced by [named accused]. Why were women apparently warning each other secretly? And why do some of them feel strongly enough to refuse to associate with anything related to [named accused] ?

    What would you do if the victim had contacted you? (years later the counselling point is moot and in all likelihood the legal standard cant be met so please dont repeat them – i dont disagree with that being part of the advise). You dont like your view as being characterised as ” or else do nothing” – but after victim declines going to the police and either agrees or does not agree going for counselling – what next? what else will you do?. Your other suggestions are long term – they wont change overnight. And given that the victims intent is let other people know about [named accused] behavior so that they can be forewarned is hardly the same as convict people without evidence – Im not sure which principle of yours gets violated. Most people probably dont have a problem with women warning each other in private – but apparently the same fact published in a blog is a serious offense?

    hat said, I think the chances of a responsible rape crisis professional advising somebody to publish an allegation on PZ Myers’ blog, with a title about a hand grenade and a closing line of ‘Boom.’, is approaching zero.
    You say this as if Myers posted an article asking victims to come to him so that he can increase blog hits. Thats not what happened. if someone you know tells you a similar story about some other big name – you are explicitly saying you will advise the victim to goto the police and seek counselling and nothing else correct? Thats where I have a profound disagreement with you. Your “principles” penalise potential victims because you value the reputation of [named accused] (again it might not be your intent but it is what the end result is)

    It also feels that we are merely repeating the same things so I hope I can stick to not responding.

  279. Deepak Shetty @301,

    Thats where I have a profound disagreement with you. Your “principles” penalise potential victims because you value the reputation of [named accused] (again it might not be your intent but it is what the end result is)

    "Penalize potential victims"? So Michael's choice not to "name names" amounts to penalizing victims? Leaving aside how absurd this is and the fact that your principles are contrary to the very concept of justice, let's just go with it for the sake of discussion.

    According to your own reasoning (such as it is), you too are penalizing potential victims – unless of course you have already published the accusations and named names on your own blog. In which case share the link with us now so we can all see how you have taken a brave stand and refused to join in this awful penalization of potential victims.

    While we're at it, all of the other FtB bloggers are also penalizing potential victims too, right? None of them have bothered to publish the accusations and name names themselves, have they? If so, share the links. If not, then please tell us when you plan to begin pestering them about their penalization of potential victims.

    Deepak, part of the reason why nobody here takes you seriously is because you refuse to live up to the principles that you demand of others. Until you publish the accusations and name names on your own blog and social media sites, what right do you have to expect anyone else to do the same?

    So what are you waiting for, Deepak? What is preventing you from shouting from the rooftops and warning potential victims yourself?

  280. Sorry, quote fail. Deepak’s quote is just the first paragraph, the rest is mine.

    [I’ve fixed that – MN]

  281. Deepak 301

    Gee…if only there were some sort of authority to whom rape victims could go where the alleged crime would be investigated and the evidence that results from that investigation could be used in some sort of tribunal to determine the accused’s guilt or innocence.

    Instead, I guess we must deal with rape in the current manner: the alleged victim workshops his or her story on the JREF message board for over half a decade, then tells someone who tells PZ who tells everyone. It’s an imperfect system, but it’s the only one we have, I guess.

  282. @FishCakes
    So Michael’s choice not to “name names” amounts to penalizing victims
    Yes when its what he thinks Myers should have done. Yes when he says named person has been demonised by Myers.

  283. @Patrick #297

    <<<>>>

    I’ll stake a stab at this. In essence, all it is is just a strongly worded criticism of Nugent, based on the type of people he allows to post on his blog. The words Dr. Myers used to make his point may be potentially defamatory, but this depends on a lot of big IFs.
    A) IF there is no truth whatsoever to what Dr. Myers said.
    B) IF Nugent enjoyed a good reputation before these alleged “smears” were made.
    C) IF it can be proven that Nugent’s reputation has been damaged; for example, he has suffered setbacks in his career, has lost income, lost friends, etc.

    A) As far as rapists at the Slyme Pit goes, it seems absurd to believe that it is 100% impossible that no rapist has EVER posted there. Besides the issue of rape, there is also rape-enabling. The Slyme Pitters have a reputation for being very dismissive of the concerns of women skeptics, and frequently attack those who have been harassed and/or raped as “liars” or “attention whores”. This creates an environment that is extremely hostile to women, making it difficult for women who have bee victimized to come forward, which helps enable rapists. This isn’t as serious as being a rapist, but it is almost as bad.
    B) While Nugent has done some good things for atheism, it seems that in order for the idea that he has been “defamed” to stick, Slyme Pitters are now doing all they can to turn Nugent into a saint and very influential, respected atheist writer, activist, and intellectual. This is laughable for many reasons, the first of which is that so many Slyme Pitters originally strongly disliked Nugent, but have only recently fallen in love with him because of his attacks on Dr. Myers.

    Besides this, whatever Nugent’s reputation, he’s not that “famous” outside of Ireland, and isn’t exactly a “saint”. He’s not a thug, criminal or lowlife either, but he’s hardly a saint. It’s also important to keep in mind that atheists tend to have a terrible reputation in the U.S(more so if they are atheist activists), and in some parts of Europe, so whatever Dr. Myers said about Nugent would hardly hurt him, as a member of a despised minority.
    C) No evidence has been offered that Nugent’s reputation has been hurt. He hasn’t mentioned anything about his career, relationships, finances, memberships in organizations being hurt as a result of this.

  284. @Deepak:

    […] but after victim declines going to the police and either agrees or does not agree going for counselling – what next? what else will you do?

    So rape victims have no agency; if they don’t do the right thing, then you must come to help them see the light? How patronising can you get, Deepak?

    Whether you like it or not, the presumption of innocence is as essential for freedom as the right not to be persecuted on political or religious grounds. That won’t change any time soon, because fortunately most people have some common sense. I just hope the likes of you keep publishing slander in their blogs, and get sued out of existence.

  285. @Deepak Shetty:

    I disagree that this demonises [named accused]

    That right there makes it almost pointless engaging with you because it makes you seem divorced from reality.

    Another witness comments that he did pick up alleged victim 30 minutes after the incident and was quite drunk. head of foundation says complaints have been received about [named accused]. Two other women say [named accused] demonstrated some creepy behavior. No known motivation for alleged victim to make up stuff.

    And also not in dispute is that alleged victim and BF (person who picked her up, I believe) socialised with Voldemort not long after incident, photographed smiling and had nice words to say about him. Show me an allegation against a man made in SJW circles that hasn’t elicited claims of creepiness. How would you know if the alleged victim had any reason to make up stuff? How do you know that her recollection is reliable?

    To characterise this as “neither of us were there” is frustrating . Im not sure why you seem to agree with Sharia law (hyperbole, I know you dont)- You probably want 4 male eyewitnesses and one of them should be you?. Rape that does not involve violence or drugs by its nature is going to be “he said – she said”. This is where the “wheres the evidence?” crowd loses me – What is the evidence you were expecting to find , that you didnt? This is (imo) a crucial thing to understand provides a haven for rapists (though as specified I think it needs nuance that was not provided and could have been phrased way better than it can in twitter response)

    Fact is you were not there. The people who were there need to be examined in a court and their testimony tested because, shock horror, not everyone is truthful, recollections are often faulty, people see what they want to and remember what they want to.Perceptions change over time. This is why people keep telling SJW clowns that the police are the first port of call and not bloggers or conference organisers. You cannot pick up snippets of info and hearsay about testimony online and claim to have an idea of the truth. In this climate where allegations surface in a clique desperate to find a real case of rape you’d be nuts to draw conclusions. Lack of evidence provides a haven for rapists, and also a haven for people wot didn’t do the crime. What you are essentially saying is that “she said” automatically trumps “he said”.

    What you seem to be missing is why did victim approach Myers? Why will some women (like my spouse) say they would prefer knowing the name of the person rather than it being replaced by [named accused]. Why were women apparently warning each other secretly? And why do some of them feel strongly enough to refuse to associate with anything related to [named accused] ?|

    Why did AV approach Myers (did she, or did an intermediary?)? That’s not up to you to determine by argument from ignorance. Your spouses wishes are not a reason to publicly spread malicious gossip. The SJW crowd will refuse to have anything to do with anyone who crosses them and are experts at the “I always knew there was something creepy about him”.

    And given that the victims intent is let other people know about [named accused] behavior so that they can be forewarned is hardly the same as convict people without evidence – Im not sure which principle of yours gets violated. Most people probably dont have a problem with women warning each other in private – but apparently the same fact published in a blog is a serious offense?

    Are you fucking stupid?

    You say this as if Myers posted an article asking victims to come to him so that he can increase blog hits.

    Did you pull that from the same orifice as your 4 male witnesses crap?

    People like you frighten me. Your have this arrogant confidence that you know enough to trash someone’s name with one of the most stigmatised crimes because you read some shit on the internet supposedly said by people you don’t know in circumstances you don’t know, but who you really want to believe.

    I have no reason to protect Voldemort. If he is a rapist then I hope he gets what is coming to him.

  286. Are we seeing a schism within the Peezus cult between the fundies (SpokesGay, VitaBrevis, Improbable Joe, Nerd of Redhead), who believe in a literal interpretation of their idol’s words, and the moderates (Aratina Cage, Latsot, Ariel), who do not believe that the sacred tweets are to be taken literally?

    I don’t think we are seeing a schism between fundies and moderates because Aratina, Latsot and Ariel are far from moderate; it’s more like literalists and Karen Armstrong-style ‘sophisticated theologists’ who insist that the Truth is not meant to be taken literally but who continue to act exactly as if they took it literally.

  287. @Deepak Shetty,

    This case is not nearly as clear cut as you make it out to be. It is in fact full of holes and perplexing contradictions. But this has all been discussed ad nauseam elsewhere, and you are either uniformed or willfully ignorant.

    I just want to respond to this:

    Why will some women (like my spouse) say they would prefer knowing the name of the person rather than it being replaced by [named accused].

    What if your father or brother was the accused, based on similar “evidence”? Would you be happy to see their names plastered all over Myers’s blog, and to read how Nerd of Redhead and other rabid commenters describe them as “known rapists”?

    Maybe you think it is no big deal to be accused of rape? Then let me quote PZ Myers: “it could get dragged out into an investigation that would easily destroy my career, no matter that I was innocent. I was in a total panic, knowing full well how damaging that kind of accusation can be.”

  288. Deepak Shetty,
    Please address the point I made about you, Deepak Shetty, penalizing potential victims yourself by your own refusal to name names on your own blog. At least according to your own reasoning, you are as guilty as Michael unless you have published the accusations and named names on your own blog and other social media accounts.

    Please address the point I made about all of the other FtB bloggers also penalizing potential victims by their failing to publish the accusation and name names as well. They are all just as guilty as you are, again according to your reasoning at least.

  289. @Shatterface,

    I don’t think we are seeing a schism between fundies and moderates because Aratina, Latsot and Ariel are far from moderate; it’s more like literalists and Karen Armstrong-style ‘sophisticated theologists’ who insist that the Truth is not meant to be taken literally but who continue to act exactly as if they took it literally.

    You may be right that they are engaging in doublethink. It’s certainly what I’m inclined to believe in the case of Stephanie Zvan and Aratina Cage. No amount of dishonesty on their part would surprise me anymore.

  290. Jan Steen (295)

    The like sof Improbable Joe, VitaBrevi, and Spokesgay have a history of dishonesty (and the latter a history of abusive behaviour ). They hold no qualms about resorting to out-and-out porkies on Twitter and elsewhere to uphold the FTB narrative. Even after it has been demonstrated they are wrong and telling porkies.

    Pharyngula is a haven for dishonest people, not just a safe haven for a child rapist, and his rape apologists.

    PS – Anybody else witnessing the intersting story about Kate Smurthwaite getting “no platformed” at Goldsmiths because of her support for the “Nordic Model”. I imagine the likes of Ophelia Benson must be sitting rather uncomfortably as a bunch of SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS bring about this act of no-platforming. Or, as Ophelia Benson as put it in the past – “freeze peach”! Ophelia, I know you are reading this – you made your bed with these anti-liberals. Sob away in private, please.

  291. KennyD: A) As far as rapists at the Slyme Pit goes, it seems absurd to believe that it is 100% impossible that no rapist has EVER posted there.

    Obvious logical fallacy is obvious. It seems absurd to believe it is 100% impossible that God exists…floosh!

    In the meantime, we KNOW FOR 100% that PZ Myers and others at Pharyngula and FTB support and justify a self-confessed child rapist.

    Facts, eh?

  292. FishCakes (311):

    Deepak Shetty,
    Please address the point I made about you, Deepak Shetty, penalizing potential victims yourself by your own refusal to name names on your own blog. At least according to your own reasoning, you are as guilty as Michael unless you have published the accusations and named names on your own blog and other social media accounts.

    What’s more, according to his logic there’s no reason that the same shouldn’t apply to every such allegation. We are all always penalizing potential rape victims by not shouting from the rooftops on a daily basis the names of every alleged rapist we’re aware of. Always name names.

    And why stop at rape? If the idea is that failing to broadcast the names of alleged criminals penalizes potential future victims, and that protecting the reputations of alleged criminals is of no importance, then we should always broadcast the names of alleged criminals for the sake of warning potential future victims—regardless of whether a crime has been reported, and regardless of whether the evidence is limited to hearsay. Since protecting the reputations of alleged criminals doesn’t matter, there’s no reason not to err on the side of caution on behalf of potential future victims. Hell, even if the police have investigated and determined that there’s no evidence against the accused, there’s still a chance the police could be wrong. So let’s broadcast the names far and wide. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. Right?

  293. All right, KennyD @306. Your game is up. Admit that you are Tony Parsehole.

    It is hardly possible that someone can be that stupid and still able to type a coherent sentence.

    And on the off chance that you are for real: you are truly the kind of follower that PZ Myers deserves: complete unhinged, totally dishonest, impervious to rational arguments, innocent of the most basic logic. A morally bankrupt, self-righteous, blind fanatic, like PZ himself, but operating on the level of a halfwit.

  294. @Deepak Shetty.

    Sorry, shouldn’t have called you “fucking stupid”. I just find it hard to believe that the difference between saying something in private and on a blog is not blindingly obvious.

  295. Perhaps American SJWs would like to start with allegations of other violent crimes like murder, assault, and armed robbery? Or would some other… factors… then make it worthwhile to protect the reputation of the accused?

  296. Let’s put some perspective on our two protagonists shall we?

    MN along with Atheist Ireland has just announced their founding of an international campaign with multiple international agencies to stamp out blasphemy laws.

    PZ calls people racists, rape apologists etc.

    MN goes on the BBC to talk to a national audience about contentious topics, debating against opposing viewpoints LIVE.

    PZ goes out for beers with Oolon and Latsot.

    We can see two very different trajectories here. MN has not stopped his tireless efforts for atheism and the atheist community while PZ has taken to hyperbole and smearing.

    I wish Morales and Shetty would just take a step back for a moment and think about which of those two people better represent a leader in the atheist community. This whole situation is about those who have stepped in to the light to put a face to atheism and how they treat others within the community. None of this would be an issue if PZ could simply stop with the Internet Tough Guy routine and FOR ONCE, show an ounce of leadership and credibility.

    I know sure as heck that I would never treat any religious person the way PZ treated Gelato guy. I know sure as heck that I wouldn’t blog about a crime first – I would have used my prowess in the community to get straight to the top and demand action. I know sure as heck that I would be able to have an exchange of ideas with allies and work through contentious issues. I know sure as heck that sullying the reputation of allies is not the way to build a community. I know sure as heck that I don’t have to agree with allies in lock-step fashion, but calling them “torture guy” and “rapist guy” or supporting people calling Richard Dawkins “Dick” as an obvious harmful insult is not something that I would support and nor behaviour I would encourage. But yet, here we are.

    As a point of comparison, people may not have liked Hitchens or agreed with him – I know I love his writing, however I don’t agree with everything he’s ever said/done. Nevertheless that one thing that stands out about Hitch was his ability to debate someone, face to face, and STILL shake their hands after all was said and done. THIS is what an intellectual does. This is what someone with integrity does. I could just imagine if Hitch would have ended each debate with WLC or Turek or anyone else by saying “Well, you’re a rapist anyway”.

  297. Hey, KennyD (Parsehole, is that you?) , I’m not 100% sure you aren’t into scat porn and humping walruses, so I’d better keep telling people that you are just to be on the safe side.

  298. @Jan Steen
    What if your father or brother was the accused, based on similar “evidence”?
    Why father or brother ?- you have already asked the same of me – and I will tell you the same thing (for anyone including my father or brother)- If there is genuinely such a claim – then yes people should know. The law provides for some ways to mitigate this , if false – but in a world where scientifically only 6-8% of accusations are false – why are you so focused on the 6-8% v/s the 90+% ?

    At least according to your own reasoning, you are as guilty as Michael unless you have published the accusations and named names on your own blog and other social media accounts.
    Two things – If Michael had restricted himself to I personally would not do such a thing then most likely I would have given it a pass (while not agreeing) – What Michael and you’ll are doing is something else altogether – youll are taking the position that this information should not be open to the public. Totally different.

    As to why dont I publish this in my blog – No one else reads my personal blog and No one I know actually attends these type of conferences. I would be quite ok putting up whatever I know on my blog (which is PZ said this – link to his blog, Link to the article by Mark , link to the witness’ statement etc.) – So if I do this , then what? Clearly people who go to such conferences do read Myers blog , right?

    @Gerhard
    I just find it hard to believe that the difference between saying something in private and on a blog is not blindingly obvious.
    Ethically what is the difference? Can you tell someone in private but not tell 10 people in private? 100 ? 1000? Can you send a group email perhaps?

  299. Aheydis 323

    Cheers on a fantastic comment. You point out the great pity of this PZ mess. I would love to do more real-life advocacy in the movement, but I have been discouraged by PZ and his flock, even though it’s silly.

    Look at Vacula. What’s the point of working really hard and actually DOING stuff if those people are just going to call you creepy, blast you all over the internet and CFI hosts an art project for one of them in which you’re accused of being a “harasser?” And to top it all off, the head of a prominent organization attacks you for your minor sins while ignoring Dr. Rape Accusation.

  300. Deepak 325

    You said: “Why father or brother ?- you have already asked the same of me – and I will tell you the same thing (for anyone including my father or brother)- If there is genuinely such a claim – then yes people should know. The law provides for some ways to mitigate this , if false – but in a world where scientifically only 6-8% of accusations are false – why are you so focused on the 6-8% v/s the 90+% ?”

    PZ admitted he was accused of sexual impropriety with a student. Lousy Canuck admitted he was accused of raping an ex-girlfriend. Your comments above seem to indicate that we should believe AT LEAST one of these claims, if not both. You know, if we’re going by the laws of probability in the manner you suggest.

    You said: “As to why dont I publish this in my blog – No one else reads my personal blog and No one I know actually attends these type of conferences. I would be quite ok putting up whatever I know on my blog (which is PZ said this – link to his blog, Link to the article by Mark , link to the witness’ statement etc.) – So if I do this , then what? Clearly people who go to such conferences do read Myers blog , right?”

    You are aware that rape and sexual assault occur in places other than atheist conventions, right? By your own logic, you have the sacred duty to accuse on your blog. (And don’t forget PZ and/or Canuck.)

