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stevestory



Posts: 8994
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2013,21:48   

I heard a few vague things about this shermer/myers/whoever dustup, but I can't find a quick rundown of what happened. Soembody help a brother out.

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10312
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2013,22:02   

Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 14 2013,21:48)
I heard a few vague things about this shermer/myers/whoever dustup, but I can't find a quick rundown of what happened. Soembody help a brother out.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyng....grenade

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
stevestory



Posts: 8994
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2013,22:16   

WHAT THE FUCK.

   
Glen Davidson



Posts: 752
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2013,23:02   

These two fill in most of the story after the "grenade" post:

Shermer's lawyers

David Silverman tweeted:

Quote
David Silverman ?@MrAtheistPants 11h

I liked a @YouTube video from @mrdeity
http://youtu.be/kMZ86PG....GVOQk?a †Mr. Deity and the Hat
View media

† †Reply
† †Retweet
† †Favorite

David Silverman ?@MrAtheistPants 11h

Mr. Deity and the Hat: http://youtu.be/kMZ86PG....6PGVOQk †See @mrdeity @ #aacon14


I list his twitter source of the youtube (at least the top one works) because Silverman is president of American Atheists. †The shots taken at Myers by Mr. Deity begin a little after the five minute mark.

Glen Davidson

--------------
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p....p

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of coincidence---ID philosophy

   
Driver



Posts: 605
Joined: June 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 14 2013,23:25   

Quote (Glen Davidson @ Aug. 15 2013,05:02)
These two fill in most of the story after the "grenade" post:

Shermer's lawyers

David Silverman tweeted:

Quote
David Silverman ?@MrAtheistPants 11h

I liked a @YouTube video from @mrdeity
http://youtu.be/kMZ86PG....GVOQk?a †Mr. Deity and the Hat
View media

† †Reply
† †Retweet
† †Favorite

David Silverman ?@MrAtheistPants 11h

Mr. Deity and the Hat: http://youtu.be/kMZ86PG....6PGVOQk †See @mrdeity @ #aacon14


I list his twitter source of the youtube (at least the top one works) because Silverman is president of American Atheists. †The shots taken at Myers by Mr. Deity begin a little after the five minute mark.

Glen Davidson

Brian Dalton should know better than to present false equivalences. Rape is not an extraordinary claim, let alone a miraculous one! Idiot.

Is he also implying that PZ made it all up? To what end?

Myers is not trying to get Shermer convicted. Also pretty sure he would have known that if he gets sued, he will almost certainly lose.

With his "personal responsibility" remark, what is Dalton saying? It is okay to have sex with women who are too drunk to consent? Women shouldn't drink at all? Both?

Contrary to received wisdom, women do not generally lie about rape and sexual assault.

--------------
Why would I concern myself with evidence, when IMO "evidence" is only the mind arranging thought and matter to support what one already wishes to believe? - William J Murray

It is high time we clarified our thinking. - Kairos Focus

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3592
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,03:36   

Of course it's not all right to have sex with a woman who is too drunk to give informed consent.

It is also perfectly legal to stroll down any street in any neighborhood on any Saturday night.

There are laws and there are rules of decency. There's also common sense.

I asked my wife about this. Her question was what did she expect? If the accusation is true then Shermer is a pig, †but it's not surprising †that such men exist. A good chunk of literature is devoted to what happens when you mix men, †women and alcohol.

Edit to add:
I'm not blaming the victim, but I think it's fair to point out that bad people exist; preditors are over-represented among alpha males and celebrities; this is well known and frequently in the news; and finally, it is possible for a bad person and a foolish person to occupy the same room at the same time.

Edited by midwifetoad on Aug. 15 2013,04:56

--------------
Ēletís not make a joke of ourselves.Ē

Pat Robertson

  
Driver



Posts: 605
Joined: June 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,07:33   

Quote (midwifetoad @ Aug. 15 2013,09:36)
Of course it's not all right to have sex with a woman who is too drunk to give informed consent.

It is also perfectly legal to stroll down any street in any neighborhood on any Saturday night.

There are laws and there are rules of decency. There's also common sense.

I asked my wife about this. Her question was what did she expect? If the accusation is true then Shermer is a pig, †but it's not surprising †that such men exist. A good chunk of literature is devoted to what happens when you mix men, †women and alcohol.