    You said, “Ethically what is the difference[between writing something on a blog and telling someone in confidence]? Can you tell someone in private but not tell 10 people in private? 100 ? 1000? Can you send a group email perhaps?”

    Now I wonder if you’re a deep-cover FTB infiltrator. That’s just a silly thing to say.

  301. Deepak Shetty: Ethically what is the difference? Can you tell someone in private but not tell 10 people in private? 100 ? 1000? Can you send a group email perhaps?

    I don’t think you understand the word ‘private’. I have private meetings all the time and they could involve dozens of people.

    That’s not the fucking same as posting the minutes of the meeting on the internet.

    Privacy isn’t about fucking numbers. If I told one single person information that I had no right to share with them I could be sacked or even prosecuted.

    Maybe if you actually had a job with some kind of responsibility you might understand.

  302. I sleep better at night under the assumption that KennyD is a Poe, beautifully executed by a true artist. It’s just a faith-based belief, but I’m not sure I have the spoons to face the reality that people like him are really real.

  303. @Deepak Shetty,

    in a world where scientifically only 6-8% of accusations are false – why are you so focused on the 6-8% v/s the 90+% ?

    Because I don’t like to see the lifes of innocent people damaged or destroyed. 6-8% of many is still a lot. Don’t pretend that the only thing rape victims can do is to wait for six years, then suddenly decide that they need to warn other women, and start making anonymous accusations of someone being a serial rapist on PZ Myers’s blog, while giving no more evidence than one incredibly vague personal anecdote.

  304. @Depak Shetty,

    And by the way, when you say that only 6-8% of accusations are false, I think that this is the percentage of accusations that have been brought to the attention of the police.

    Cases like the one we are discussing, where the accusation is not a police matter, are not even included in this statistic.

    Do you know what percentage of unreported rape accusations are false? I don’t. And here we have precisely such an unreported case.

    So your ‘scientific’ numbers don’t even apply here. Think about that next time you form a lynch mob.

  305. Social Justice Warriors, a guide with real examples.

    Deepak Shetty (301) wrote: I disagree with your views on the alleged rape and the publishing of that by Myers. I find your position harmful (your intent is less clear).

    Here we find an example of Social Justice Warrior discourse tactics. Let’s name that Referenceless Judgment™. The Social Justice Warrior condemns “something” in often harsh words, but remains vague or entirely obscure what is referenced (later, the vapidity is filled with insinuations, here Sharia Law or far fetched inferences based on false assumptions, if not outright fabrications).

    In the advanced version, the Social Justice Warrior will invent rationalisations why it can’t be referenced, perhaps claiming it would be too terrible for the special snowflake feelings of their readers. The purpose is to share judgment only in order to make readers feel strongly towards a person or group of people (hatred is typical), yet deny readers to check for themselves if the judgment is warranted (since effortless, it is simply believed). Hence, it is commonly done by omitting the reference, but introducing a second case that is clear by comparison (e.g. a known racist, testimony of abuse et cetera ) — the trick is then that people “insert” the feelings from the clear and second case into the case at hand that is referenceless and vague. Compare to the twin tactic, the Offense Rorschach™ wherin the author shares a collection of vaguely “problematic” things with the expectations that readers crowd-source interpretations they deem most offensive, often involving some level of ingenuity. Here too, people come up with all sorts of “second cases”.

    Deepak Shetty (301) wrote: I am ok with you calling out Myers for some of the terms he uses – though some of your examples – Im merely going to shrug – because I find the targets have done more harm […]

    The Social Justice Warrior implicitly believes they know best what can be discussed and are adept at adjusting the scope in such a way that whatever they have in mind is “just right”. Like their likeminded and fabled witchfinder, they prefer a target of their choice on the stage and in the spotlight, as a way to avoid that their own actions (or their cheriched authorities) get any scrutiny. That way, they can discuss double entendres in a lift, or early morning invites to Irish coffee and make this matters of utmost concern, yet at the same time, everything else can be deemed too trivial or unimportant or somehow not allowed to be discussed – even years of smearing that went mostly unchecked of coming from one of their idols. The mere suggestion of others that there are reasonably more important matters, is however met with extreme hostility (“Dear Muslima”). A known double standard.

    Most comical, when you literally have dozens of bloggers who have sore fingers from commentary of a handful of people they hate, yet who are absolutely terrified and outraged that anyone could discuss any of their actions.

    Deepak Shetty (301) wrote: but it does mean that your priorities are different than mine.

    And potentially for sinister reasons, we gather. A detail of the previous pattern. Social Justice Warriors priorities tend to compete with critique of their friends. You may for example write about Radio Shack, a movie trailer or blog about the latest utterances of Christina Hoff Sommers. In case of Michael Nugent, he can write about Telly Savalas and Portsmouth, blasphemy laws in Ireland and about everything else. Quite clearly, Michael Nugent could write a thousand blog posts about the foibles of Richard Dawkins, real or imagined. However, once he (or anyone for that matter) writes about PZ Myers and other Social Justice Warriors, he is allegedly taking attention away from rape victims and other most vital concerns and literally hurting someone. Because reasons. Another trick. Don’t fall for it.

    Deepak Shetty (301) wrote: I think your approach now does have elements of unhealthy obsessiveness.

    Posting once a week (more towards every two weeks) on something that is directly harmful to personal reputation and movement is deemed obsessive, unlike, for example blogging 15 articles on Jaclyn Glenn in a single week (Ophelia Benson). Wait, whom? Jaclyn Glenn. That’s punching up, right?

    Blog Posts of Ophelia Benson on Jaclyn Glenn

    — May 31: 2 blog posts
    1) “She talks sense faster than most of us can think, says Dawkins”
    2) “How dare you besmirch the good name of misogyny?!”
    — June 2: 1 blog post
    ✻) “Why aren’t there more women on YouTube?”
    — July 12: 1 blog post
    ✻) “All these special interest groups”
    — July 18: 5 blog posts
    1) “Brilliant (Dawkins tweet on Glenn)”
    2) “Remember why the good lord made your eyes”
    3) “Big Tent Atheism”
    4) “Do not tell me to stop fighting (via Facebook/Muscato)”
    5) “Feminist atheists are divisive!!1”
    — July 19: 4 blog posts
    1) “Outside of the radical feminist nonsense”
    2) “She even includes the obligatory elevator reference”
    3) “Battling the feminist demon”
    4) “Amazing how exactly?”
    — July 20: 1 blog post
    ✻) “Prepare for amazement”
    — July 22: 3 blog posts
    1) “You said it yourself, you’re a writer, not a diplomat”
    2) “Ophelia Benson blogs: In the world”
    3) “Credit where it’s due”
    — July 23: 2 blog posts
    1) “Guest post: Feel free to reach out to me privately”
    2) “It is not personal”

    …end of documentation, more blog articles after that day are possible…

    Total Articles: 19 blog articles.
    Most articles in one day: 5 articles (July 18)

    See how the Social Justice Warriors care about “obsessiveness”. It’s merely a thought terminating cliché, a ready-made rationalisation to dismiss some person as a part of a multifaceted strategy, alongside smears and kafkatraps (the whole Redacted Name case). I am fine with Ms Benson’ blogging habits on that matter. She can blog as often as she wants, and I am not complaining about “obsessiveness”. It’s also not a tu quoque, since I am not making an argument here. I am showing a double standard.

    So much for now. You see how a few lines can be picked apart already. Most of the tricks are interlocked, which makes it often difficult to look into just one aspect.

  306. Deepak Shetty @325,

    Two things – If Michael had restricted himself to I personally would not do such a thing then most likely I would have given it a pass (while not agreeing) – What Michael and you’ll are doing is something else altogether – youll are taking the position that this information should not be open to the public. Totally different.

    I don’t speak for anyone but myself, but I do take the position that serious criminal accusations are best handled by those with the proper authority, knowledge and resources to act (e.g., law enforcement, victims support and advocacy groups, etc.). I do believe in the principle that it’s better to let 10 guilty go free than to condemn 1 innocent. I do believe that (generally speaking) it tends to cause more harm than good when unproven criminal accusations are publicized.

    For me, these are opinions and not some kind of sacred beliefs. However, I have seen neither you nor any of your friends and colleagues make any real attempts to present any sort of cogent argument that would change my mind. Actually make your case, rather than just lobbing accusations about “rape apology” or what have you. Present either some kind of evidence showing that publicizing unproven criminal accusations leads to better outcomes, or otherwise present some kind of cogent logical argument to support your point of view. Convince me that your approach is better.

    Or don’t, in which case don’t expect people like me to take you seriously.

    As to why dont I publish this in my blog – No one else reads my personal blog and No one I know actually attends these type of conferences. I would be quite ok putting up whatever I know on my blog (which is PZ said this – link to his blog, Link to the article by Mark , link to the witness’ statement etc.) – So if I do this , then what? Clearly people who go to such conferences do read Myers blog , right?

    You would be “quite ok” doing it, but yet you have not and apparently have no intention of ever doing so? Doesn’t seem to be very important to you to actually do anything yourself to get the word out and warn potential victims. In fact, Michael’s principles seem to be higher on your priority list than actually following through with much of anything yourself.

  307. Deepak Shetty said:

    Ethically what is the difference [between saying something in private and on a blog]? Can you tell someone in private but not tell 10 people in private? 100 ? 1000? Can you send a group email perhaps?

    Well. There you go, yet again, proving, with your own words, that you are utterly, completely, unequivocally morally and ethically bankrupt.

    Or, perhaps, to be charitable, just intellectually quite vacuous.

  308. What the SJWs don’t understand is that even if their far-fetched statistics about false accusations are correct (they’re almost certainly not[1]), and even if it turns out that Voldemort is guilty as charged, the preemptive guilty-until-proven-innocent smear job perpetrated against him would still be wrong.

    And it’s not just wrong because Voldemort might be innocent. It’s wrong because anybody falsely accused might be innocent, and jumping the gun on Voldemort and others like him creates a “lynch-mob culture” wherein it’s guaranteed that future innocents will be found guilty in the court of opinion and ruined.

    The SJWs are apologists for reputation- and career-destroying false accusations. I’d go even further than that and say they’re cheerleaders for false accusations. It’s what they want, as long as the false accusations are against “privileged” people. Because ruining “privileged” people isn’t an undesirable thing for SJWs. Theirs is a toxic ideology.

    [1]: _http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2014/09/false_rape_accusations_why_must_be_pretend_they_never_happen.html

  309. *It’s wrong because anybody accused might be innocent.

    (It goes without saying that someone falsely accused is innocent.)

  310. Deepak said:
    but in a world where scientifically only 6-8% of accusations are false – why are you so focused on the 6-8% v/s the 90+% ?”

    Perhaps you don’t know this, but those stats are incredibly controversial. They’re not “scientific” in anything close to the same manner that evolution is, for example. I’ve seen arguments that put the false report rate at levels approaching 50%. If that number was demonstrated to be correct, would you change your stance? How many innocents would you be willing to punish to ensure that the guilty are also punished? It’s not uncommon to hear the “better 9 go free than 1 innocent is punished” argument, which should answer your question to Michael even assuming the numbers you’ve provided are accurate.

  311. KennyD 306

    @Patrick #297

    I’ll stake a stab at this.

    To make it easier to follow the discussion, here is the question I posed:

    So how about it, apologists: Assuming arguendo that Myers meant exactly what he said, taking his words at face value, would you consider his assertions to be defamatory smears?

    Back to KennyD:

    In essence, all it is is just a strongly worded criticism of Nugent, based on the type of people he allows to post on his blog.

    “A strongly worded criticism”? Here are Myers’ own words:

    “It’s not about what he thinks, but what he’s doing: defending & providing a haven for harassers, misogynists, and rapists.”

    “Nope. The evidence is right there: his blog commentariat is populated almost entirely by slymepitters.”

    That’s not a criticism, that’s an accusation of serious criminal activity on the part of more than one person in the intersection of the set of people who comment on Michael Nugent’s blog and the set of people who comment on the Slymepit.

    The words Dr. Myers used to make his point may be potentially defamatory, but this depends on a lot of big IFs.
    A) IF there is no truth whatsoever to what Dr. Myers said.
    B) IF Nugent enjoyed a good reputation before these alleged “smears” were made.
    C) IF it can be proven that Nugent’s reputation has been damaged; for example, he has suffered setbacks in his career, has lost income, lost friends, etc.

    Only the first element is required for Myers’ assertion to be defamatory. If Michael Nugent is not providing a haven for harassers, misogynists, and rapists then claiming that he is doing so is defamatory. Whether or not the defamation has caused measurable harm is a separate question, but it is worth noting that in the U.S., accusations of rape are legally defamatory per se.

    Since Myers has never provided any evidence that anyone commenting here and at the Slymepit has committed rape, his assertion is unfounded and hence defamatory.

    A) As far as rapists at the Slyme Pit goes, it seems absurd to believe that it is 100% impossible that no rapist has EVER posted there.

    This is disingenuous rhetorical squirming. Remember, my challenge is to assume arguendo that Myers’ words mean exactly what they say. He didn’t say “statistically speaking, there might be a rapist posting at the Slymepit.” He said that more than one person (“rapists”, plural) is commenting here at Michael Nugent’s blog and at the Slymepit. Despite numerous opportunities to clarify, he never softened that assertion in any way.

    Besides the issue of rape, there is also rape-enabling.

    Myers didn’t say “rape-enabling” initially nor when given an opportunity to clarify. He said “rapists”. Again, assuming that he meant exactly what he said, there is no other conclusion but that it was a defamatory smear.

    The Slyme Pitters have a reputation for being very dismissive of the concerns of women skeptics, and frequently attack those who have been harassed and/or raped as “liars” or “attention whores”. This creates an environment that is extremely hostile to women, making it difficult for women who have bee victimized to come forward, which helps enable rapists. This isn’t as serious as being a rapist, but it is almost as bad.

    This is an interesting narrative that does not align with my limited experience reading the Slymepit. It is a distraction from the topic at hand, but if you’re going to make claims like that you should provide evidence. Unless, of course, you are as lacking in honesty and integrity as PZ Myers.

    You do realize that the Slymepit started in defense of a female skeptic who was being harassed by Myers and others at FtB?

    B) While Nugent has done some good things for atheism, it seems that in order for the idea that he has been “defamed” to stick, Slyme Pitters are now doing all they can to turn Nugent into a saint and very influential, respected atheist writer, activist, and intellectual. This is laughable for many reasons, the first of which is that so many Slyme Pitters originally strongly disliked Nugent, but have only recently fallen in love with him because of his attacks on Dr. Myers.

    Again, Myers claims are defamatory regardless of Michael Nugent’s character. And again, much of the fantastical narrative you are constructing here is not aligned with reality. I suggest you review Michael Nugent’s Wikipedia page and compare his achievements to those of Myers. You’ll quickly see who has more of a reputation to protect.

    Besides this, whatever Nugent’s reputation, he’s not that “famous” outside of Ireland, and isn’t exactly a “saint”. He’s not a thug, criminal or lowlife either, but he’s hardly a saint. It’s also important to keep in mind that atheists tend to have a terrible reputation in the U.S(more so if they are atheist activists), and in some parts of Europe, so whatever Dr. Myers said about Nugent would hardly hurt him, as a member of a despised minority.

    Your attempt to demean Michael Nugent’s accomplishments and character reflect badly on you and have nothing to do with the topic at hand. Assuming arguendo that Myers meant exactly what he said, his claims constitute defamatory smears.

    C) No evidence has been offered that Nugent’s reputation has been hurt. He hasn’t mentioned anything about his career, relationships, finances, memberships in organizations being hurt as a result of this.

    Again, harm is separate from the nature of Myers’ unfounded, offensive assertions.

    The fact is that the statements Myers made constitute defamatory smears. Do you have anything other than distractions and slights to suggest otherwise?

  312. JetLagg 338

    Deepak is using SJW math. Yes, Dr. PZ Myers, a man who was a college student for over a decade, has trouble with basic statistics and elementary scientific methodology.

  313. Aneris @341:

    I’m trembling.

    Your efforts at seeking a web archive link*, but even more amused when I imagine that you consider that information to be a relevant datum towards Michael’s case towards the nefariousness of PZ, if by proxy.

    * A live link so long as people hit on it.

  314. Guestus Aurelius:

    (It goes without saying that someone falsely accused is innocent.)

    This equivalent to claiming that no guilty person can be falsely accused.

  315. Back to the post topic:

    Avicenna’s plagiarism wasn’t “a network crisis… like a deranged blogger who is shitting all over the network” which is what PZ describes as the only time the executive committee would act, and by which he is clearly referring to his opinion of former network blogger ThunderF00t. On the contrary, Avicenna was, and remains, a friend of both PZ and Ed, and his plagiarism was confined to his own blog.

    I here paraphrase that:
    FTB’s (strictly, the group of people who have decision-making privilege for FTB the collective) discovery that one of its member bloggers was a plagiarist does not constitute a network crisis, unlike ThunderF00t’s remarkable ventings. On the contrary, Avicenna was, and remains, a friend of both PZ and Ed, and his plagiarism was confined to his own blog.

    I find it impossible not to apperceive an that Michael here insinuatiates that it is the personal relationship between “both PZ and Ed” and a blogger that determines whether that blogger’s actions amount to a network crisis.

    The emphasised portion of the post is the part which makes me unable to do otherwise, given my information-base)

    * Literally, the collective of its decision-making people.

  316. Harrison, let F(x) be x is falsely accused, and let I(x) be x is innocent.

    Then the original claim is that F(x)→I(x).

    Now consider some guilty person x:¬I(x) — unless you imagine such don’t exist.

    What you contend is that ∃x:(F(x)→I(x)) ∧ ¬I(x) ∧ F(x).

  317. If only Guestus Aurelius had written

    It goes without saying that someone falsely accused is innocent of that of which he is accused

    instead of

    It goes without saying that someone falsely accused is innocent

    he wouldn’t have triggered the SIWOTI syndrome of John Morales (or is it his Compulsive Derailing Disorder?).

  318. Jan Steen, it is true that I could not have disputed Guestus Aurelius had the claim been tautological, rather than illogical.

  319. John #344

    Why would you paraphrase me and then interpret your paraphrase, instead of just interpreting what I actually wrote?

    Anyway, here is what I meant.

    On the contrary, Avicenna was, and remains, a friend of both PZ and Ed,

    This is to demonstrate that I don’t think they were acting solely to protect a friend, as they removed Avicenna despite him being a friend. It’s actually a compliment towards, not a criticism of, Ed and PZ.

    and his plagiarism was confined to his own blog.

    This is to contrast Avicenna’s behaviour, which was confined to his own blog, with Thunderf00t’s behaviour, which involved repeatedly criticising other FreeThough Bloggers, in light of PZ’s reference to “a network crisis… like a deranged blogger who is shitting all over the network”.

  320. It’s good to have someone like John Morales around to keep us sharp. We wouldn’t want to be misunderstood by all those AI bots.

  321. Michael, you should give John Morales some slack. He has difficulty processing natural languages (as opposed to formal languages). Everything that is slightly ambiguous or not fully specified makes him confused and may even cause a system failure.

  322. Michael Nugent,

    Why would you paraphrase me and then interpret your paraphrase, instead of just interpreting what I actually wrote?

    Because I think that plain language is better than allusive language if the meaning is the same. I did try not to misrepresent what you wrote, in my paraphrase.

    Anyway, here is what I meant.

    On the contrary, Avicenna was, and remains, a friend of both PZ and Ed,

    This is to demonstrate that I don’t think they were acting solely to protect a friend, as they removed Avicenna despite him being a friend. It’s actually a compliment towards, not a criticism, of Ed and PZ.

    Thank you for the clarification. That makes sense to me.

    and his plagiarism was confined to his own blog.

    This is to contrast Avicenna’s behaviour, which was confined to his own blog, with Thunderf00t’s behaviour, which involved repeatedly criticising other FreeThough Bloggers, in light of PZ’s reference to “a network crisis… like a deranged blogger who is shitting all over the network”.

    I still don’t see the contrast to which you refer; after all, everything Thunderf00t did was done within his own blog no less than everything Avicenna did was within his own blog — that Thunderf00t made claims about other bloggers there whereas Avicenna did not was not a factor publicly mentioned by (the powers-that-be within) FTB, and so its relevance is not obvious to me.

  323. John, you seem to be the only person who was at all confused by the statement that “someone falsely accused is innocent.” This strongly indicates that the problem is on your end. Communication is a joint responsibility.

  324. PZ Myers already divorced himself from the skeptic movement, now it seems he is also unhappy with being called a New Atheist. He cites some moronic hack called Jeet Heer, who apparently said this:

    I don’t see the point of having an atheism that is pro-status quo, pro-imperialist, and which is indifferent to issues of inequality and patriarchy. If you’re going to have that, you might as well go to church.

    It’s a tired old strawman, just as stupid as saying that atheists have no morality because they don’t believe in god.

    But never mind. It seems that Peezus is looking for a new label for his brand of atheism.

    He must have a short memory. At the time of the Atheism Plus debacle, Myers wrote a post in which he proclaimed that those who were not supportive of A+ should label themselves as “asshole atheists” and wear that label, proudly.

    As far as I can tell, nobody has taken up that label. All the badges are still in their original wrappings.

    So here’s a suggestion for you, Peezus.

    Why don’t you call yourself an Asshole Atheist from now on?

    Atheism plus we smear people.
    Atheism plus we doxx people.
    Atheism plus we accuse people of rape and rape apologetics.
    Atheism plus we are terminally dishonest
    Atheism plus we are permanently outraged.
    Atheism plus we hate to criticize islamists.
    Atheism plus we believe in guilty until proven innocent.
    Atheism plus we despise people who are more accomplished than we are.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20150203142136/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2015/02/02/jeet-heer-and-the-new-atheism/

    (Michael is mentioned — unfavourably, because he’s Witch of the Week now — in comment 28.)

  325. John Morales (343):

    Guestus Aurelius:

    (It goes without saying that someone falsely accused is innocent.)

    This equivalent to claiming that no guilty person can be falsely accused.

    From the unabridged OED (s.v. “innocent”):

    A. adj.
    1.
    a. Of persons: Doing no evil; free from moral wrong, sin, or guilt (in general); pure, unpolluted. Usually (in mod. use always) implying ‘unacquainted with evil’ (thus freq. of little children; whence passing into sense A. 5); but formerly sometimes in more general sense (e.g. of God or Christ), Sinless, holy.

    2.
    a. Free from specific wrong or guilt; that has not committed the particular offence charged or in question; not deserving of the punishment or suffering inflicted; not guilty, guiltless, unoffending. innocent blood, the blood (or life) of the innocent. innocent party [party n. 6] , in matrimonial proceedings, the person adjudged to be innocent.

    Context made it unambiguous that I was using the word in the sense I’ve here emboldened.

    John Morales (348):

    Jan Steen, it is true that I could not have disputed Guestus Aurelius had the claim been tautological, rather than illogical.

    Context, John Morales.

    Tautology is “needless repetition” (AHD, MW [emphasis added]), “generally considered a fault of style” (OED). The “claim” that you say would have been tautological had I used innocent in precisely the sense that I did was in fact an explanation for why I was emending a sentence in my immediately preceding post. It was that original sentence that contained a needless redundancy. There’s nothing tautological about identifying and spelling out a tautology by way of explanation, you nincompoop.

    Your intellectual dishonesty is once again duly noted.

  326. @ Patrick #339

    No, it is criticism. To elaborate further, it is constructive criticism, even if it is harsh. Just because it is very harsh doesn’t mean it can’t be constructive. And just because it is very harsh doesn’t make it “defamatory”. I think it is terrible how Michael Nugent allowed his blog to become Slyme Pit Ireland. A person who allows their once highly regarded blog to deteriorate ethically and intellectually deserves to be criticized and ridiculed.

    What, again, is the Slyme Pit all about? For the benefit of those who are new, the Slyme Pit is the kind of place where a member can threaten to sexually assault Ophelia Benson, and still be a respected member. Indeed, many Slyme Pitters thought this was hilarious, and cheered this person on. Slyme Pitters hate it when this is brought up b/c is it irrefutable, and also b/c this kind of behavior is emblematic of the Slyme Pit. Slyme Pitters dismiss this as “old news” b/c this threat was made a few years ago, but have no problem with posting Ed Brayton’s criticisms of Dr. Myers from 2006 which are way older. Dr. Myers’ anger is often in direct response to the vile, misogynistic behavior at the Slyme Pit; all he really is is a man fighting the good fight and defending his friends(and himself) from hateful right-wing lunatics.

    It seems you and others here are incapable of appreciating the nuances of my position, and how Dr. Myers’ criticism doesn’t meet the criteria for defamation. Of course, Slyme Pitters insist that Dr. Myers is some kind of intellectual inferior in relation to Nugent(who isn’t even a scientist), and attacks other atheists out of jealousy.

    Yes, Dr. Myers, is an intellectual lightweight alright, who has a PhD in biology and is a published author. He also received the Humanist of the Year award from the American Humanist Association in 2009. Besides this, he also won the International Humanist Award in 2011. Let’s not forget that Nature magazine in 2006 considered Dr. Myers’ blog, Pharyngula, to be the best blog by a scientist. He’s also a very powerful, charismatic, humorous public speaker, and an ardent activist for various social justice causes.

    Dr. Myers’ Courtier’s Reply is his greatest contribution to the atheist community; his other contributions would take forever to list.

    Ed Brayton eventually came to his senses and realized he was wrong about Dr. Myers. He’s now his business partner! Hopefully, more people will come around to realizing that the atheist community ultimately benefits from Dr. Myers’ grand strategy of broadening the scope of atheism by incorporating justice causes under its umbrella. Indeed, Dr. Myers’ unique approach makes him indispensable for the atheist movement going forward, to help the atheist movement grow and win further victories.

  327. Morales is derailing again.

    Just FYI, and to be clear about Morales and his grasp on English, he’s a 40-something Scandinavian.

    Hope this helps.

    Also, cultural appropriation or something…

  328. “For the benefit of those who are new, the Slyme Pit is the kind of place where a member can threaten to sexually assault Ophelia Benson, and still be a respected member. ”

    Citation please.

  329. Jan Steen (351):

    Michael, you should give John Morales some slack. He has difficulty processing natural languages (as opposed to formal languages). Everything that is slightly ambiguous or not fully specified makes him confused and may even cause a system failure.

    John Morales’s entire schtick as a troll is to feign ignorance of context and subtext, so that he can:

    1. make provocative but unsupportable implications from which he can retreat when someone takes the bait (similar to motte-and-bailey, actually); and

    2. derail a debate that isn’t going his way by pretending to misunderstand what his interlocutors have said.

  330. DShetty:

    What Michael and you’ll are doing is something else altogether – youll are taking the position that this information should not be open to the public. Totally different.

    So it’s “information” now? Here was I thinking it was an untested allegation. Information being “open to the public” sounds so much more authoritative.

  331. KennyD:

    Dr. Myers’ anger is often in direct response to the vile, misogynistic behavior at the Slyme Pit; all he really is is a man fighting the good fight and defending his friends(and himself) from hateful right-wing lunatics.

    You do know that the majority of Pit members lean left, politically speaking. Get it right, we are LEFT-WING LUNATICS, mostly.

  332. You do know that the majority of Pit members lean left, politically speaking. Get it right, we are LEFT-WING LUNATICS, mostly.

    You’ll never get that through his head. The same thing happens with Gamergate all the time, even though it’s been demonstrated (with actual data!) the movement leans primarily left. To your average SJW, the idea a liberal might disagree with them is unthinkable.

    Now, Kenny, I would very much like it if you could quote the pit comment you’re referring to.

  333. KennyD @356,

    I am not going to respond to your comments about the Slymepit. They are a distraction from the topic of Myers’ defamatory smears. I’m also not going to address your sycophantic summary of Myers’ accomplishments. It is also nothing more than a distraction.

    My original question, which you failed to include in your reply, was:

    So how about it, apologists: Assuming arguendo that Myers meant exactly what he said, taking his words at face value, would you consider his assertions to be defamatory smears?

    You claimed that:

    In essence, all it is is just a strongly worded criticism of Nugent, based on the type of people he allows to post on his blog.

    Of course, you failed to quote Myers’ own words, since that makes your characterization of them as “criticism” far more difficult to maintain with a straight face. Here they are again:

    “It’s not about what he thinks, but what he’s doing: defending & providing a haven for harassers, misogynists, and rapists.”

    “Nope. The evidence is right there: his blog commentariat is populated almost entirely by slymepitters.”

    Now you come back with:

    No, it is criticism. To elaborate further, it is constructive criticism, even if it is harsh. Just because it is very harsh doesn’t mean it can’t be constructive. And just because it is very harsh doesn’t make it “defamatory”.

    Repeating your claim without additional logic or evidence is not a compelling argument.

    Read what Myers wrote again, and remember that my question is to assume for the sake of discussion that his words mean exactly what they say. No intellectually honest person working under that assumption can interpret Myers’ statements as anything other than claims about commenters on this blog. Myers is explicitly stating that harassers, misogynists, and rapists are commenting here. Since he provides no support for that claim, it is nothing but a defamatory smear.

    Accusing people of heinous crimes without evidence is defamatory. If you don’t understand that, you are as lacking in honesty and integrity as Myers.

  334. @Shermertron
    PZ admitted he was accused of sexual impropriety with a student. Lousy Canuck admitted he was accused of raping an ex-girlfriend. Your comments above seem to indicate that we should believe AT LEAST one of these claims,
    There you go again – Whether you believe those claims or not – im saying that were I a student , I would like to know an accusation was made and details of it – Were I an acquaintance of Canuck , I would like to know that an accusation was made.
    Its your side ,who because there is no legal proof , should be framing these sentences as [named blogger] admitted he was accused of sexual impreity etc – if you want to be consistent. But I guess FTB hatred trumps such considerations

  335. @JetLagg
    How many innocents would you be willing to punish to ensure that the guilty are also punished
    Where did the question of punishment arise? That’s again a narrative that you’ll have tried to create. Am I sitting on some jury? Can I put the [named accused] in jail ? I can take personal decisions (for e.g. whether to buy his book or not ) – but that’s the extent of it – that’s my right. What you are trying to accomplish is that I shouldn’t know enough to exercise that right.

  336. Am I sitting on some jury? Can I put the Voldemort [FTFY] in jail ?

    I’m becoming very tired of apologists playing dumb. No, you are not sitting on a jury. Assume I’m moderately intelligent and already had considered this. What then, might I have been thinking of when I used the word punish?

  337. Shetty @ 364:

    Where did the question of punishment arise? That’s again a narrative that you’ll have tried to create. Am I sitting on some jury? Can I put the [named accused] in jail ?

    In a thread riddled with fatuously disingenuous comments from Myers defenders, that has win the “Most Fatuously Disingenuous Comment of the Thread” award. Seriously, Shetty, if you are actually not being disingenuous here I would, in all sincerity, ask you to consider the very real possibility that your reasoning apparatus is substantially below par.

  338. I made a simple graphic formost for the FTB people, detailing the problem in Venn Diagram fashion: http://bit.ly/PZHaven

    It’s not pretty but perhaps it helps someone.

    The reasoning is also fairly simple: Of all Slymepitters is true that they are also HMRs (harassers, misogynists, rapists). If Slymepitters post on Michael Nugents comment section, then HMRs post in Michael Nugents comment section. Therefore, Michael Nugent provides a haven and defends HMRs (as he refused to exclude Slymepitters).

    How does PZ Myers know? Jason Thibault’s “Null Hypothesis” {1} article explains (article is from Jan 17, 2015 — recent).

    Jason Thibeault wrote: I don’t really feel that I should have to explain the null hypothesis to people within this community, but in contexts like sexual assault and rape, it seems that all proportional skepticism goes right out the window.

    […]

    TL;DR: if you’re willing to be skeptical of a claim without evidence, be equally skeptical of a counterclaim without evidence — especially when the counterclaim offers an even less likely scenario.

    Skepticsm 101, folks.

    From a sceptical perspective, however, this article is utter bollocks. Jason Thibeault’s cocksure attitute only adds to the comical effect.

    1__http://web.archive.org/web/20150118185747/http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2015/01/17/the-null-hypothesis/

  339. Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!
    More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
    More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast– man’s laws, not God’s– and if you cut them down—and you’re just the man to do it—do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.

  340. If you’d used the term “witch hunt” or “lynch mob” you’d quickly be corrected on the lack of torch-wielding and noose-tying.

    I don’t actually believe they’re so foolish as to have missed the past 50 years of political discourse in which these terms have become common metaphors.

    Next I suppose “dogpiling” will be criticized for the absence of canine stacking.

  341. Oh, and Deepak, we use Voldemort rather than the real name because it’s one of Nugent’s rules. So, you can abandon that line of reasoning.

  342. Deepak 364

    You said: “There you go again – Whether you believe those claims or not – im saying that were I a student , I would like to know an accusation was made and details of it – Were I an acquaintance of Canuck , I would like to know that an accusation was made.
    Its your side ,who because there is no legal proof , should be framing these sentences as [named blogger] admitted he was accused of sexual impreity etc – if you want to be consistent. But I guess FTB hatred trumps such considerations”

    Thank you for being consistent with your own fractured ideology. You must now admit that you have a responsibility the female students of UM Morris about PZ and anyone who may come into contact with Lousy Canuck about him. As you point out, you want the “potential victims” to know about the threat. Please provide links proving your first efforts in warning these “potential victims.”

    I’m not really sure where you’re going with attempting to parse my sentences in a way they weren’t intended to be read. At no point did I say PZ or Canuck were guilty. I merely said they were “accused.” Why? Because they themselves discussed the accusations (and lack of follow-up) investigations. You’ll notice that I spoke of Voldemort in the same manner. He was accused with no evidence. PZ accused himself of impropriety…I can’t really be upset about that. He’s welcome to tar his own reputation in any manner he likes. PZ is not, however, welcome to keep tarring the reputation of others without serious evidence. What part of that can’t you understand?

    And if we’re talking partisanism, I refer you back to Ogvorbis, who is beloved by and welcome at FTB in spite of the very serious crimes to which he admitted.

  343. John Morales wrote:

    Because I think that plain language is better than allusive language if the meaning is the same.

    You are quite the champion of plain, concise language.

  344. @Jetlagg
    Assume I’m moderately intelligent
    Not an assumption Im willing to make – where is the evidence?

    What then, might I have been thinking of when I used the word punish?
    I already gave you an example – perhaps you refer to boycotting buying books or conferences and I already responded to that. If you mean something else then say it rather than asking me to stoop to your level.

  345. “TL;DR: if you’re willing to be skeptical of a claim without evidence, be equally skeptical of a counterclaim without evidence — especially when the counterclaim offers an even less likely scenario.”

    That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard from a self-proclaimed “skeptic”.

    It’s the exact kind of rhetorical trick that fundamentalists use when they claim that since you can’t prove that their god of choice DOESN’T exist then you should assign equal probability to existence and non-existence. Never mind the fact that the burden of proof falls on the people who make a claim, not on those who don’t believe said claim.

    Now of course the evidence for a extraordinary claim (like the existence of a god) has to be extraordinary evidence while the evidence for a more mundane claim about a crime doesn’t have to be extraordinary, just enough to be beyond any reasonable doubt.

    But the burden of proof lies on who accuses others, not on who is accused.

    In other words, if you want to convince us that Voldemort is guilty of rape it’s your job to provide evidence, and it isn’t Voldemort who has to prove himself not guilty.

    Skepticism 101, folks.

  346. How simple does it need to be?

    Unevidenced allegations of criminal activity damage reputations and relationships. Even people who have been fully exonerated in court can still suffer social consequences as a result of accusations.

    Ergo floating rumors and hearsay is ethically and morally wrong. If you’ve got a serious accusation, the only right thing to do with it is report it to the authorities.

    PZ Myers knows and has admitted how much damage a serious criminal accusation could do to his career even if it were completely made up. But in this he’s entirely self-serving, and does not show the same concern, or for that matter ANY concern, for the careers and professional relationships of others.

  347. “I already gave you an example – perhaps you refer to boycotting buying books or conferences and I already responded to that. If you mean something else then say it rather than asking me to stoop to your level.”

    Accusations and rumors can have far more serious consequences than “boycotting books”.

    People can lose their job, damage their career, lose the love and affection of their loved ones, be ostracized by society and in some cases even become a target of groups of vigilantes. (This is especially true in the Internet age, where nutjobs think they have the right to dox or even in some extreme cases try to SWAT people over trivial offenses).

    PZ Myers himself was seriously concerned about the possible consequences of an accusation of rape.

    From his May, 15 2010 comment (#149) on his article “Bat sex is not protected by academic freedom”

    “I had to work 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.

    I was in a total panic, knowing full well how damaging that kind of accusation can be.”

    It doesn’t seem to me that PZ would treat an accusation of sexual harassment (never mind one of rape) as lightly as you’re doing.

    He seems justifiably concerned about his career.

    Why shouldn’t Voldemort be given the same benefit of the doubt? Why should his name be associated with an accusation of rape on a very popular blog and he sohludn’t worry about any negative consequences?

    You may answer “because Voldemort is guilty” but the truth is that we don’t know that, and that it’s not our job to decide if he is or he isn’t.

    We have a justice system that deals with punishing people found guilty of a crime. Voldemort should have the right to confront his accuser and to defend himself in a court of law. If he’s guilty then he should be punished according to the law.

    But this won’t happen in the “court of public opinion”. Guilty or not some people are going to believe and claim he’s a rapist. Others may act on this belief in many possible ways.

    It’s only a matter of circumstances if all the negative consequences that Voldemort has been subjected to are merely a boycotting of his books and conferences (which, if he’s not guilty, are still unwarranted and not justified).

    In other cases the publication of unproven accusations has resulted in loss of jobs, damages to the careers, health and safety of the accused.

    Just Google “Richard Jewell” and you will see that even suspicion alone, let alone accusations, can ruin someone’s life for no reason.

    Not naming the name of a person accused of a crime before the accused has the chance to defend themselves through the justice system is a matter of principle. It’s not just about the Voldemort case.

    It’s a matter of presumption of innocence, a cornerstone of the justice system of a democratic society.

  348. TL; DR: Better to let ten guilty persons go on with their lives than to have an innocent face hardship for no reason.