Edit to add:
I'm not blaming the victim, but I think it's fair to point out that bad people exist; preditors are over-represented among alpha males and celebrities; this is well known and frequently in the news; and finally, it is possible for a bad person and a foolish person to occupy the same room at the same time.

What you are saying is that men can party but women can't. This is not the right way to go about things.

This is not about being alone on a street. We are talking about TAM, Skepticon etc.

Anyway, the anecdote related was not about getting deliberately blind drunk. It's not that hard to get someone more drunk than they intended when they have had a couple of glasses, especially if you have the status advantage.

But most important of all, a victim's choices are NOT the point. To see this, think of anyone who commented on a murder or non-sexual assault charge with criticism of the victim's intoxication level. Irrelevant victim blaming isn't it?

Dalton's segment was highly inappropriate.

--------------
Why would I concern myself with evidence, when IMO "evidence" is only the mind arranging thought and matter to support what one already wishes to believe? - William J Murray

It is high time we clarified our thinking. - Kairos Focus

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3335
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,08:15   

Regardless of the truth or untruth of the event... it is being handled very, very badly.

I have seen people's careers destroyed because of claims like this. This includes the victim and the accused.

First we have to consider the source of the claim... oh wait, we can't because there isn't one.  Second we should consider the evidence of the claim, oh wait, there isn't any.  Third, we should consider the person reporting the claim, because we can't do anything else... and the person reporting the claim is known for being a shock jock and drama promoter.

Now, I don't know what happened in the original event.  Myer doesn't know what happened.  The only two people who know what happened are the ones being accused and the one doing the talking to Myer (if such a person even exists).

These things need to be handled very carefully.  Not just for the victim, but for the accused as well.  

As  a small culture, we should be promoting responsible methods of reporting such incidents... immediately.  We should be promoting a social culture of dealing with the situation, making sure that victims get the support that they need and that perpetrators get the support or punishment (as required) that they need.

My previous comment on the subject was that Myer has well and truly stuck his foot in his mouth and that's still true.  He's interfering in a legal situation and should have realized that legal action might have been taken.  

In my opinion (that and $4.50 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks) is that Myer, instead of naming names and promoting this drama, should be promoting the development of personal responsibility and support within his culture.  He doesn't do that because, (again, in my opinion) that doesn't generate blog hits.  

So far, in the past week, I've seen no fewer than 9 accusations against Shermer, several against Lawrence Krauss, and a list of names of prominent atheists and skeptics who (it was claimed) all had been accused of sexual harassment.  Maybe it's all true.  Maybe none of it is.  Maybe some of it is.  No one knows.  The accuser is never named.  The accused never gets a chance to comment (which would just feed the flames anyway).  And NONE of these claims have been substantiated in any way, shape or form that I'm aware of.

There's two fundamentally different issues here.

The first is sexual harassment and rape.  These are wrong.  

The second is the handling of claims and accusations by certain people within the atheist/skepticism community.  THIS (and only this) is the area that I'm talking about.

OK, I'm done.  If you have evidence and logical arguments, you may very well change my mind about certain things.

--------------
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
Patrick



Posts: 559
Joined: July 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,08:20   

Quote (Driver @ Aug. 15 2013,08:33)
 
Quote (midwifetoad @ Aug. 15 2013,09:36)
Of course it's not all right to have sex with a woman who is too drunk to give informed consent.

It is also perfectly legal to stroll down any street in any neighborhood on any Saturday night.

There are laws and there are rules of decency. There's also common sense.

I asked my wife about this. Her question was what did she expect? If the accusation is true then Shermer is a pig, †but it's not surprising †that such men exist. A good chunk of literature is devoted to what happens when you mix men, †women and alcohol.

Edit to add:
I'm not blaming the victim, but I think it's fair to point out that bad people exist; preditors are over-represented among alpha males and celebrities; this is well known and frequently in the news; and finally, it is possible for a bad person and a foolish person to occupy the same room at the same time.

What you are saying is that men can party but women can't. This is not the right way to go about things.


No, he's making the point that, while burglars are responsible for robberies, leaving your doors unlocked is still unwise.

 
Quote
This is not about being alone on a street. We are talking about TAM, Skepticon etc.

Allegedly about those conferences. †Thus far no evidence has been presented.