  349. Deepak@374
    Not an assumption Im willing to make – where is the evidence?

    Well there’s the fact I was able to figure out, without being prodded, that there are ways to hurt someone beyond imprisoning them. Something I’m sure you’re capable of as well once you drop the act. I very much doubt you will any time soon though. Drop the act, I mean. That you found my suggestion (that you might change your viewpoint in a few years) so wildly offensive (more offensive than being called a fucking asshole or a misogynist) makes me more certain my comparing you to a devout Christian was accurate. And like most devout Christians you’re incapable of having an honest discussion about your faith.

  350. Guestus Aurelius:

    2.
    a. Free from specific wrong or guilt; that has not committed the particular offence charged or in question; not deserving of the punishment or suffering inflicted; not guilty, guiltless, unoffending. innocent blood, the blood (or life) of the innocent. innocent party [party n. 6] , in matrimonial proceedings, the person adjudged to be innocent.

    Context made it unambiguous that I was using the word in the sense I’ve here emboldened.

    But I didn’t dispute the sense in which you used the word; rather, I disputed your contention.

    Tautology is “needless repetition” (AHD, MW [emphasis added]), “generally considered a fault of style” (OED). The “claim” that you say would have been tautological had I used innocent in precisely the sense that I did was in fact an explanation for why I was emending a sentence in my immediately preceding post. It was that original sentence that contained a needless redundancy. There’s nothing tautological about identifying and spelling out a tautology by way of explanation, you nincompoop.
    Your intellectual dishonesty is once again duly noted.

    I’m pretty sure that, had you read that dictionary entry further, you would have seen that in the context of logic, a tautology refers to a proposition which is analytically true.

    PS a “needless redundancy” is actually a rhetorical tautology.

  351. John Morales (380):

    But I didn’t dispute the sense in which you used the word; rather, I disputed your contention.

    Are you trying to communicate something intelligible here? I honestly can’t tell.

    I’m pretty sure that, had you read that dictionary entry further, you would have seen that in the context of logic, a tautology refers to a proposition which is analytically true.

    From AHD

    2. Logic An empty or vacuous statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false; for example, the statement

    My statement you responded to wasn’t “empty or vacuous,” because in context it provided new information—namely, it spelled out the tautological slip-of-the-keyboard in my prior post, and thereby explained my emendation.

    PS a “needless redundancy” is actually a rhetorical tautology.

    No, it’s not.

  352. Oh, I take back that last part—misread the quoted bit as “needless repetition,” from the dictionary definition I’d quoted. Yes, my “needless redundancy” is a tautology.

    My bad…?

    The statement of mine you responded to in the first place, however, is neither illogical nor tautological in context.

    But you know that already, because you’re just trolling.

  353. (And that comment was directed toward John Morales. I’m stating it explicitly, lest he pretend not to know it.)

  354. Jan Steen: PZ Myers already divorced himself from the skeptic movement

    He’s also divorced himself from the liberal movement. He’s also divorced himself from the humanist movement. He is an anti-liberal traitor, in the same way the charlatan CJ Werleman is.

    PS – With regard to GamerGate, what has been revealed is that many of the so-called “anti-GamerGate” leaders are odious bullies, and in some cases – racist scum (Shanley). Expect more of these hypocritical and abusive SJWs to be exposed in the months ahead.

    Attack and Expose!

  355. @Guestus Aurelius,

    Oh, I take back that last part—misread the quoted bit as “needless repetition,” from the dictionary definition I’d quoted. Yes, my “needless redundancy” is a tautology.

    There is no need to take it back, because “needless redundancy” is not a tautology. Not all redundancy is needless. Consider how many letters I could remove from the words in this sentence without making it unintelligible. In that sense, many letters are redundant. But they are not needlessly redundant, because if I removed all redundant letters I could not make a single typo without making at least part of the sentence unintelligible. The redundant letters allow me to make small mistakes. They protect the information.

  356. Sheety (364) – remember, according to the #FTBullies and SJWs at Pharyngula and FreeThoughtBlogs, false accusations are exceedingly rare. The chances that both accusations against PZ Myers and Lousy Canuck are false, are miniscule.

    So, are you going to risk angering your Dear Leader by claiming the “false allegations are extremely rare” claim is wrong? Or, do you accept there is a very high probability that one or both of the allegations made against PZ Myers and Lousy Canuck is/are correct? Go on, step up to the plate.

  357. Harrison said:

    How simple does it need to be?

    In regard to SJWs, PZ-defenders, et al., and their endless and proof-free claims of everyone-else-in-the-world’s evil improprieties, it has to be reduced to such finite simplicity that it implodes to infinite complexity.

    Intent is surely not magic, but magic is surely their intent.

  358. Jan Steen: I suppose it depends on how one defines “needless,” but let’s not lose sight of the main topic of this thread, which is that John Morales is an intellectually dishonest troll who likes to derail conversations that aren’t going his way.

    Oh, wait.

    [Meta?]

  359. Kenny @ 306:

    A) As far as rapists at the Slyme Pit goes, it seems absurd to believe that it is 100% impossible that no rapist has EVER posted there.

    Stop plagarizing Zvan’s moronic equivocation. If you’re going to be stupid, then for the love of christ, don’t also be lazy. Come up with your own stupidity, or at least credit her work in providing you with your latest inane talking point.

    Besides the issue of rape, there is also rape-enabling. The Slyme Pitters have a reputation for being very dismissive of the concerns of women skeptics, and frequently attack those who have been harassed and/or raped as “liars” or “attention whores”.

    None of which has anything to do with what PZ accused the commenters here of being. He said *rapists* comment here, and when asked for proof, noted that people who also comment at the ‘pit comment here.

    “Rapists”. That’s the word he used, and it has a clear, unambiguous meaning. Do try to stay on point.

    This creates an environment that is extremely hostile to women, making it difficult for women who have bee victimized to come forward, which helps enable rapists. This isn’t as serious as being a rapist, but it is almost as bad.

    It is most certainly not “almost” as bad. Being a rape “enabler”, which again, is not what PZ said, he said “rapist” is not “almost” as bad as being a rapist. I’ve been called pretty much all the bad names. It wasn’t necessarily awesome, but still, much preferable to being ACTUALLY RAPED. That’s actually…that’s actually disgusting that you conflate ‘being an asshole’ with ‘raping people’.

    B) While Nugent has done some good things for atheism, it seems that in order for the idea that he has been “defamed” to stick, Slyme Pitters are now doing all they can to turn Nugent into a saint and very influential, respected atheist writer, activist, and intellectual. This is laughable for many reasons, the first of which is that so many Slyme Pitters originally strongly disliked Nugent, but have only recently fallen in love with him because of his attacks on Dr. Myers.

    Oh nonsense. Michael has regularly said some goddamned stupid things before. The difference is, when presented with countering evidence, he actually considered it. If he saw he was wrong, he admitted so, apologized and changed. If he didn’t think he was wrong, he didn’t. I doubt he’ll ever approve of juvenile photoshopping of people. I don’t have a problem with that, because shit, who cares.

    The difference between Michael and PZ is that he’s not demonizing me for disagreeing with him. Nor, to my knowledge has he ever. Nor is he even demonizing PZ. What he is doing is Not Taking PZ’S Shit Any Longer, and that is the crime you cannot ever forgive.

    The sad thing is how willing you are to be deliberately and knowingly misleading about it.

  360. Jan @ 310:

    Maybe you think it is no big deal to be accused of rape? Then let me quote PZ Myers: “it could get dragged out into an investigation that would easily destroy my career, no matter that I was innocent. I was in a total panic, knowing full well how damaging that kind of accusation can be.”

    Well, if that woman hadn’t been such an SP, and accused a proper Clear like PZ of something wrong, then she’d not have had any problems. of course PZ was innocent. He’s a proper Clear. He can’t be anything but innocent.

  361. The reason why Nugent allows Slympitters to post here (and I am guessing so don’t put my words in his mouth) is that he genuinely believes in free and open debate. Nothing that he has said or done indicates even the slightest support for Slympiters or anyone else. For all I know he may wish we would go away.

    I know that people who post on heavily censored blogs and forums find the above difficult to grasp but trying to tie Nugent in with commenters here as well as their arguments is fundamentally flawed. So if anyone continues to do that I will judge them on their basic lack of thinking skills and question their integrity and ability to discuss in good faith.

    It is also yet another sign of how desperate some people are to defend the indefensible, namely the words of Myers. This is another reason why identity politics, which decides truth based on who you are not what you say, is the antithesis of reality and basic human discourse.

    Luckily it is also an extremely silly way of approaching an issue which is why most of Myers supporters are floundering in semantics, distractions, numerous logical fallacies, false equivalencies, guilt by association and irrelevant comments.

    While all the above provides plenty of amusement for some of us it is a very serious matter for others, including Nugent, who can’t afford to waive away comments directed at him when everything he works for and hopes to achieve is put at risk.

    Perhaps some of you can stop playing petty political word games and look at the world with a sense of realism and genuine empathy for once.

  362. BlahBlahBlah @ 352:

    Because I think that plain language is better than allusive language if the meaning is the same. I did try not to misrepresent what you wrote, in my paraphrase.

    you…plain…

    snerk…

    mmph…

    you can’t even manage that for the next sentence…mmph..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fph6OWTV6vU

    oh my

  363. Gerhard @ 361:

    KennyD:

    Dr. Myers’ anger is often in direct response to the vile, misogynistic behavior at the Slyme Pit; all he really is is a man fighting the good fight and defending his friends(and himself) from hateful right-wing lunatics.

    You do know that the majority of Pit members lean left, politically speaking. Get it right, we are LEFT-WING LUNATICS, mostly.

    Standard Clear Fair Game. Smear your opponents with a single brush, then complain bitterly at the same behavior directed towards you.

    The objective truth of the statement has no validity whatsoever.

  364. Guestus Aurelius @381:

    John Morales (380):

    But I didn’t dispute the sense in which you used the word; rather, I disputed your contention.

    Are you trying to communicate something intelligible here? I honestly can’t tell.

    Yes, and for you, I rephrase: I didn’t dispute that you were using the word in the sense you “emboldened” (!), I showed your contention with more clarity by virtue of rephrasing it.

    From AHD

    2. [Tautology] Logic An empty or vacuous statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false; for example, the statement

    My statement you responded to wasn’t “empty or vacuous,” because in context it provided new information—namely, it spelled out the tautological slip-of-the-keyboard in my prior post, and thereby explained my emendation.

    Um. You are aware that any sound and valid argument is a tautology, right?

    (That cherry-picked definition refers to its informational value, not to its truth value)

    PS a “needless redundancy” is actually a rhetorical tautology.

    No, it’s not.

    You’re seriously denying it’s a tautology in a rhetorical sense?

    (Is that because of circumstances such as (say) warships needing redundant backup systems being undeniable? 😉 )

    PS I know, I know… this direct response will to someone seem indicative of (at best) derailing and (not so good) trolling, and finding it remarkable, will remark upon their perception.

  365. Guestus Aurelius @359, I think your comment merits a direct response:

    John Morales’s entire schtick as a troll is to feign ignorance of context and subtext, so that he can: [blah]

    Such a definitive declaration!

    FWIW, I don’t think you feign ignorance.

  366. JackSkeptic’s comment @393 is great, not least because it deals with a point that is directly relevant to the discussion, as opposed to getting bogged down in nit-picking, fallacy-strewn derails. I wish the Myers defenders would read it with some care and reflection.

    I know that people who post on heavily censored blogs and forums find the above difficult to grasp but trying to tie Nugent in with commenters here as well as their arguments is fundamentally flawed.

    Exactly. The idea that someone takes on guilt by association because certain people leave comments on their blog is the sort of jaw-droppingly absurd notion that could only be given brain time by an idiot or an SJW. But I repeat myself.

  367. Jack Rawlinson@398:

    JackSkeptic’s comment @393 is great, not least because it deals with a point that is directly relevant to the discussion, as opposed to getting bogged down in nit-picking, fallacy-strewn derails. I wish the Myers defenders would read it with some care and reflection.

    Absent they, I accede to your wish:

    Let’s see (my indexation):

    [1] The reason why Nugent allows Slympitters to post here (and I am guessing so don’t put my words in his mouth) is that he genuinely believes in free and open debate. Nothing that he has said or done indicates even the slightest support for Slympiters or anyone else. For all I know he may wish we would go away.

    [2] I know that people who post on heavily censored blogs and forums find the above difficult to grasp but trying to tie Nugent in with commenters here as well as their arguments is fundamentally flawed. So if anyone continues to do that I will judge them on their basic lack of thinking skills and question their integrity and ability to discuss in good faith.

    [3] It is also yet another sign of how desperate some people are to defend the indefensible, namely the words of Myers. This is another reason why identity politics, which decides truth based on who you are not what you say, is the antithesis of reality and basic human discourse.

    [4] Luckily it is also an extremely silly way of approaching an issue which is why most of Myers supporters are floundering in semantics, distractions, numerous logical fallacies, false equivalencies, guilt by association and irrelevant comments.

    [5] While all the above provides plenty of amusement for some of us it is a very serious matter for others, including Nugent, who can’t afford to waive away comments directed at him when everything he works for and hopes to achieve is put at risk.

    [6] Perhaps some of you can stop playing petty political word games and look at the world with a sense of realism and genuine empathy for once.

    1. A declarative statement of opinion phrased as fact. I find it plausible.

    2. A declarative statement of opinion phrased as fact. I find it the knowledge-claim unwarranted, and therefore its implication unsound.

    3. A declarative statement of opinion phrased as fact. I find it both speculative and implausible.

    4. A declarative statement of opinion phrased as fact. I find it both idiosyncratic and implausible.

    5. A speculative hope based on an opinion held as fact. I find it speculative (if revealing of the proponent’s attitude), overwrought, and (incidentally) malapropic.

    6. A suggestion thinly disguising the claim that some people commenting here are playing petty political word games and looking at the world without a sense of realism or genuine empathy.

    What can I say? This: that rigor and self-awareness are not the impressions I get when reading that little diatribe, and that such relevance as it may have is not topical, much as it may impress you, Jack.

  368. KennyD wrote: Dr. Myers’ anger is often in direct response to the vile, misogynistic behavior at the Slyme Pit; all he really is is a man fighting the good fight and defending his friends(and himself) from hateful right-wing lunatics.

    Users posted results from a political test site and they showed that members of the Slymepit are typically left-leaning anti-authoritarians. That is true for me, too (which is also apparent in what I write elsewhere).

    PZ Myers however is a high Right Wing Authoritarian, despite that the contents of his views are associated with the “new new left”. There is a good streak of puritanism and right-wing righteousness in the views of Social Justice Warriors. He’s also in the Fox News area of “balanced journalism” served with a dash of Glenn Beck incendiary rhetoric, and a good side order of moral outrage like you expect from the likes Bill O’Reilly or Pat Robertson.

    KennyD wrote: It seems you and others here are incapable of appreciating the nuances of my position, and how Dr. Myers’ criticism doesn’t meet the criteria for defamation. Of course, Slyme Pitters insist that Dr. Myers is some kind of intellectual inferior in relation to Nugent(who isn’t even a scientist), and attacks other atheists out of jealousy.

    He labelled those who also have an account on the SP forum in Michael Nugent’s comment section as a “harasser, misogynist, and rapist”. This is defamatory by default. It ceases only once PZ Myers has provided evidence for each and every person. Either he demonstrates it, or it remains defamatory.

    Poster 1 – harasser, misogynist, rapist.
    Poster 2 – harasser, misogynist, rapist.
    Poster 3 – harasser, misogynist, rapist.
    Poster 4 – harasser, misogynist, rapist.
    Poster 5 – harasser, misogynist, rapist.

    Using the actual names would be more illustrative, but I don’t want to add to it. It becomes real when you plug in the names he accused.

    PZ Myers tweeted {1}: .@funkyderek Where did I say he should delete comments? I said I judge him by the company he keeps.

    If this behaviour of him is acceptable, then everything is, isn’t it? On what basis is anyone going to complain? He tweeted his defamatory smears, on purpose, to his 16,000+ followers on Twitter as indicated by the little dot before each tweet. Add his comments on his blog, where it is seen by more.

    He makes an additional allegation, namely that we supported a “serial harasser” {2}. I don’t even know Voldemort beside what’s in the news. Bizarre.

    1_https://twitter.com/pzmyers/status/518186930727444480
    2_https://twitter.com/pzmyers/status/518403785220059136

  369. Either he demonstrates it, or it remains defamatory.

    You’re quite sure you’ve exhausted the possibility-space, Aneris?

  370. JackSkeptic: The reason why Nugent allows Slympitters to post here (and I am guessing so don’t put my words in his mouth) is that he genuinely believes in free and open debate.

    Or, it could be that the Slymepitters are factualy correct, and as a result, it is amusing to see the likes of John Moronis flailing around with his Zvan-WLC style apologetics.

    Aneris: PZ Myers however is a high Right Wing Authoritarian, despite that the contents of his views are associated with the “new new left”. There is a good streak of puritanism and right-wing righteousness in the views of Social Justice Warriors.

    Indeed. I have always refered to them as the “Hard Left”. They are proponents of censorship, hate genuine liberals, are supporters of identity politics, etc. They increasingly remind me of the Socialist Workers’ Party in the UK. I’ve seen it time and time again – people formerly thought to be secular liberal humanists who have fallen (become traitors) into a cesspit of hard left hatred and bullying. The pattern suggests it won’t be long until PZ and company start having problems with Jews, sorry I mean “Zionists”. For that is a classic denouement for these addled and hate-seeking minds. Just look at fraud CJ Werleman – his position was once that Republicans were guilty for all the evil in the world (yeah okay, but a predictable yawn – went down well with the liberal crowd, even though it was an easy target), but he moved on to “the West” being the root of all evil in the world, and that Jews, sorry, I mean Zionists, are most responsible. Those poor terrorists who burn peoiple alive in cages need to be understood, and they are only reacting to Western imperialism, dude! Their religion and agenda needs to be understood. – and respected Heck, you have to respect their religious PRIVILEGE! That was Werleman has become. Boy, it was f***ing good to see his humiliating downfall.

    That is the evolution of pseudo-liberals who succumb to the anti-liberal Hard Left. CJ Werleman is a clear example, now a wretched scumbag reduced to barking off anti-Jewish, sorry, anti-Zionist soundbites on Twitter. PZ Myers is well on the way, being enforced by his abusive anti-liberal hard left horde. We have already had allegations of anti-semitism against one major Skepchick. Ofie has succumbed on many issues, but finds herself in the firing line when some of her retaining liberal values (standing up for Charlie Hebdo, etc.) marks her out as needed re-education in Siberia. This war between the hard left and liberals were split them down the middle, bamboozle them, and ultamately, destroy them. Bring it on.

    ATTACK and EXPOSE!

  371. Yeah, actually there really is a difference between being anti-Zionism and anti-Semitic. Pretending there isn’t is just playing the same dishonest game as those who disingenuously conflate criticism of Islam with racism. It’s perfectly possible to have rational objections to Zionism and Israel that have nothing to do with racism and everything to do with bullshit like manifest destiny and a distaste for madly disproportionate use of “defensive” violence against civilians, rampant expansionism, flagrant disregard for UN resolutions and so on. But this certainly isn’t the place for an Israel derail so I’ll say no more. Just don’t play that anti-Zionism = anti-semitism card. It’s bullshit.