 
Quote
Anyway, the anecdote related was not about getting deliberately blind drunk. It's not that hard to get someone more drunk than they intended when they have had a couple of glasses, especially if you have the status advantage.

Which is why it is important to know your limits and your intentions before deliberately impairing your own judgement.

Note that I am not blaming the victim of non-consensual sex. †If someone commits that crime, they should be punished severely. †This is advice for avoiding the situation in the first place. †In an ideal world, there would be no risk of that happening. †We don't live in that world.
Quote
But most important of all, a victim's choices are NOT the point. To see this, think of anyone who commented on a murder or non-sexual assault charge with criticism of the victim's intoxication level. Irrelevant victim blaming isn't it?

Dalton's segment was highly inappropriate.

You are ignoring Dalton's other key point. †PZ Myers publicly accused Michael Shermer of rape based on second or third hand hearsay. †Myer's blog is popular enough that this accusation will be returned in Google searches for Shermer. †This kind of accusation is legally defamation per se.

Dalton is noting that the so-called skeptics at Pharyngula are accepting those claims without any evidence.

  
Kattarina98



Posts: 1255
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,10:27   

On the Bathroom Wall, cubist posted a link to Greta Christina's blog entry in which she discusses the situation.

I know you will eat me alive, but for once, I think she's 100% right.

--------------
Barry Arrington is a bitch.

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3335
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,10:50   

Quote (Kattarina98 @ Aug. 15 2013,10:27)
On the Bathroom Wall, cubist posted a link to Greta Christina's blog entry in which she discusses the situation.

I know you will eat me alive, but for once, I think she's 100% right.

I don't know.  In a normal situation, then I would agree.  But (in my opinion) anything dealing with FtB is not normal.

To be perfectly honest, if Myer, Laden, and Mcreight all told me it was raining... I would still go check.

It's not the events that I'm having a problem with.  I don't know what happened with Schermer and Krauss or any of the others.  It's the reporting of accusations in a very public way by a group of people who claim to have anonymous sources and who have been (in my opinion) less than honest about other events.

With the volume of people who support FtB, it would be almost child's play to destroy someone's career on totally made up statements.

I admit to having a bit on confirmation bias here, but it is also my firm belief that is Shermer had accused PZ of rape then the FtB crowd would be demanding extensive evidence.

A think that Greta is conflating two things.  The first is that yes, harassment and rape are unfortunately common and that if there are a lot of people accusing someone, then it may be more likely to be true.  The other is that publicly accusing people in this manner, regardless of the truth of the issue, is OK and should be done.  

The first is good, the second is not.

--------------
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
socle



Posts: 284
Joined: July 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,10:51   

Quote (Kattarina98 @ Aug. 15 2013,10:27)
On the Bathroom Wall, cubist posted a link to Greta Christina's blog entry in which she discusses the situation.

I know you will eat me alive, but for once, I think she's 100% right.

I 100% agree, FWIW.

  
JohnW



Posts: 2296
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,11:18   

Quote (Kattarina98 @ Aug. 15 2013,08:27)
On the Bathroom Wall, cubist posted a link to Greta Christina's blog entry in which she discusses the situation.

I know you will eat me alive, but for once, I think she's 100% right.

No eating here, K.  I agree with you.

--------------
Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it.
- Robert Byers

  
fnxtr



Posts: 2154
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,11:31   

Quote (Kattarina98 @ Aug. 15 2013,08:27)
On the Bathroom Wall, cubist posted a link to Greta Christina's blog entry in which she discusses the situation.

I know you will eat me alive, but for once, I think she's 100% right.

I guess this would be the wrong time to make rude responses to "eat me alive".

I just read it. I also think she's pretty much spot-on. If it walks like a douche, et cetera.

--------------
"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
Kattarina98



Posts: 1255
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,11:47   

Quote (fnxtr @ Aug. 15 2013,18:31)
Quote (Kattarina98 @ Aug. 15 2013,08:27)
On the Bathroom Wall, cubist posted a link to Greta Christina's blog entry in which she discusses the situation.

I know you will eat me alive, but for once, I think she's 100% right.

I guess this would be the wrong time to make rude responses to "eat me alive".

I just read it. I also think she's pretty much spot-on. If it walks like a douche, et cetera.

Hehe, I realised what I had done as soon as I had posted it. But I was too lazy to edit.