  372. John Morales (396):

    Yes, and for you, I rephrase: I didn’t dispute that you were using the word in the sense you “emboldened” (!), I showed your contention with more clarity by virtue of rephrasing it.

    I assure you that you clarified nothing. What you did was remove my comment from its context, declare it either illogical or tautological depending on what I meant by “innocent,” and, when called out, cryptically claim that you “disputed” my “contention.”

    Um. You are aware that any sound and valid argument is a tautology, right?

    Oh, so all along you were using “tautological” perfectly innocuously to mean “sound and valid”?

    You’ve just doxxed yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJXU7EVXs2A

    As I said:

    John Morales’s entire schtick as a troll is to feign ignorance of context and subtext, so that he can:

    1. make provocative but unsupportable implications from which he can retreat when someone takes the bait (similar to motte-and-bailey, actually); …

    Your rhetorical shenanigans are transparent.

    (That cherry-picked definition refers to its informational value, not to its truth value)

    Cherry-picked? I simply “read that dictionary entry further” at your prompting: https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=tautology

  373. @Richard The King Sanderson
    Or, do you accept there is a very high probability that one or both of the allegations made against PZ Myers and Lousy Canuck is/are correct? Go on, step up to the plate.
    There is the same percentage chance for a single accusation (6-8%). The alleged rape has some more corroboration as compared to Myers/Canuck (as far as I know)

    Since my argument has been that I want to know there was an accusation against Myers/Canuck and [named accused] I fail to see why you think this is a gotcha. Its your lot who should be censoring Myers and Canucks names when referring to their incidents.

  374. I’ve already explained why Voldemort is he who must not be named on this blog, Deepak. It’s not for the reason you keep disingenuously insisting it is. At this blog, Michael’s rules apply. Go to the pit, and people will be more than happy to discuss it openly.

  375. John Morales wrote: You’re quite sure you’ve exhausted the possibility-space, Aneris?

    We can do this forever, hence here is a long answer that skips over the banter.

    I don’t deal with The Truth™ and almost everything I think is just one way of looking at things. However I do have some idea what is most likely or plausible, reasonable, and so forth under my current understanding.

    PZ Myers could hardly have meant anything else, even if I am acutely aware of his shortcomings in reasoning. He first described some unspecified people as HMRs (harassers, misogynists and rapists) and asserted Michael Nugent would defend and provide a haven for them. Somehow, HMRs are connected to Michael Nugent. After he was asked how he comes to that conclusion, he answered that individuals who also post on the Slymepit forum would also be posting in Michael Nugent’s comment section. Therefore, either the Slymepit users who post on MNs comment sections are HMRs, or all Slymepit users are HMRs and it would not matter who of us would show up here. That’s an apparent interpretation that is in addition supported by his follow up comments. You can pick apart the HMR Triplet and treat it as three separate predicates, but since you have no indication which one is true for which person, it would be a moot exercise.

    I am also pretty sure that this was a kneejerk reaction and rationalisation in subsequent statements. His answer is stereotypical, which fits neatly into “thinking fast”.

    I can also explain why he thinks it. There are perhaps a good dozen of reasons, however they ultimately come down to cogitative distortions that he and his faction either exploit on each other, or indulge themselves in.

    I was at FreethoughtBlogs over a few months until I moved on (never banned). At the time trolls would show up often times and spread some pretty heinous views. After the troll was used as a chew toy by regulars who are into some kind of comment section power play, the troll was banned and the regulars would then proclaim that the troll either is from the Slymepit or would certainly go there and fit in. PZ Myers, no doubt, has stored these things away as facts. When I moved over to the Slymepit out of curiosity and then participated there, I found that none of that was true. Generally, these trolls I was seeing before were neither coming from the Slymepit nor going there. I’d classify them as creationist or YEC trolls of the kind PZ Myers attracted, with the difference that they didn’t announce their religious views. The seasoned YouTube community also uncovered such trolls harassing Rebecca Watson, but of course, since that didn’t fit into the reality tunnel at FreethoughtBlogs, it was generally ignored. Once you’ve seen a few of such cases, ignoring some story that would be otherwise aired from twelve blogs, or misreporting of some story with apparent fudging of facts or setting the frame, you should know what is going on there.

    It is also a very typical experience as Slymepitter, this time viewed from another perspective. Some person, Slymepit user or somebody on Twitter would do something mildly controversial or outright offensive and the FTB regulars and allies would then label that “Slymepit” and generalize it. Like you literally smear some grease around a lot of people who have nothing to do with that person at all. How often do you share some comment section with other people? What if any of these person could do something controversial and somehow I blame you for it, because are also posting in that comment section. That’s the general intellectual level of FreethoughtBlogs and more generally the US community. Over time, I am sure, that charges up the general impression. With a few hundred people and the method to include practically anyone who fit the stereotype you can constantly find something and artificially maintain that enemy stereotype (other methods, like the block bot lists support that strategy).

    Then you have cases where the framing is deliberately done. Such cases are almost always coming from Stephanie Zvan who has quite some reputation as a scheming propagandist for that reason. She can present a single opinion of some person surrounded by controversy and make it appear as if this was what everyone on the Slymepit thinks on some matter. That’s masterfully done and in no way accidental. She knows what she’s doing and the Flock™ likes reading it. These are essentially the ghost stories they tell around their campfires, where they crowd together on the flickering computer screen to feel some warmth that is otherwise lacking in their bleak lives. Most of Zvan’s articles that have to do with other people she opposes are carefully crafted propaganda. She’s really good, albeit the bar is not very high with that generally nonsceptical audience who also believed in the fantastic stories of Avicenna. We were laughing already for a long, long time. It was at times quite fun how his fabrication would move along FTB comment sections and believed.

    In addition, there are several characters that have a dysfunctional relationship with reality on FreethoughtBlogs, commenters and opinion leaders. H. G. Frankfurt would call them “Bullshitters”. That is a person who is neither knowingly telling falsehoods, nor misguided. It is a person that simply doesn’t care about what is true at the moment. They introduce falsehoods all the time. Since the general climate on FTB is that of solidarity and belief; where it is outright dangerous to openly question things that are said about opponents, smaller errors up to fantastic stories simply evolve and spread around unhindered. People are also encouraged to bullshit about enemies. There are communal incentive structures for that. Even if you didn’t knew about any content, you could infer it from the general makeup of their community.

    As a result, you have people telling falsehoods, yet there is nobody who would point out that some story about the Slymepit is not true. If you don’t have that at all, and I hope that part is uncontroversial, then there is no reason to expect that what is written there has any connection to reality. It rarely does.

    That makes it all the more comical, in a darkly satirical way, to have someone like Jason Thibeault being apparently genuinely outraged about what he believes are myths (on his side), which are themselves part of their fairy-tale universe. He sees how distorted versions conflict with other distorted versions, and then genuinely believes that Slymepitters are the source for it. Even when it is established that the author is a complete fabulist, as Avicenna was, and where it is established beyond doubt that he copy-pasted from across the internet, even then PZ Myers and Jason Thibeault believe strongly that his copypasta somehow originated with their enemies. Here any reasonable person can know that these people and their believers crossed the Event Horizon of sanity. Go check it.

    I admit that this is part of the great fascination for me. I can have confidence that I am looking into the snow globe bizarro universe with comical characters, since I make an effort in checking facts as much as possible and reasonable. Due to that, I learned about the labyrinthine construction that is maintained over there. It’s very typical that writers would refer to each other’s pieces (or known allies) which are almost exclusively opinion pieces. It’s a bit of a shame that the term “echo chamber” deteriorated, because FreethoughtBlogs is genuinely and objectively one. This too, is often comical. For example Kimberly Winston, court correspondent of the Social Justice side, who always cites the same circle of friends and presents them as if they were independent and diverse voices, maybe one odd character thrown in to pretend balance.

    All the rest is pretty well explainable with Law of Fives. Conspiracy theorist can be “programmed” to see the 23 everywhere, which should be the most famous, and most misunderstood part from the Discordianism lore. The effect is an example of “tunnelling” also known as “Blue Cars Syndrome”. Or maybe you know the sensation that the traffic lights are always red when you are in a hurry and so on.

    To sum up, FreethoughtBlogs readers aren’t even beginner level sceptics and have no reason to counteract this effect, since it is disincentivized when it comes to opponents. There are no ways in place that make people committed to what is true, and further even social dynamics that do the opposite. See how PZ Myers shared a video of Brian Dalton on the pope recently and what happed then in the comments. The climate is such that an enemy can only be mentioned in a negative capacity, which get boosted, whereas the opposite direction is generally impossible due to peer pressure. Hence, when even PZ Myers shares a positive piece, he gets quickly corrected that this is inacceptable. Thereby, the audience there makes themselves immune from ever seeing the “silent evidence”, and thus increase cognitive distortions in their system.

    Well, and when a kneejerk answer is in order, you reach for the quick and stereotypical. From his personality I see that he is someone who rather rationalises than admitting to have been wrong somewhere, and here he would have to confront fairly foundational beliefs, which earns him no rewards among his Flock™. Which is basically what he has left at this point. Sadly, PZ Myers is exactly the type of character who is so completley wrong in the first place that he has the unique opportinty to show greatness of character and admitting to it in full. Most people are never that wrong and are therefore never have such an opportunity. Therefore, if not apparent from a logical point of view, yes, that’s what he means. Pretty sure.

    Sorry for the long answer, but I see that short banter back and forth does no good in such situations.

  376. @396
    “emboldened” (!)”
    2: Cause (a piece of text) to appear in a bold typeface – OED
    By the way, “indexation”(!) does not mean what you think it does. The term was coined by economists, and it has a single, very specific meaning.

  377. Deepak 406

    You said: “There is the same percentage chance for a single accusation (6-8%). The alleged rape has some more corroboration as compared to Myers/Canuck (as far as I know)

    Since my argument has been that I want to know there was an accusation against Myers/Canuck and [named accused] I fail to see why you think this is a gotcha. Its your lot who should be censoring Myers and Canucks names when referring to their incidents.”

    Thank you for your honesty. You have admitted that, going by the generous side of the stats, there’s a 1 in 17 chance that each independent allegation against PZ and Canuck are false. That makes the statistical odds that BOTH allegations are false 1 in 33-ish. That’s about a 4% chance that both men, according to your thought process, are innocent.

    Those are not good odds…Don’t you feel you must take action to inform possible future victims based upon those odds?

    Why do I feel comfortable naming PZ and Canuck and less comfortable naming Voldemort? That’s simple: PZ and Canuck revealed the accusations themselves and had their say. (We have not, as yet, heard the accusers’ tales.) Voldemort was accused by someone who is not part of the criminal justice system and who had no evidence.

  378. Deepak Shetty wrote
    Since my argument has been that I want to know there was an accusation against Myers/Canuck and [named accused] I fail to see why you think this is a gotcha. Its your lot who should be censoring Myers and Canucks names when referring to their incidents.

    There is a very good reason why that shouldn’t apply. The two FTB bloggers accused of rape brought up the accusations themselves, choosing to have the accusations associated with their names. They may have had good reasons for doing that (we can wisely draw a discreet veil over some of the possibilities), but it was their choice. Why should anyone else censor their names when they themselves publish the accusations? Now can you see the difference between their case and that of ‘Voldemort’?

  379. Lancelot Gobbo @410: “Now can you see the difference between their case and that of ‘Voldemort’?”

    It really is astonishing how any attempt to reason with these people involves endless pointings-out of the bleedin’ obvious. Or what ought to be the bleedin’ obvious to anyone with an at least half-functioning brain. I suppose I shouldn’t be astonished by the fact that people of lesser intelligence tend to cleave to shouty preachy black-and-white types like Myers, but my mind still instinctively rebels against each new reaffirmation of that sad truth.

  380. john welch @391,

    What he [Michael Nugent] is doing is Not Taking PZ’S Shit Any Longer, and that is the crime you cannot ever forgive.

    You’ve summarized the motivations of the apologists quite succinctly. Too bad #nottakingpzsshitanylonger is too long for a hashtag. #nomorepz is shorter, but would no doubt be spun as threatening Myers with bodily harm by his Flock.

  381. Xavier Ninnis @409, quite right, I should have written ‘enumeration’.

    John Morales (396):

    Yes, and for you, I rephrase: I didn’t dispute that you were using the word in the sense you “emboldened” (!), I showed your contention with more clarity by virtue of rephrasing it.

    I assure you that you clarified nothing. What you did was remove my comment from its context, declare it either illogical or tautological depending on what I meant by “innocent,” and, when called out, cryptically claim that you “disputed” my “contention.”

    What I did is note that the claim that “someone falsely accused is innocent” is equivalent to the claim that “no guilty person can be falsely accused”.

    Jan Steen then claimed that had you written “It goes without saying that someone falsely accused is innocent of that of which he is accused” I would not have written what I did — at which point I noted that I “could not have disputed Guestus Aurelius had the claim been tautological, rather than illogical” — intimating I thought your claim was not tautological, but rather that it was illogical.

    Um. You are aware that any sound and valid argument is a tautology, right?

    Oh, so all along you were using “tautological” perfectly innocuously to mean “sound and valid”?

    To whatever degree it surprises you, yes: In relation to your claim, I have indeed been using it to refer to a logically necessarily true statement, and have previously written as much. That is the reason I could not have disputed it, had it been the case.

    Your rhetorical shenanigans are transparent.

    So?

    (That cherry-picked definition refers to its informational value, not to its truth value)

    Cherry-picked? I simply “read that dictionary entry further” at your prompting

    Yes, that was sloppy of me. That definition is unusually phrased, and from it you took its significance to be its vacuity (“My statement you responded to wasn’t “empty or vacuous,””), thus ignoring its logical significance.

  382. @Lancelot Gobbo
    Now can you see the difference between their case and that of ‘Voldemort’?
    You live by your standards. If you feel publishing or repeating unproven allegations is bad then don’t do it.
    Yes there is a lot of difference between [named accused] and the other cases. Lousy Canucks timeline of events should have told you that

  383. John Morales (413)

    What I did is note that the claim that “someone falsely accused is innocent” is equivalent to the claim that “no guilty person can be falsely accused”.

    Jan Steen then claimed that had you written “It goes without saying that someone falsely accused is innocent of that of which he is accused” I would not have written what I did — at which point I noted that I “could not have disputed Guestus Aurelius had the claim been tautological, rather than illogical” — intimating I thought your claim was not tautological, but rather that it was illogical.

    Yes, because there was nothing at all snide about “had the claim been tautological”; all you meant was “had the claim been true”! It was perfectly neutral, of course, just like every other loaded comment you make that you later deny carried any implications, despite the context and word choice that indicate otherwise. Again and again.

    If you’re going to be insulting, just own it, you cowardly troll.

    Funny, though—your most embarrassing failure here is that the claim in question was true, and it’s neither illogical nor tautological. The claim was that it goes without saying that someone falsely accused [of a crime] is innocent [of that crime]. In context, I was calling myself out for being tautological in the prior post (“anybody falsely accused might be innocent”). You stripped away the context and exploited the polysemy of the word innocent to pick nits.

    If you’re going to be a pedant, at least be right.

  384. Deepak 416

    You said: “Yes there is a lot of difference between [named accused] and the other cases. Lousy Canucks timeline of events should have told you that”

    One big difference: Canuck linked to and asked others to believe the statements of Voldemort’s accuser.

    He chose not to present any statements from the ex-girlfriend who accused him of rape.

    As I’ve said before, I don’t have enough cause to believe he is guilty (even though the odds, according to you, are greater than 90%). Why not encourage Canuck to reach out to his accuser for a statement? After all, we need to “believe the victim,” right? #ibelieveher?

    You say you believe the accusations against Voldemort because of the “testimony” against him. Why not ask for testimony against PZ and Canuck?

  385. Deepak Shetty @416,
    It seems never to have occured to you that other people might have views that are a tad less black-and-white and more nuanced than that. You seem to expect that everyone should operate according to some all-or-nothing system, which is more indicative of how your own mind works than anything else.

  386. Hahaha. I started to reply to Deepak, then realized I was late for an appointment and ran out of the office.

    When I come back I see my comment posted, and am wondering how the hell that happened. Did I type it up, post it, and forget about the entire thing?

    Then I see the author is Fishcakes. You got it nearly word for word.

  387. Guestus Aurelius @417:

    The claim was that it goes without saying that someone falsely accused [of a crime] is innocent [of that crime].

    Well, leaving aside that you actually did say it (so that evidently it did not literally go without saying) and that I initially addressed the actual claim you made rather than your emended one, the logical form remains the same, now being tantamount to claiming that someone who is guilty of a particular deed cannot thereby be falsely accused of that particular deed — the which I note would render any consideration of the warrant of that type of accusation moot.

    PS

    If you’re going to be insulting, just own it, you cowardly troll.

    If you’re going to be a pedant, at least be right.

    Your unsolicited recommendations are taken in the spirit in which they are offered.

  388. @Harrison #376

    How simple does it need to be?

    Unevidenced allegations of criminal activity damage reputations and relationships. Even people who have been fully exonerated in court can still suffer social consequences as a result of accusations.

    The testimony of the person making the accusation is evidence. It may not be evidence enough for you, for some jurors or judges if it were in trial, or for other people on the street, but it is enough for others to form an opinion with as PZ has done. That’s what is happening here. It’s not like it was made up.

    Ergo floating rumors and hearsay is ethically and morally wrong. If you’ve got a serious accusation, the only right thing to do with it is report it to the authorities.

    That isn’t happening in this case.

    PZ Myers knows and has admitted how much damage a serious criminal accusation could do to his career even if it were completely made up. But in this he’s entirely self-serving, and does not show the same concern, or for that matter ANY concern, for the careers and professional relationships of others.

    Whether you believe it was rape or not depends on how you view the factors going into it determining if there was a lack of consent, but it wasn’t made up.

  389. Aratina 422

    If testimony=important evidence in the public sphere, will you call for PZ, Lousy Canuck and Ogvorbis to reach out to allow their alleged victims to offer their testimony?

    Ogvorbis’s own testimony about his own actions is pretty damning. (And that “monster” of his is always threatening to break out!) PZ’s story has changed over the years and there was no police investigation. Lousy Canuck’s story is incredibly self-serving.

    Shouldn’t we get a chance to hear from the alleged victims, particularly if Canuck and PZ continue to set themselves up as woman-believing anti-sexual misconduct saviors?

  390. @Aneris* #400

    He labelled those who also have an account on the SP forum in Michael Nugent’s comment section as a “harasser, misogynist, and rapist”. This is defamatory by default. It ceases only once PZ Myers has provided evidence for each and every person. Either he demonstrates it, or it remains defamatory.

    Yes, yes, no. The first two don’t even need explanation to anyone who has been paying attention since elevatorgate. The third is referring to a particular person PZ thinks is one–and to the potential others who have done the same.

    I just saw a tweet about how our blog host said that rape victims should go to the authorities, not to bloggers. Surely that right there is a critical reason if not the primary impetus for that tweet of PZ’s about our blog host here.

    Personally, I don’t think we can make a rule like that and expect it to be perfectly followed. There are many reasons why someone might not want to prosecute an alleged rapist, and as we see with Bill Cosby, sometimes you really can’t due to legal limitations. Couldn’t it be the case that sometimes saying, “That person hurt me and I want you all to know it.”, is enough? Even if it is said through a blogger and not a news reporter?