--------------
Barry Arrington is a bitch.

  
Patrick



Posts: 559
Joined: July 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,13:45   

Quote (Kattarina98 @ Aug. 15 2013,11:27)
On the Bathroom Wall, cubist posted a link to Greta Christina's blog entry in which she discusses the situation.

I know you will eat me alive, but for once, I think she's 100% right.

I agree with her that reporting rape stigmatizes the victim.  That needs to change.

I don't believe she refutes the "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" response (which I haven't actually read anyone use in this case).  While sexual assault is unfortunately common, sexual assault by a particular male is not.

And while I might even give some credibility to her multiple witnesses argument, all of the "witnesses" are anonymous in this case.

PZ screwed up.

  
BillB



Posts: 373
Joined: Aug. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,14:00   

Quote (Kattarina98 @ Aug. 15 2013,16:27)
On the Bathroom Wall, cubist posted a link to Greta Christina's blog entry in which she discusses the situation.

I know you will eat me alive, but for once, I think she's 100% right.

I agree.

  
BillB



Posts: 373
Joined: Aug. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,15:05   

Quote
what did she expect?


What should she expect.

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3592
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,18:33   

The degree of skepticism should be proportional to the consequences of being wrong.

http://www.innocenceproject.org/know.......=38&y=4

Edit to fix

Edited by midwifetoad on Aug. 15 2013,18:36

--------------
Ēletís not make a joke of ourselves.Ē

Pat Robertson

  
RDK



Posts: 229
Joined: Aug. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,22:13   

PZ was wrong in the way he went about it.

It's kind of sad to see how low-quality Pharyngula has become over the years. †If the comments section on his latest "grenade" debacle are indicative of his blog's fanbase, the kind of feminists and social justice warriors he's attracted are many orders of magnitude worse than the nutcases at Uncommon Descent. †Full of people who don't understand law, consent, or even how to form a logical thought properly.

The biggest problem seems to be inability to understand that advising people to be safe when alcohol is involved is not the same as "blaming" the victim, if the victim even exists in this case. †Nobody can stop a rape from happening but the rapist, but at the same time the world is a scary place so to not take precaution opens yourself up for some pretty nasty things to happen to you.

It's like getting into a car without having a seatbelt on and then acting indignant when some asshole crashes into you and you go flying through the windshield. †No shit the other guy should have been a better driver, but you also didn't take a necessary precaution. †This is the real world we live in, not fantasy feminism land.

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Doc Bill



Posts: 1006
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2013,23:13   

I agree, RDK.

I hardly go over to Pharyngula these days.  PZ seems more interested in being the Big Bad Alpha Atheist rather than a scientist and it's all an ego trip for him.

Every time I hear him speak I cringe at his inability to present a coherent idea.  Compare the brilliant clarity of Hitchens to the fumbling oatmeal mush of PZ.  

I think PZ peaked about 10 years ago and is in a slow decline to irrelevance.  Too bad, really.  There was a time he could spark a discussion, but not any more.

  
Kattarina98



Posts: 1255
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2013,01:42   

Quote (RDK @ Aug. 16 2013,05:13)
PZ was wrong in the way he went about it.

It's kind of sad to see how low-quality Pharyngula has become over the years. †If the comments section on his latest "grenade" debacle are indicative of his blog's fanbase, the kind of feminists and social justice warriors he's attracted are many orders of magnitude worse than the nutcases at Uncommon Descent. †Full of people who don't understand law, consent, or even how to form a logical thought properly.

The biggest problem seems to be inability to understand that advising people to be safe when alcohol is involved is not the same as "blaming" the victim, if the victim even exists in this case. †Nobody can stop a rape from happening but the rapist, but at the same time the world is a scary place so to not take precaution opens yourself up for some pretty nasty things to happen to you.

It's like getting into a car without having a seatbelt on and then acting indignant when some asshole crashes into you and you go flying through the windshield. †No shit the other guy should have been a better driver, but you also didn't take a necessary precaution. †This is the real world we live in, not fantasy feminism land.

Well said.

Just my two cents about teaching the youngsters that the world is a scary place:

For more than a decade - starting at university - I was politically active. My experience is that although generally young females might be wary of predators, they don't expect that behaviour from their comrades-in-arms, especially not from an admired celebrity. They are the good guys, right? So the girls are way too trusting, and deeply traumatised when they are assaulted, maybe more so than it would have happened with a complete stranger.