  391. Aratina 424

    Hmm…you don’t think that rape victims should go to the authorities so the rapist can be punished?

    I don’t know about you, but I really like when rapists are punished by the criminal justice system…

  392. Jack Rawlinson, actually, on the Hard Left, many anti-Zionists are anti-Semites.

    Naturally, there are plenty of people who have legitimate anti-Zionist views who do not fall into anti-Semitism. These people tend to be liberals, and not the hard left, social justice warrior types.

    A trip to any university will highlight this distinction.

  393. @ FishCakes
    You seem to expect that everyone should operate according to some all-or-nothing system, which is more indicative of how your own mind works than anything else.
    Demonstrate where I asked for an all – or -nothing system?
    Its your lot who insists on the legal standard to be applied – irrespective of context , irrespective of nuance , irrespective of what is known , irrespective of the situation .
    Suppose the victim had gone to the police and assume everything she said is true. What is the evidence they could have found – that would cause the police to believe they have a convictable case? If that’s not possible , then what was the advice of “go to the police” work out to in this case – see right there – nuance.

    Its your lot who pretend that Myers should have to meet the legal standards of a criminal case instead of the more obvious newspaper reporter standard.

    @Jetlagg
    Then I see the author is Fishcakes. You got it nearly word for word.
    Hivemind?

  394. John Morales (421):

    Guestus Aurelius @417:

    The claim was that it goes without saying that someone falsely accused [of a crime] is innocent [of that crime].

    Well, leaving aside that you actually did say it (so that evidently it did not literally go without saying) …

    It goes without saying that it goes without saying is a figure of speech. As in, not literal. Literally.

    … and that I initially addressed the actual claim you made rather than your emended one, …

    No, you initially addressed a context-free and distorted version of my explanation for emending a previous sentence.

    … the logical form remains the same, now being tantamount to claiming that someone who is guilty of a particular deed cannot thereby be falsely accused of that particular deed — the which I note would render any consideration of the warrant of that type of accusation moot.

    If I’m reading you correctly—and that’s a big if, since what you’ve written borders on gibberish—you’re suggesting that being falsely accused of something and being guilty of the same aren’t mutually exclusive. Is that where you’ve moved the goalposts now?

  395. Deepak 427:

    Wow. You said: “Demonstrate where I asked for an all – or -nothing system?
    Its your lot who insists on the legal standard to be applied – irrespective of context , irrespective of nuance , irrespective of what is known , irrespective of the situation .
    Suppose the victim had gone to the police and assume everything she said is true. What is the evidence they could have found – that would cause the police to believe they have a convictable case? If that’s not possible , then what was the advice of “go to the police” work out to in this case – see right there – nuance.

    Its your lot who pretend that Myers should have to meet the legal standards of a criminal case instead of the more obvious newspaper reporter standard.”

    1) Instead of “supposing” what the police would do, why didn’t any of the accusers just go to the police? Why make this academic when actual legal truth could be derived?

    2) Wow. Newspapers must be VERY careful what they allege about a living person. Newspapers and other news outlets CANNOT simply spout off any rape accusation they like. Libel and slander, my man.

  396. Shetty: There is the same percentage chance for a single accusation (6-8%).

    Right. So you DO admit the chances of one of the allegations against PZ or Canuck being true are extremely high? That’s what you are actually saying.

    The alleged rape has some more corroboration as compared to Myers/Canuck (as far as I know)

    As others have already pointed out, we have not heard the potential corroboration from the potential victims of PZ and Lousy. In the case of PZ, he admitted the investigation was not handled in the correct manner.

    Since my argument has been that I want to know there was an accusation against Myers/Canuck and [named accused] I fail to see why you think this is a gotcha.

    ‘Cos you and other #FTBullies, Pharynglites, etc. seem reluctant to follow your own rulez and logique, and admit loud and clear it is likely one of the allegations against PZ and Canuck is true. You’re struggling to do that here, and none of you has the guts to do it at the home of the Dear Leader.

    Its your lot who should be censoring Myers and Canucks names when referring to their incidents.

    They decided to go public [for whatever reasons]. Obviously, as fully paid-up SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS, the allegations can’t be true. Right? Just like social justice warrior and ‘diversity queen’ Shanley couldn’t possibly turn out to be a vile racist. Right?

    We are seeing a number of social justice warriors getting exposed as rather nasty and vile individuals. I expect a few more exposures, revelations, and downfalls n the near future. Hopefully, PZ will be one of them, although he hasn’t got that much further to fall. Has he?

  397. Guestus Aurelius @426:

    It goes without saying that it goes without saying is a figure of speech. As in, not literal. Literally.

    Do you imagine I claimed that it was?

    (heh)

    … and that I initially addressed the actual claim you made rather than your emended one, …

    No, you initially addressed a context-free and distorted version of my explanation for emending a previous sentence.

    To what distortion do you refer? I quoted you directly.

    (It’s notable you quibble about the context when it was the logical form and its implications which I addressed, however obliquely)

    If I’m reading you correctly—and that’s a big if, since what you’ve written borders on gibberish—you’re suggesting that being falsely accused of something and being guilty of the same aren’t mutually exclusive. Is that where you’ve moved the goalposts now?

    To what movement of goalposts do you refer?

    I refer you to my #246 — merely replace the original definitions with “let F(x) be x is falsely accused of a particular crime, and let I(x) be x is innocent of that particular crime”, and the logic remains the same.

  398. Deepak:
    Hivemind?

    In the same sense that two people, seeing something that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck and call the thing a duck are a hivemind. Sure.

    Your shit is obvious, Deepak.

    Like when you pretend you it never occurred to you that someone might be harmed in a way other than being imprisoned, and then quietly pretend you never occupied such an inane position once some people with more patience than I spoon fed you the information.

  399. No, John. If you want to make that argument, then by all means make it. I won’t make it for you.

    In passing, though, I note that your last paragraph (“…merely replace…”) tacitly acknowledges one way in which you distorted what I’d said—you ignored the context so that you could pretend that I meant “innocent” in a general sense.

  400. Guestus Aurelius, imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery.

    In regards to your notation, what it tacitly acknowledges is that it is you who has changed the claim in question, and what it explicitly says is that the exact same logic that applied to your original claim applies to your amended claim, if one changes the definitions in accordance with the changes to your claim.

    No, John. If you want to make that argument, then by all means make it. I won’t make it for you.

    Such argument as I made was made long ago; at this point, I am merely addressing your misconceptions about it.

    […] you ignored the context so that you could pretend that I meant “innocent” in a general sense.

    Again: it was the logical form and its implications which I addressed.

    FWIW, I think that such equivocal definition as exists in your contention refers to the distinction you noted @426 (that is, the sense in which an accusation can be considered false).

  401. @Guestus

    This is like watching people argue with Steers about racial slurs. Actually, it’s considerably worse than that, as whatever you might think about his insane theories, at least they aren’t the sort of pedantry Morales has put on display here.

    Can we get back to the fact that Myers accused Nugent of defending rapists, refused to retract, apologize, or qualify, and thinks that complaints are literally a joke? Over 400 comments in and nobody has managed to put a dent in that position. Maybe they’d like to drop the tangents and give it another shot.

  402. I don’t know what you’re trying to communicate, John Morales, but I’m done.

    Suffice it to say that you’ve done nothing to disabuse me of the notion that I’ve had your number from the start. And your number is obfuscatory, equivocatory, ineffectually pedantic troll.

  403. JetLagg @432:

    Can we get back to the fact that Myers accused Nugent of defending rapists, refused to retract, apologize, or qualify, and thinks that complaints are literally a joke?

    By all means.

    So, the narrative is that quoth PZ to Michael: “J’Accuse!”, right?

    Over 400 comments in and nobody has managed to put a dent in that position. Maybe they’d like to drop the tangents and give it another shot.

    You don’t mention the dozens of other posts here about that very topic, but I cannot dispute that the narrative has not been dented by anybody.

    I do remember how it began, though… Michael requested that PZ apologise about his actions following the testimony he received from someone in relation to someone else, and not only did PZ not apologise, he further didn’t resile from his stance. The subsequent (and unilateral) escalation proceeded from there.

  404. Guestus Aurelius @433:

    Suffice it to say that you’ve done nothing to disabuse me of the notion that I’ve had your number from the start. And your number is obfuscatory, equivocatory, ineffectually pedantic troll.

    Ineffectual, that’s me to a T. 😉

    (No harm, no foul, right?)

  405. Morales
    You don’t mention the dozens of other posts here about that very topic, but I cannot dispute that the narrative has not been dented by anybody.

    Because every single post that was actually on topic has been easily refuted, because, and I know none of the apologists will ever admit this (well… maybe Deepak several years hence), this is an open and shut case.

    Michael requested that PZ apologise about his actions following the testimony he received from someone in relation to someone else

    Whatever in the fuck are you talking about? I seriously don’t know. Are you referencing Michael asking PZ to apologize for his tweet, in which he said Michael defends rapists? That’s what everyone else is talking about, but “testimony he [Michael] received from someone in relation to someone else” does not describe that.

  406. JetLagg:

    Michael requested that PZ apologise about his actions following the testimony he received from someone in relation to someone else
    Whatever in the fuck are you talking about? I seriously don’t know. Are you referencing Michael asking PZ to apologize for his tweet, in which he said Michael defends rapists? That’s what everyone else is talking about, but “testimony he [Michael] received from someone in relation to someone else” does not describe that.

    I refer to the genesis of this situation; I think this is not a bad post to start reading: The LBJ legend and my email to PZ Myers.

    (Or, as I adumbrated earlier, Michael feels he has a grievance towards PZ and is pursuing it, in part via posts such as these)

  407. Deepak Shetty @425,

    Demonstrate where I asked for an all – or -nothing system?

    I was referring to your comment @416 where you said the following:

    You live by your standards. If you feel publishing or repeating unproven allegations is bad then don’t do it.

    But really you said it even more explicitly here:

    Its your lot who insists on the legal standard to be applied – irrespective of context , irrespective of nuance , irrespective of what is known , irrespective of the situation .

    This is complete and utter nonsense, on multiple levels. Really breathtaking nonsense. I don’t belong to any “lot” and my views are mine and mine alone. And I most certainly am not arguing that context be ignored or that nuance is not allowed. In fact, I explicitly stated precisely the opposite when I said “other people might have views that are a tad less black-and-white and more nuanced than that” (where “other people” refers to people other than Deepak Shetty).

    My standards are more nuanced than just [repeating unproven allegations is bad, therefore don’t do it]. I do not have merely a set of simplistic rules that I apply mindlessly, in an all-or-nothing way. Rather, my standards take into account as much as can be reasonably known about the alleged incident, the parties involved, relevant background and history, etc.

    As regards the specific persons being discussed: two of them published their own allegations and identified themselves as the accused, which I take to mean they have no problem with being so identified. Whereas the other did so (apparently) reluctantly and only after the allgeation had been published to begin with, which I take to mean he most likely did not wish to be so identified. This point has been pointed out by others and then ignored by you multiple times already, by the way.

    As to your hypothetical about going to the police: if you intend this as some kind of justification or defense of PZ Myers’ publishing the allegation (or a general policy of publishing such allegations), then it fails before getting off the ground. Even if I were to grant you that going to the police would be effectively useless (which I don’t), that concession would get you no closer to actually justifying the alternstive approach that you are espousing, which is the approach PZ Myers took.

    Furthermore, your reasoning here depends on a false dichotomy. There are many more options than simply (a) go to the police and if they can’t help then do nothing, or (b) have PZ Myers publish it on his blog. Further, even after “grenade” ws handed to PZ Myers, he also had more than just the two choices of (a) do nothing, or (b) publish it on his blog. There is a whole range of options that you are ignoring. If you are up for the challenge, why not see if you can think of some of those other options and see if that has any imolications on your assessment.

    I fear that I have put more effort into this response than warranted, but let it not be said I didn’t make an honest effort at honest discussion.

  408. Aratina, neither I nor anyone sensible accepts that a claim can serve as evidence of itself without any additional buttressing. The Swift Boaters’ claim that John Kerry didn’t really earn his Purple Heart is not evidence that their claim is true. The Bible’s claim that it is the word of God is not evidence that the Bible is really divinely inspired.

    Furthermore, the idea that it’s just a harmless dissemination of he-said-she-said and it’s up to the public to make up their minds is completely fallacious. It’s not up to private individuals with limited information and potential biases to determine whether a CRIME occurred. For the umpteenth time, criminal accusations have no place in the court of public opinion.

  409. So, back to the post topic. From the OP:

    Instead, his [PZ’s] second post has demonstrated, yet again, PZ’s steady drift from the principles of justice that he regularly demands of others, and his increasing irrelevancy, other than as a hindrance, to those of us who are trying to actually promote atheism, reason, compassion and justice.

    It is true that the more irrelevant that PZ becomes, the less his perniciousness.

    (Or: the less his efficacy; but then, that would apply to anyone, no?)

  410. Harrison @439:

    Furthermore, the idea that it’s just a harmless dissemination of he-said-she-said and it’s up to the public to make up their minds is completely fallacious. It’s not up to private individuals with limited information and potential biases to determine whether a CRIME occurred.

    So, unless you are not a private individual with limited information and potential biases, you should not be making any determination whether a CRIME occurred.

    Gotcha.

    (Are you a private individual with limited information and potential biases?)

  411. PS, Harrison:

    Aratina, neither I nor anyone sensible accepts that a claim can serve as evidence of itself without any additional buttressing.

    I guess I’m insensible by your standards, since I consider a (testimonial, in the specific instance at hand) claim for something to be more evidence for that something than no claim at all towards that something.

    Do you dispute that, unless the professor is lying, that the testimony is attested and that it amounts to the professor’s actual belief?

  412. @Richard “The King”Sanderson

    Jack Rawlinson, actually, on the Hard Left, many anti-Zionists are anti-Semites.

    Naturally, there are plenty of people who have legitimate anti-Zionist views who do not fall into anti-Semitism. These people tend to be liberals, and not the hard left, social justice warrior types.

    A trip to any university will highlight this distinction.

    Its comments like this which add weight to the FtB contention that their opponents are all right wing assholes (which is clearly untrue).

    Actually, the “hard left” is the one part of the political spectrum has consistently stood in defence of oppressed minorities such Jewish communities. There are numerous reasons for this but the fact that the “hard left” has always been chock-a-block full of secular Jewish leaders and intellectuals has probably played a role. Marx, Trotsky, Ernest Mandel, Tony cliff, Noam Chomsky, even Stephen Jay Gould, the list goes on and on.

    That you seem to consider liberals to be left wing speaks to a rather ‘anglo-saxonne’ bias. On much of continental Europe liberalism has been considered by many to be right-wing for well over a hundred years. The left has been split between various factions of socialists, communists, even a few anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists since then, although obviously the political spectrum has been moving to the right over the past 25 years.

    That you seem to consider PZ Myers on the “hard left” is a little funny for anyone familiar with actual “hard left” (e.g. Marxist) political thought. Most Marxists would consider Myers a ‘bourgeois’ liberal, specifically a left democrat. That Myers & Co. appropriate some of the methods of the hard left including demonisation and straw-manning of political opponents is beside the point. These methods are hardly unique to the “hard left” and have been employed by virtually every political movement I’ve ever read about. They shouldn’t be employed by anybody.

  413. Incidentally I just read Christine Behme’s critique of noam chomskys latest tome “the science of language” and I’m struck by the contrast between chomskys political and scientific behaviour. I don’t agree with much of chomskys politics but have always found him to be a formidable and penetrating political advocate and commentator, able to accurately summarise and polemicist against a wide variety of opponents.

    I always found some of his scientific positions a bit odd and outdated, not just his insistence upon the innateness of language but his rejection of the probability of intermediate forms and that evolution and especially natural selection was responsible for its occurrence in the first place.

    However until i read Behe’s review I did not realise the extent of his ignorance and dismissal of entire fields of research, along with his bullying of any opposition, moving his own goalposts and rewriting the rules of science for his own thesis to essentially ignore data that doesn’t fit his theory (his so called galilean style), along with attempts to make his positions unfalsifiable. Its breath taking and frankly astonishing that such a brilliant intellectual could demean himself in such a way.

    In this sense chomsky is like a mirror image of pz myers. Pzs scientific positions and polemics are largely well argued and although many attack his dismissal of the field of evolutionary psychology he has at least engaged with many of its empirical work, principles and practicioners head on. I’ve always enjoyed his posts on biology and his blog has been a good starting point for some of the debates taking place in science.

    His behaviour on on political and social issues has, as michael nugent has well documented now, been atrocious. The contrast and contradictions between the two sides of one person, even one as brilliant as chomsky is a sobering reminder of our fallibility.

  414. Michael if you cold join those two comments together I’d appreciate it, tried to write this on my phone before a lecture!

    [Okay, I’ve done that – MN]

  415. I’ve been trying to skim and ignore more of this, but Aratina has evoked a reaction with “I just saw a tweet about how our blog host said that rape victims should go to the authorities, not to bloggers. Surely that right there is a critical reason if not the primary impetus for that tweet of PZ’s about our blog host here.”

    The idea that a criminal would prefer that their crime(s) be reported to a blogger than to the police is notable mostly in that it leaves only two obvious explanations: that Aratina is not a criminal or that Aratina would fail the Sally-Anne test.

  416. Aratina Cage @424,

    @Aneris* #400

    He labelled those who also have an account on the SP forum in Michael Nugent’s comment section as a “harasser, misogynist, and rapist”. This is defamatory by default. It ceases only once PZ Myers has provided evidence for each and every person. Either he demonstrates it, or it remains defamatory.

    Yes, yes, no.

    This is not easy to follow. Aneris’ first sentence is “He labelled those who also have an account on the SP forum in Michael Nugent’s comment section as a ‘harasser, misogynist, and rapist’. ” Your “Yes” seems to indicate that you agree with this. So far, so good.

    Aneris’ second sentence is “This is defamatory by default.” Your second “yes” seems to indicate that you agree with this as well. Still so far, so good.

    Aneris’ third sentence is “It ceases only once PZ Myers has provided evidence for each and every person.” Here you respond “no”. I can see your point, but Myers still needs to provide evidence that two or more (“rapists”, plural) people who comment here and at the Slymepit have committed the crime of rape. That’s not everyone, but it is a far higher bar than any Myers has attempted to clear.

    The first two don’t even need explanation to anyone who has been paying attention since elevator gate.

    If by “the first two” you mean the terms “harassers” and “misogynists” then you are wrong. If Myers wants to claim that there are multiple people posting both here and at the Slymepit who have harassed others, he needs to prove it. Disagreeing with PZ Myers is not synonymous with harassment.

    The same goes for calling people misogynists. I have seen no evidence that anyone here hates women. As with harassment, Myers doesn’t get to redefine “misogynist” to mean “someone who disagrees with a woman I agree with.”

    The third is referring to a particular person PZ thinks is one–and to the potential others who have done the same.

    That is not what he said. You never quote Myers’ actual words in your apologetics, because that makes your rhetorical squirming too obvious. Here they are, again:

    “It’s not about what he thinks, but what he’s doing: defending & providing a haven for harassers, misogynists, and rapists.”

    “Nope. The evidence is right there: his blog commentariat is populated almost entirely by slymepitters.”

    Myers is clearly claiming that more than one of the people who comment here and at the Slymepit have committed the crime of rape. That is defamatory on it’s face.

    PZ Myers owes Michael Nugent a retraction and an apology.

  417. Gunboat:

    Its comments like this which add weight to the FtB contention that their opponents are all right wing assholes (which is clearly untrue).

    No, my comments illustrate the liberal position against the increasingly authoritarian hard left nature of the social justice warriors. There is an increasing anti-Semitism amongst the hard left. Have a listen at an “anti-Zionist” protest outside a Jewish store in London, organised and populated by SJWs, Socialist Worker Parry members, and other hard left types, and be shocked.

    Actually, the “hard left” is the one part of the political spectrum has consistently stood in defence of oppressed minorities such Jewish communities.

    No, it hasn’t. Go and take a trip to your local university. Your average student union. Your big city BDS protest. Have a close listen to the rhetoric you hear. You might think it was a far right rally. Comments about “Hitler” are never far away. These people are not liberals, and they are no representative of the classical left. They are HARD LEFT authoritarians who actually do have a habit of smearing anybody a smidgen to the right of left, or have the audacity to be a liberal, and even a brown-skinned Muslim progressive, then you are “neocons”, “right wing assholes”, “coconuts”, and all manner of things, as you correctly say.

    There are numerous reasons for this but the fact that the “hard left” has always been chock-a-block full of secular Jewish leaders and intellectuals has probably played a role.

    That does not alter the facts.

    That you seem to consider liberals to be left wing speaks to a rather ‘anglo-saxonne’ bias.

    Liberals traditionally share many of the same values as those on the left, and most liberals would class themselves as left-wing. That is why there is a distinction with the Hard Left, the “swuppie” types, the cultural Marxists, etc.

    On much of continental Europe liberalism has been considered by many to be right-wing for well over a hundred years.

    Continental Europe, driven by its insane pseudo-intellectual philosophers, has always been a little muddled in its thinking. Nobody with an ounce of intelligence considers liberalism as “right wing”. Fuck anybody who does.

    The left has been split between various factions of socialists, communists, even a few anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists since then

    Quite. The SJWs increasingly resembles those groups that you mention, ie, the Hard Left.

    although obviously the political spectrum has been moving to the right over the past 25 years.

    In the UK, politics has shifted to the centre, with all the main parties clamouring to appear as centrist and moderate as possible. In the meantime, liberalism is under increasing attack from the hard left as well the the traditional far right.

    That you seem to consider PZ Myers on the “hard left” is a little funny for anyone familiar with actual “hard left” (e.g. Marxist) political thought.

    Yes, I consider PZ Myers as increasingly “hard left”. He shares much of their rhetoric, has deserted liberal values, has began to privilege religion (Islam), and has resorted to victim blaming (Charlie Hebdo) to falsely moan about “waycism”. Ironically, Ophelia Benson is the actual liberal when it came to the CH issue. She found herself under attack from the “hard left” types at Pharyngula. In fact, Ophelia was essentially labelled as Islamophobe and a racist. As you corectly point out, being a proper liberal gets you labelled a “right wing asshole” by various stunted and corrupted minds on the authoritarian hard left/SJW realm. Let’s just get one thing straight – PZ Myers is no f***ing liberal. He’s no f***ing humanist. He is a traitor to these causes, and he heaps abuse on liberals and humanists doing GOOD WORK.

    Most Marxists would consider Myers a ‘bourgeois’ liberal, specifically a left democrat.

    Yeah, they all tear one another apart over minor differences and on certain stances. We are witnessing that happening to PZ and this Horde over the last 3-4 years.

  418. @FishCakes
    I don’t belong to any “lot” and my views are mine and mine alone.
    It surely couldn’t have escaped your notice that many people here agree with you? Since you refer to “others” who have nuanced views – I assumed that those were the people you were referring to. The Hivemind is a jab at people who see a bunch of people with similar views at FTB and say “Hivemind” but feel pleased with themselves when others express similar views.

    Even if I were to grant you that going to the police would be effectively useless (which I don’t),
    Ok – give a plausible example of what you could expect the police to find in this case that might lead them to think they could get a conviction. Assume victim is 100% correct and the police is sensitive and robust.

    Furthermore, your reasoning here depends on a false dichotomy.
    Thats not what happened. Someone approached Myers – Its not a approach police or Myers decision. He had to deal with whatever happened – as far as I know he didnt ask for it.
    Its Myers choice that we are having to deal with – which is essentially punt it to someone else(who?) or publish. You’ll notice that Myers did mention that victim didn’t want to go to the police in his post – so clearly alternates were discussed. As far as black and white goes – Here if someone approached you and you chose not to publish – I would find that understandable (while disagreeing). If someone approached Myers and he published – I find that understandable too (and agree). i.e. I find it a very subjective choice (Myers himself said it was difficult). So who is actually looking at this as black and white? me or you?

    You seem to think that by saying Myers didn’t do anything wrong – nor did he demonize [named accused] ==> All victims should goto Myers for him to publish. Which is a non-sequitur.
    It’s curious to me however you have nothing to say about victim approaching Myers and asking him to publish – A lot of the ire has focused on Myers decision to publish – Why is that?

  419. Meta Morales the OT is fundamentally and mendaciously misusing the word “testimony”, in an attempt to spin (and further derail) the discussion.

    Here are four primary definitions of the word “testimony:

    tes·ti·mo·ny (tĕs′tə-mō′nē)

    n. pl. tes·ti·mo·nies

    1a. A declaration by a witness under oath, as that given before a court or deliberative body.

    1b. All such declarations, spoken or written, offered in a legal case or deliberative hearing.

    2. Evidence in support of a fact or assertion; proof.

    3. A public declaration regarding a religious experience.

    4a. In the Bible, the stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments.

    4b. The ark containing these tablets.

    Clearly, Morales the Meta Magician is trying to imply that the “testimony” he is referring to is covered by definitions 1 and/or 2, where clearly the “testimony” he is referring to is far more accurately covered by definition 3.

    Of course, the other option is that he (and the rest of the SJW crew, for that matter) actually does believe that second and third hand anecdotal blather actually constitutes definition 2. I find it hard to imagine that level of either stupidity, illiteracy, or bizarre mental twisting to spin-and-twist hearsay into fact.

    Morales, you are a disingenuous pedant and mendacious rhetorician (or perhaps you fall somewhere and somewhat deeply into some kind of autistic and/or aspergers area — but I am no PsychLord and cannot make any such diagnosis). Anyway, like so many other SJWs, and in so many other locations wherein you comment, you are trying to spin, spin, spin the discusssion until all actual sane sense is left behind in the endless attempt to rebutt your ever-increasingly oblique (and irrelevant and off-topic) comments. Sadly, you have quite successfully suckered a number of commentors here into your trap.

  420. Deepak 453

    You said: “It’s curious to me however you have nothing to say about victim approaching Myers and asking him to publish – A lot of the ire has focused on Myers decision to publish – Why is that?”

    We’ve told you why we’re upset that PZ took the law into his own hands. Re-read what we’ve told you. (I’ve told you at least twice.)

    And it was NOT the ALLEGED victim who approached PZ. The ALLEGED victim approached Carrie Poppy who approached PZ. (What part of “alleged” don’t you understand?)

    How are you coming with warning potential victims about PZ and Lousy Canuck? Remember…by your logic, there’s a 94% chance at least one of them is guilty.

  421. “Meta Morales the OT is fundamentally and mendaciously misusing the word “testimony”, in an attempt to spin (and further derail) the discussion.”

    John, did you not consider the fact that I had in fact contemplated that very interpretation, and had preemptively precluded in earlier posts such a tautological assumption by your person? Clearly, that was understood I would think.

    “Morales, you are a disingenuous pedant”

    If I am in fact a pedant, what is it about that that makes me disingenuous? Also, your use of the parenthetical phrase in the fragment that follows this charge against me is stylistically clumsy.

    “you fall somewhere and somewhat deeply into some kind of autistic and/or aspergers area”

    Are you aware that, according to the latest DSM, Asperger’s is not a syndrome? Also, please do not derail this conversation. We are of course cogently and clearly exploring the complexities of the apparent claim that testimony was given regarding the alleged accusation by one person of interest to another person of the harboring on said person’s internet web portal purveyors of crimes of a prurient and licentious nature. I cannot make it any clearer than that.

  422. @Deepak Shetty,

    Someone approached Myers – Its not a approach police or Myers decision. He had to deal with whatever happened – as far as I know he didnt ask for it.

    This doesn’t make any sense. Any sense at all. People here have been trying to get it into your obtuse head that the alleged victim did not only have the choice between going to the police or telling it all to uncle PeeZee six years after the (alleged) fact. And how do you respond? By saying, as if it’s one of your brilliant insights, that “Its not a approach police or Myers decision.”

    One might as well try to argue with a brick. Although a brick might be better at grammar, ethics and logic.

  423. Morales:
    Also, please do not derail this conversation.

    I think I may need to borrow Welch’s laughing clip.

    Even after you accepted my request to return to the main topic, you immediately attempted to redirect. To refresh, we’re talking about the fact that Myers said Nugent defends rapists. He refused to retract or apologize. He thinks the idea of complaining about this is literally a joke.

    This is open and shut. We have Myers exact words (the meaning of the most vile one being completely unambiguous). We have the timeline.

    Aratina tries to avoid this by ignoring the actual Myers quotes, making his own narrative, and hoping nobody will notice. Deepak (who, to his credit, asked Myers to address the issue) tries desperately to redefine Myers’ words. You engage in pedantry of the most extreme sort (perhaps hoping lurker’s will get bored, skip your posts, and charitably assume you had some sort of point).

  424. Deepak Shetty:

    A lot of the ire has focused on Myers decision to publish – Why is that?

    Because he is solely responsible for what goes on his blog. Myers very clearly has an agenda around this issue and I wouldn’t take anything he says at face value anyway.

    Clearly a legal conviction is unlikely. There is no other authority besides the law that has the means to effectively investigate, which includes establishing the veracity of testimony and digging up hidden motives. Nobody else has the power to look into the backgrounds of the characters involved or obtaining additional evidence from hotel staff. The opportunity has gone. This means that no FAIR conviction of any kind is possible. That is the fault of the accuser and facilitation of the blackening of someone’s reputation without fair trial is wrong. Myers DOES NOT KNOW if Voldemort is guilty as charged.

    What happened in the case of the previous big Pharyngula vendetta where everyone just knew that the pig was guilty and bayed for blood? That’s right, when it started to look like accuser was a mentally unstable faker of evidence the commentariat found other ways to fling shit before pretending it never happened. But oh no, this time you’re sure Voldemort is guilty.

    Why are we going around and around on this issue? I suspect because the only way that Myers smears can be given a smidgeon of support is to prove that people here are defending a rapist. Nobody is defending him, just his rights which are the same ones which protect all of us .

  425. Morales:

    We are of course cogently and clearly exploring the complexities of the apparent claim that testimony was given regarding the alleged accusation by one person of interest to another person of the harboring on said person’s internet web portal purveyors of crimes of a prurient and licentious nature. I cannot make it any clearer than that.

    Others may be. You are just playing transparent word games.

  426. Give me Steersman any day. Steers seems genuinely unable to see the difference between a grain of sand and a boulder, whereas Morales is even wordier and perhaps not entirely genuine, to be charitable.

  427. Deepak,
    Sorry, I’m not interested in playing this little game where you ignore most of the counter-points being made, including the parts where your previous comments are shown to be patently absurd.

    For instance, I explained why your hypothetical about going to the police fails before it gets off the ground, and what is your response? To ignore my point and ask yet more questions about your flawed hypothetical. I pointed out how your nonsensical your suggestion was that I am arguing that context doesn’t matter and nuance is not allowed, and what was your response? You ignored it like it never happened. In fact you even
    suggested yet again that mine is a black-or-white view when I explicitly stated (multiple times) just the opposite.

    The only point you did actually try to address (about the false dichotomies) went sailing clear over your head.

    If this is the best you can muster in terms of honest dialog, you might as well save the spoons and use them on something more productive. Your mind works sufficiently differently from mine that I suspect we will never find any common ground at all.

  428. @FishCakes
    Most questions that you have raised are answered before (if not to you , then to someone else)

    To ignore my point and ask yet more questions about your flawed hypothetical
    You said
    if I were to grant you that going to the police would be effectively useless (which I don’t),
    I’m interested in the “which I don’t part” – For you to believe that going to the police isn’t useless in this case needs you to believe there is some way in which
    a. It can be proven that the victim is lying
    b. It can be proven that the victim is telling the truth.
    Im interested in knowing how you think b. could be accomplished if you restrict yourself to what has been said by victim and accused. If your response is the in general You don’t know what you might find until you look then I doubt the “honest” part of your response.

  429. Typical current example, almost too perfect. Didn’t I just explain about how the sausage gets made on FreethoughtBlogs?

    Behold and have some fun. Go check here…
    __https://twitter.com/Aneris23/status/562792276142092288

    Aneris tweets:
    @_sinisterBen @JacquesCuze @Shermertron You guys tend to be quite spammy though. Don’t do this. Only tag people who take part in the convo

    Please notice there which name is missing: that of Greg Epstein!

    I write there that some people should not include Greg Epstein in a conversation. I myself removed his name just before when I responded upstream. I don’t always do this and by default twitter wants tweets to snowball, but I personally try to be concious about it, especially when there is some back-and-forth. With that known, let’s see what happens next.

    Now let’s hop over to FreethoughtBlogs and Ophelia Benson’s manufactured reality.

    The thread is here:
    __http://web.archive.org/web/20150206001430/http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2015/02/baby-darling/

    Ophelia Benson writes: […] That’s just one thread. There were a bunch. Greg Epstein now has some idea what the harassment is like. Another:

    Greg EpsteinVerified account
    ‏@gregmepstein
    .@BlueBallSkeptic what we’re thinking awarding Anita? Feminism=central to humanism; she=brave/important; & you=blocked if only f/your handle

    Jacques Cuze ‏@JacquesCuze Feb 3
    @_sinisterBen the real problem is that @twitter is a shit UI with too few controls. @Aneris23 @Shermertron

    sinister ‏@_sinisterBen Feb 3
    @JacquesCuze @twitter @Aneris23 @Shermertron and a lot of children shouting obscenities then crying for their moms when responded to.

    Shermertron ‏@Shermertron Feb 3
    @_sinisterBen @JacquesCuze @gregmepstein @Aneris23 @BirdTerrifier Hey, it’s not as though he is a prominent Humanist (TM) with power…

    Etc etc etc
    It’s revealing, isn’t it.

    […]

    Indeed, revealing! The tweets you see there with my name are responding to my “don’t be spammy” which is curiously a part in the middle! And curiously missing. She cites Epstein’s, then omits mine, then adds the answers to my tweet and from context puts me with people she describes as harassers (and anti-feminnists).

    See how things get distorted and fudged by those great people at FreethoughtBlogs, and how they then smear with it. Astonishing.

  430. Guys, guys, you’ve been scooped … or spoofed. The last John Morales comment was not Morales, it was John Mora(less) — look at the poster name — and was a satire of Morales’s style. I too was almost caught, I must say.

  431. JetLagg

    “This is open and shut. We have Myers exact words (the meaning of the most vile one being completely unambiguous). We have the timeline.”

    It may be open but it is certainly not shut. Open, in the metaphorical, dialectical sense that a question has been repeatedly posed as to what Myers words exactly are meant to be. You maintain that you can divine his exact intent from a mere post, but you overreach greatly. I remain unconvinced that you have demonstrated the certainty of Mr. Myer’s intent, without which obviates the need for this entire discussion. Can you not ascertain this better? Je suis le cul d’un cheval, no?

    Now, if you excuse me, I am going to take another massive bong hit and put “Silent Lucidity” on repeat while I crank out another 25 posts on this topic.

  432. I think some of you have been Poe’d by “John Moral(less)” (I sure hope so!).

    Shermertron (456):

    How are you coming with warning potential victims about PZ and Lousy Canuck? Remember…by your logic, there’s a 94% chance at least one of them is guilty.

    If there’s an 8% chance that any given accusation is false, then the probability that any two given accusations are both false is (8/100) X (8/100) = 0.0064 = 0.64%.

    If there’s a 6% chance that any given accusation is false, then the probability that any two given accusations are both false is (6/100) X (6/100) = .0036 = 0.36%.

    100 – 0.64 = 99.36
    100 – 0.36 = 99.64

    So the probability that at least one of two given accusations is true would then be somewhere between 99.36% and 99.64%, yes?

  433. Deepak @464,
    So in your world, it’s perfectly normal for you to just ignore points brought up by others, while at the same time, expecting that everyone else should respond to the points you are interested in discussing? Do you do this in real life as well?

    I’ll be happy to respond to your question, but only after you can find the spoons to respond, in good faith, to those points that have already been raised and ignored by you multiple times. If you feel they have been answered elsewhere, kindly provide a link. Otherwise you aren’t entitled to any further response.

    (1) Please explain your nonsensical claim that myself and others were espousing a context-free all-or-nothing view, despite the fact that I repeatedly and explicitly stated otherwise; either defend your claim or acknowledge that you got it wrong like an adult.

    (2) Please address my point about your hypothetical not doing anything in the way of justifying or excusing PZ Myers’ handling of the situation, which is the topic most relevant to the OP; why should anyone bother indulging in your hypotheticals if they merely distract from the topic at hand?

    (3) Please address my point about there being many other options in terms of how this could have been handled by the alleged victim and by PZ Myers; and take me up on the challenge to see if you can think of any of those other options.

    (4) You tried to make the point that if people felt it was OK to repeat the allegations and naming Myers and Thibeault, they should also be OK with repeating the allegations and naming [redacted]. Please address the response that has been made multiple times by multiple people: Myers and Thibeault published their own allegations and identified themselves as the accused, whereas [redacted] did not.

  434. Guestus Aurelius 468

    I am not offended if you refine my math. Please do. I’m not a math expert. 🙂 Feel free to do so in the future, too.

    (Although I must admit that Deepak must admit that the numbers are, by his judgment, not on the side of PZ and/or Lousy Canuck’s innocence no matter how you slice them.)

    Fishcakes 470

    Yes, Deepak! Please address the questions I asked you that were refined by Guestus and reiterated by Fishcakes!

  435. Guestus Aurelius wrote: then the probability that any two given accusations are both false is […]

    However, there is no such thing as a probability that some story turns out true (or false). You can only state that from what you collected so far, that under some definition there is a portion that goes in one category, and something else goes into another category. Counterintuitively, rare events are harder to predict or not predictable at all and can strike anywhere. NN Taleb gave a good example: Each day, a nice man comes around and brings you food and he keeps you safe. You don’t worry about anything. Unfortunately, you are a turkey and next week is thanksgiving…

  436. I’m interested in the “which I don’t part” – For you to believe that going to the police isn’t useless in this case needs you to believe there is some way in which
    a. It can be proven that the victim is lying
    b. It can be proven that the victim is telling the truth.

    It’s not useless if it places an allegation on the record. You appear to be operating under the belief that the end result of any action must be establishment of the truth. The supposed victim passed up the only real opportunity for that and that does not mean that any facilitator with a grudge against Voldemort gets to do an end run around due process.