--------------
Barry Arrington is a bitch.

  
Driver



Posts: 605
Joined: June 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2013,04:19   

Quote (Patrick @ Aug. 15 2013,14:20)
Quote (Driver @ Aug. 15 2013,08:33)
Quote (midwifetoad @ Aug. 15 2013,09:36)
Of course it's not all right to have sex with a woman who is too drunk to give informed consent.

It is also perfectly legal to stroll down any street in any neighborhood on any Saturday night.

There are laws and there are rules of decency. There's also common sense.

I asked my wife about this. Her question was what did she expect? If the accusation is true then Shermer is a pig, †but it's not surprising †that such men exist. A good chunk of literature is devoted to what happens when you mix men, †women and alcohol.

Edit to add:
I'm not blaming the victim, but I think it's fair to point out that bad people exist; preditors are over-represented among alpha males and celebrities; this is well known and frequently in the news; and finally, it is possible for a bad person and a foolish person to occupy the same room at the same time.

What you are saying is that men can party but women can't. This is not the right way to go about things.


No, he's making the point that, while burglars are responsible for robberies, leaving your doors unlocked is still unwise.

Quote
This is not about being alone on a street. We are talking about TAM, Skepticon etc.

Allegedly about those conferences. †Thus far no evidence has been presented.

Quote
Anyway, the anecdote related was not about getting deliberately blind drunk. It's not that hard to get someone more drunk than they intended when they have had a couple of glasses, especially if you have the status advantage.

Which is why it is important to know your limits and your intentions before deliberately impairing your own judgement.

Note that I am not blaming the victim of non-consensual sex. †If someone commits that crime, they should be punished severely. †This is advice for avoiding the situation in the first place. †In an ideal world, there would be no risk of that happening. †We don't live in that world.
 
Quote
But most important of all, a victim's choices are NOT the point. To see this, think of anyone who commented on a murder or non-sexual assault charge with criticism of the victim's intoxication level. Irrelevant victim blaming isn't it?

Dalton's segment was highly inappropriate.

You are ignoring Dalton's other key point. †PZ Myers publicly accused Michael Shermer of rape based on second or third hand hearsay. †Myer's blog is popular enough that this accusation will be returned in Google searches for Shermer. †This kind of accusation is legally defamation per se.

Dalton is noting that the so-called skeptics at Pharyngula are accepting those claims without any evidence.

I am not ignoring his point about the sources. I disagree with it, but what I AM saying is that his response was highly inappropriate.

Whenever it comes to any other type of assault, people's first response is not to speculate on what the victim might have done to facilitate the attack. Think about that. We don't do this for any other crime, I don't think, let alone assault.

I already said that Dalton's comparison to the Gospels is stupid, but if it were not his response would STILL have been highly inappropriate.

Myers' source is not hearsay, this is corroborated testimony by women he knows personally. Now you can argue that to us it is hearsay, but... really? PZ Myers is making it up? Do you really believe that?

This is not completely news about Shermer, btw, and I see no reason to be skeptical about a woman's corroborated claim that she was raped. Most accounts of rape are not lies.

Myers' decision was not about court standards of evidence and conviction, but about warning women to avoid a man who already had some reputation amongst quite a few skeptic conference-attending women as a predator, operating in a world where we have good evidence that a microculture of assault (including rape) and rape apology already exists. See Karen Stollznow and Ashley Paramore.

--------------
Why would I concern myself with evidence, when IMO "evidence" is only the mind arranging thought and matter to support what one already wishes to believe? - William J Murray

It is high time we clarified our thinking. - Kairos Focus

  
Driver



Posts: 605
Joined: June 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2013,04:24   

Quote (Patrick @ Aug. 15 2013,14:20)
Quote (Driver @ Aug. 15 2013,08:33)
Quote (midwifetoad @ Aug. 15 2013,09:36)
Of course it's not all right to have sex with a woman who is too drunk to give informed consent.

It is also perfectly legal to stroll down any street in any neighborhood on any Saturday night.

There are laws and there are rules of decency. There's also common sense.

I asked my wife about this. Her question was what did she expect? If the accusation is true then Shermer is a pig, †but it's not surprising †that such men exist. A good chunk of literature is devoted to what happens when you mix men, †women and alcohol.