  437. Guestus Aurelius @468:

    If there’s an 8% chance that any given accusation is false, then the probability that any two given accusations are both false is (8/100) X (8/100) = 0.0064 = 0.64%.

    If there’s a 6% chance that any given accusation is false, then the probability that any two given accusations are both false is (6/100) X (6/100) = .0036 = 0.36%.

    100 – 0.64 = 99.36
    100 – 0.36 = 99.64

    This is the same thinking as earlier, where an accusation’s truth status is considered purely on the veridical level without recourse to the warrant of the accusation itself.

    (Obviously, a belief can be true even if it’s unjustified)

    Anyway, assuming a uniform distribution* and assuming that the sample size << the population size, random sampling (without or without replacement) will not change the odds of any given sample–because they are independent samples–and so I agree that the product of the probabilities will work.

    However.

    Addressing the example above, note that with two samples there are four possible results {GG,GI,IG,II}; the probability that any two given accusations are both true is (92/100) X (92/100) = 0.8464 = 84.64% and the probability that one is false and one is true is (92/100) X (8/100) X 2 = 0.0736 x 2 = 14.72%.

    * Not normally the case. 😉

  438. Charitable Theo: _youtu.be/UeZdL4ZOPnM
    Rebecca Watson explains that people who are deemed transphobic, fat shaming and even use the “c-word” — normally considered instant-misogyny — are good after all, when they happen to be her friends. That’s smoehow okay then, because reasons. Absolutely stunning. People were made a pariah for much less by the social justice faction.

    Uncharitable Theo: _freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2015/02/humanist-of-the-year/
    In a strange symmetry there is another Humanist award, and another Epstein. This wealthy man who apparently supports scientists was accused of sex with minors some years ago. Lawrence Krauss stated that the person’s he had seen looked adult and he knew nothing of the accusations. Since Krauss is a witch of the week, he cannot possibly be telling the truth and witchfinder Ophelia Benson just knows. Maybe Krauss must be thrown into a river to see if he floats. The Kommentariat just treats Krauss as if he was telling the untruth and therefore “supports” a pimp of minors. Commonality between the two cases is that Ms Watson names Lawrence Krauss in the same video, and Ms Benson refers to an earlier piece of her accusing him.

    Another connection to the topic: these people are complete loons who just bend things the way they want it, as true authoritarians they are. As we’ve seen they can even turn things 180° around. They make it so that advising that law authorities can remove a rapist from the public — rapists are statistically repeat offenders — somehow becomes rape apologistic (MN and essentially all reasonable people). But being against that, and the rapist can continue is somehow is not rape apologistic (PZ Myers and co). Having normal commenters in a comment section is “providing a haven for … rapists” (MN). Yet having an actual self-confessed rapist ad a regular, who gets supported and is actually beloved, and where excuses are made — that’s somehow not rape apologistic (PZ Myers & Flock). And this person stated he has a “monster” inside himself. Or like I posted before, you ask tweeters not to spam, but that gets cut out and you are anyway listed on a page with alleged “harassers” (itself a dubious claim for many, if not most people listed there — it’s not harassment to tweet your opinion to someone, unless done excessively).

    I have my difficulties believing this is the “real” atheist-skeptics movement.

  439. Aneris:

    I have my difficulties believing this is the “real” atheist-skeptics movement.

    “There Can Be Only One”? 😉

    <snicker>

  440. More seriously, Aneris, you refer to two factions within “the movement”, one of which wants nothing to do with the other, and the other, which wants to do little else than to oppose the first faction.

    (Me, well… I’m not an ideologue, and so belong to no faction, but that is my perception)

  441. Kirbmarc @377:

    We have a justice system that deals with punishing people found guilty of a crime. Voldemort should have the right to confront his accuser and to defend himself in a court of law. If he’s guilty then he should be punished according to the law.

    That’s a rather simplistic view.

    The moment one introduces considerations such as the likelihood of successful determination of guilt, the joint probabilities become an interesting consideration. For example, nobody would want a legal system that made it just as likely to falsely convict than to falsely acquit, right?

    Consider that the proportion of guilty in a sufficiently large population is 5%, and assume that the probability of accurately determining guilt after due investigation is 95%.

    Then, the expected outcome of a random sample of 100* people is 100 × 5% = 5 guilty people and 100 × 95% = 95 innocent people; also, of the 5 guilty, 5% will be falsely determined innocent and of the 95 innocents, 5% will be falsely determined guilty.

    So: those guilty and found guilty (5 × 95% = 4.75), those guilty and found innocent (5 × 5% = 0.25), those innocent and found innocent (95 × 95% = 90.25), and those innocent and found guilty (95 × 5% = 4.75).

    Converting those expected frequencies to conditional probabilities, it can be seen that the conditional probability of actually being guilty if found guilty is 4.75 ÷ (4.75 + 4.75) = 50%, and the conditional probability of actually being innocent if found guilty is 4.75 ÷ (4.75 + 4.75) = 50%.

    (I’m not dissing the legal system, I’m noting there are more factors to consider than the ones adduced, and that it’s not as simple as it may seem at first sight)

    * Purely a convenient number with which to work.

  442. Another terrible week for PZ Myers as he has to make amends for publishing an obvious forgery on his website. Thing is, he is blaming his “source”, and is expecting an answer from them to explain themselves.

    Makes you wonder about the credibility of some of his other “sources”, doesn’t it?

  443. Richard Sanderson @480,

    Got a link? I try not to give FtB any traffic, even with AdBlock Plus enabled.

  444. Patrick,
    _http://web.archive.org/web/20150203041551/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2015/01/18/22162/

    It looks as if the Archive site is temporarily down at the moment. That link shows the page as it was before he changed it slightly. On the 2nd of this month a commenter told PZ that it was a false image, and yesterday PZ changed the post very slightly; he changed the first sentence to read “I was sent this choice quote from Paul Elam [He denies it is his; evidence suggests that the quote below is a forgery], the ignoramus who runs A Voice for Men, and it stunned me into silence. So much wrong. So painful. Such unscientific nonsense.”

    So, he has kept the false image there and has not apologised for his post. He is behaving badly again, smearing someone and being beyond reluctant to apologise.

  445. Carrie @482,

    Thanks for the link.

    So, he has kept the false image there and has not apologised for his post. He is behaving badly again, smearing someone and being beyond reluctant to apologise.

    That appears to be the only logical explanation for keeping a demonstrated forgery up and associated with someone’s name. Myers really is utterly lacking in integrity.

  446. You’re welcome, and I agree, in my opinion also it shows a lack of integrity. The man knows how to tell others to apologise but refuses to do so himself and has been known to refuse to accept an apparently sincere apology anyway. It looks to me as if the man is just a mess who does not like to admit when he has been in the wrong.

    The archive is back up; here is the other link, to the altered post of today

    _http://web.archive.org/web/20150206000400/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2015/01/18/22162/

  447. Another terrible week for PZ Myers as he has to make amends for publishing an obvious forgery on his website. Thing is, he is blaming his “source”, and is expecting an answer from them to explain themselves.

    Makes you wonder about the credibility of some of his other “sources”, doesn’t it?

    You don’t need to wonder. He’s been found manufacturing things to rant about ,by those who bother to look, so often it’s practically the norm. Not fond of linking sources when he twists things is PZ, I wonder why.

    The elephant in the room regarding the grenade business is the complete and utter lack of any attempt at verification or contacting the accused for comment. The people who say that he was basically breaking a story as a journalist would are plain wrong. He took no steps to verify the truth of what he was forwarding.

  448. John Morales.

    (I’m not dissing the legal system, I’m noting there are more factors to consider than the ones adduced, and that it’s not as simple as it may seem at first sight)

    Are you sure your name is not Bill Dembski? The point is as simple as it seems despite your attempt to complicate it by burying it under a mountain of statistical chatter which has no relevance.

  449. @FishCakes
    Do you do this in real life as well?
    Again when half a dozen people respond to you – it is not feasible to respond to each and every point and usually multiple variations of the same things , many of which have already been answered. Real life(or face to face interactions) usually doesnt have this problem where 5 people tell you the same thing at the same time and expect you to indvidually respond to them.

    I’ll humor you this once
    (1) Please explain your nonsensical claim that myself and others were espousing a context-free all-or-nothing view, despite the fact that I repeatedly and explicitly stated otherwise;
    You have stated you don’t – you haven’t actually shown that you do. If a victim doesn’t want to go to the police and decides that they will publish say on their blog a named accusation – I say I understand that – Some commenters on this blog probably think the victim is wrong . If the victim decides to inform a third party and requests them to publish the name – i understand that too – Other commenters (and you) probably think thats wrong. If the third party chooses to publish this information (with the disclaimers that were provided) I think thats fine and in this case the right thing to do – You (and others) think that that is the most evil thing ever! people demonised! etc. If people say they understand why sometimes going to the police doesnt help(especially in cases involving rape , especially in cases that involve alcohol rather than say drugs or violence) it’s commenters here who portray this as “people are being advised to not go to the police”(that is ignoring context) – It’s commenters here who have made the claim that a legal allegation is necessary for the allegation to be treated seriously which is as all or nothing as they come. I’m not sure you have all the views above – Commenters on this site do – You haven’t as far as I know argued with them so I have assumed assent – given that you have chosen to argue with me instead. You are free to clarify your views instead of insisting that you have nuanced views while not demonstrating that you do. In each of the example above – I have atleast one more shade of grey than you do. Besides it you who started this by stating that I have a all or nothing view – and supposedly my sentence “If you feel publishing or repeating unproven allegations is bad then don’t do it.” is what caused you to believe that (I still have a hard time understanding how that statement is an all-or-nothing view).

    (2) Please address my point about your hypothetical not doing anything in the way of justifying or excusing PZ Myers’ handling of the situation, which is the topic most relevant to the OP;
    So Myers was put in this position – He did not , as far as I know ask to be put in this position. What he also did is consider alternatives to publish (like going to the police). He himself can’t goto the police – only the victim can. The victim didn’t want to – The reasons why the victim didn’t want to go to the police are then relevant – because most likely Myers agrees with those reasons ( years later it is even worse). There is nothing to justify or excuse as you think – Myers was told something – he is well within his rights to put it up on his blog as someone has told me this and is ok with me putting it up. It’s your side that has to make the case that whatever he did was really really bad. The only thing you’ll keep coming up with are hypotheticals of what if someone made up a false allegation about you?

    (3) Please address my point about there being many other options in terms of how this could have been handled by the alleged victim and by PZ Myers; and take me up on the challenge to see if you can think of any of those other options.
    Many ? I doubt that – as well as are you asking this as of the time the incident happened? or years later?
    For the alleged victim
    Police or Legal advise from professional lawyers or official media or official complaint to the organization (I believe this was also done ) or publish it herself or approach people who she thinks are friends and /or allies(and she did this). What you seem to miss is the “what are the possible motivations for the alleged victim and what did she hope to accomplish”

    For Myers?
    He could have counselled her to seek legal advice (I have no reason to believe this was not done) or see how it goes with traditional media -he did weigh the pros/cons of keeping the information to himself v/s publishing it on his blog. with 20/20 hindsight I’d say its good he published. if you asked me at the time he published (when nothing else was known) – I’d say difficult call and different people might justifiably come to different conclusions on to publish or not.

    Please address the response that has been made multiple times by multiple people: Myers and Thibeault published their own allegations and identified themselves as the accused,
    My emphasis is on “your standards or your principles”. For e.g. I can understand that someone has a principle along the lines of “I wont name names unless allegations are made officially”. Presumably someone has the principle because of the harm or “punishment” that the named accused might suffer. In which case it is hardly relevant that named accused himself came forward and described the incident. Its the spreading of the name that the principle is trying to prevent , right?
    The other defense seems to be that in other locations , commenters are willing to use the actual name for discussion and are only following Michaels rules on his blog- Admittedly this would carry weight were you to protest against Michael’s policy (And before you say it , yes his blog , his rules and the rules can be arbitrary if he wants to do that- Im not arguing against that – Im wondering why no one other than me as far as I know raised an objection when Michael started doing that).

    You probably will say I avoided / didnt answer/ missed the point or worse etc etc – but I have attempted to address whatever you said.

  450. “For example, nobody would want a legal system that made it just as likely to falsely convict than to falsely acquit, right?”

    I sure hope that no one does. It’s a well established principle of any liberal justice system that it’s better to falsely acquit more than falsely convict.

    This is why the presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of any modern justice system in a liberal society.

    “I’m not dissing the legal system, I’m noting there are more factors to consider than the ones adduced, and that it’s not as simple as it may seem at first sight)”

    This is true, and my initial comment was rather simplistic (because I walking about a specific case).

    However I think that even your model is a simplistic approximation of reality. You assume that the (known or estimated) probability of being guilty doesn’t inform the probability of being judged guilty or innocent,and so those probability can be treated as independent one from the other.

    This is hardly the case. If a crime is rare people who judge if someone is guilty of a crime have to keep that in mind, and have to require a higher standard of evidence to prove that crime. This is true, at least, in a justice system which is interested in protecting the rights of the accused.

    Let’s make another example. The proportion of guilty in a sufficiently large population is 5% but people are told to treat every accusation published on a website as true and to act accordingly.

    The people accused on that website are therefore judged as guilty in 100% of the cases.

    If we assume that the distribution of people accused of a crime on that website which are actually guilty is the same of the proportion of those guilty in general society, meaning 5%, then, the expected outcome of a random sample of 100* people accused on the website is 100 × 5% = 5 guilty people and 100 × 95% = 95 innocent people;

    Of the 5 guilty, 100% will be judged guilty. But of 95 innocents, 100% will also be judged guilty.

    So we only have those guilty and found guilty (5 × 100% = 5), and those innocent and found guilty (95 × 100% = 95).

    Converting those expected frequencies to conditional probabilities, it can be seen that the conditional probability of actually being guilty if found guilty is 5%, and the conditional probability of actually being innocent if found guilty is 95%.

    It seems to me that the method adopted by this hypothetical website is far worse that the hypothetical justice system you proposed.

  451. @Richard “The King” Sanderson #453

    You’re getting your right-wing nut-job conspiracy theories mixed up – its the “international jewish bolshevist conspiracy” you’re thinking of.

    No wait, you’re right – there is a variant called “anti-semitic commie conspiracy” (despite half of the commies being jewish in the first place). They’re everywhere you know, just go to your local university…

    Forgive me, its difficult to keep up with such baseless slanders. Hmm, perhaps you could find a home in FtB, you might have more in common than you think…

  452. Gerhard@485
    He took no steps to verify the truth of what he was forwarding.

    Or to contact Voldemort for his side. Like every attempt to defend Myers when he blatantly crosses a line, the idea that he was acting as a journalist is laughable.

  453. Lord help us, Deepak wrote this:
    I’ll humor you this once
    (1) Please explain your nonsensical claim that myself and others were espousing a context-free all-or-nothing view, despite the fact that I repeatedly and explicitly stated otherwise;
    You have stated you don’t – you haven’t actually shown that you do. If a victim doesn’t want to go to the police and decides that they will publish say on their blog a named accusation – I say I understand that – Some commenters on this blog probably think the victim is wrong . If the victim decides to inform a third party and requests them to publish the name – i understand that too – Other commenters (and you) probably think thats wrong. If the third party chooses to publish this information (with the disclaimers that were provided) I think thats fine and in this case the right thing to do – You (and others) think that that is the most evil thing ever! people demonised! etc. If people say they understand why sometimes going to the police doesnt help(especially in cases involving rape , especially in cases that involve alcohol rather than say drugs or violence) it’s commenters here who portray this as “people are being advised to not go to the police”(that is ignoring context) – It’s commenters here who have made the claim that a legal allegation is necessary for the allegation to be treated seriously which is as all or nothing as they come. I’m not sure you have all the views above – Commenters on this site do – You haven’t as far as I know argued with them so I have assumed assent – given that you have chosen to argue with me instead. You are free to clarify your views instead of insisting that you have nuanced views while not demonstrating that you do. In each of the example above – I have atleast one more shade of grey than you do. Besides it you who started this by stating that I have a all or nothing view – and supposedly my sentence “If you feel publishing or repeating unproven allegations is bad then don’t do it.” is what caused you to believe that (I still have a hard time understanding how that statement is an all-or-nothing view).

    Thanks for the humour in your first line, and referencing your last line, I also have a hard time understanding something. Well, several somethings, as it happens. Your grammar, syntax, and punctuation for a start, but I’m willing to overlook all of them if you have an argument, but there I’m confused and having a hard time as well. Let’s take your very first sentence:

    You have stated you don’t – you haven’t actually shown that you do.

    Well if one states that one doesn’t, why would one be expected to state that one does? The most charitable interpretation I can give is that you are suggesting that FishCakes hasn’t stated that he doesn’t, but you are assuming he doesn’t because he hasn’t stated that he does. Am I right? Your second sentence:

    If a victim doesn’t want to go to the police and decides that they will publish say on their blog a named accusation – I say I understand that – Some commenters on this blog probably think the victim is wrong .

    Commas are free, so do use them as you see fit. Again I shall use my Universal Translator and suggest you mean that if a victim decides he or she will not report whatever crime of which he or she is a victim, but rather, perhaps, make a blog post about the criminal, you could understand their action? And that some who comment here might not?

    This is too much bloody work! I’d love to argue with you, but I can’t argue with an incoherent position which I must attempt to interpret before responding. Neither of us will be happy, and you might end up with your hovercraft being full of eels. I promise you my nipples will not be exploding with delight or anything like it. Make a sensible argument or simply accept the rebuke from your master for trying to do so and failing.

  454. If a victim doesn’t want to go to the police and decides that they will publish say on their blog a named accusation – I say I understand that

    That is their right as presumably they know, or in some cases just think they know, if they are being truthful. They must then accept the consequences of their action in blackening reputations without due process.

    If the victim decides to inform a third party and requests them to publish the name – i understand that too

    The 3rd party has a duty, at the very least, to take reasonable steps to investigate before posting. Myers didn’t and effectively tarred Voldemort’s reputation without knowledge of the truth or even an attempt to investigate. He has a clear agenda in this.

    If people say they understand why sometimes going to the police doesnt help(especially in cases involving rape , especially in cases that involve alcohol rather than say drugs or violence)

    What do you mean by help? Help ‘punish’ someone or warn others by raising suspicion about their character? Outside of the legal system that is not a rightful objective. It leaves the accused under suspicion without recourse to a full police investigation. There are obvious reasons why this is considered a dangerous state of affairs which leaves us all in a precarious situation.

    It’s commenters here who have made the claim that a legal allegation is necessary for the allegation to be treated seriously which is as all or nothing as they come.

    Bullshit. What do you mean by “treated seriously”? Do you mean believed? Well of course you can’t reach hard conclusions without a serious legal investigation in a case like this. There’s a reason we don’t punish people, and ruining reputations is serious punishment, without due process. You are arguing for vigilantism. It isn’t about whether or not I, or anyone else, takes the allegations seriously. I have no evidenced opinion on the man’s guilt.

    The reasons why the victim didn’t want to go to the police are then relevant – because most likely Myers agrees with those reasons ( years later it is even worse). There is nothing to justify or excuse as you think – Myers was told something – he is well w