Edit to add:
I'm not blaming the victim, but I think it's fair to point out that bad people exist; preditors are over-represented among alpha males and celebrities; this is well known and frequently in the news; and finally, it is possible for a bad person and a foolish person to occupy the same room at the same time.

What you are saying is that men can party but women can't. This is not the right way to go about things.


No, he's making the point that, while burglars are responsible for robberies, leaving your doors unlocked is still unwise.

Where "leaving your doors unlocked" is drinking wine at a conference.

--------------
Why would I concern myself with evidence, when IMO "evidence" is only the mind arranging thought and matter to support what one already wishes to believe? - William J Murray

It is high time we clarified our thinking. - Kairos Focus

  
Driver



Posts: 605
Joined: June 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2013,04:31   

You know what is most wrong about this "if only she had not done X" stuff? It helps perpetuate the perception that women can always avoid rape if they are "sensible". This is patent bullshit.

--------------
Why would I concern myself with evidence, when IMO "evidence" is only the mind arranging thought and matter to support what one already wishes to believe? - William J Murray

It is high time we clarified our thinking. - Kairos Focus

  
Quack



Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2013,04:32   

This case brings New York vs. Strauss-Kahn to mind.

--------------
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself ‚ÄĒ and you are the easiest person to fool.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†         Richard Feynman

  
Patrick



Posts: 559
Joined: July 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2013,08:27   

Quote (Driver @ Aug. 16 2013,05:19)
Whenever it comes to any other type of assault, people's first response is not to speculate on what the victim might have done to facilitate the attack. Think about that. We don't do this for any other crime, I don't think, let alone assault.


There are public service announcements here on the east coast warning people not to leave their cars unlocked or the keys in them.

When my teenagers go into the city, both their mother and I give them (no doubt too long) lectures about how to take responsibility for their own safety.

This is not specific to any particular type of crime.

Quote
Myers' source is not hearsay, this is corroborated testimony by women he knows personally. Now you can argue that to us it is hearsay, but... really? PZ Myers is making it up? Do you really believe that?


There's no way of knowing that. †Some of the material quoted in the cease and desist letter suggests that Myers got the information from a friend-of-a-friend, other statements suggest it was from someone he knows personally. †In either case it is hearsay.

And while I don't believe that Myers is necessarily making it up out of whole cloth, nothing in his behavior over the past few years suggests to me that he can be trusted not to respond with hyperbole.

Quote
This is not completely news about Shermer, btw, and I see no reason to be skeptical about a woman's corroborated claim that she was raped. Most accounts of rape are not lies.


You are treading dangerously close to libel yourself here. †The issue isn't about "most accounts of rape", it's about posting anonymous defamatory claims in a public forum.

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Myers' decision was not about court standards of evidence and conviction, but about warning women to avoid a man who already had some reputation amongst quite a few skeptic conference-attending women as a predator, operating in a world where we have good evidence that a microculture of assault (including rape) and rape apology already exists. See Karen Stollznow and Ashley Paramore.

Leaving aside whether or not skeptic conferences are more or less safe for women than any other venue, the fact that Myers blog isn't a court of law does not excuse his behavior. †If Shermer really did what was claimed, I'll volunteer to help nail his testicles to a wall. †Until that's proven, though, anonymous hearsay is defamatory libel.

Do you really want to live under a justice system that allows anyone to be subject to these potentially life-destroying accusations, without evidence or recourse?

Edited by Patrick on Aug. 16 2013,09:28

  
Patrick



Posts: 559
Joined: July 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2013,08:30   

Quote (Driver @ Aug. 16 2013,05:31)
You know what is most wrong about this "if only she had not done X" stuff? It helps perpetuate the perception that women can always avoid rape if they are "sensible". This is patent bullshit.

It's a good thing no one that I've seen in this discussion is saying that, then.

There's a difference between "The world can be a dangerous place -- here are some ways to protect yourself." and "Do this or you're responsible for the actions of evil people."

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3335
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2013,08:50   

Regardless of the truth or not of the claim... Shermer is now basically untouchable.  Even if he is fully exonerated and FtB is shut down due to legal action... I don't know how Shermer's reputation and activities can survive this.

I know people who have had this happen to them.  No evidence, no trial, no nothing.  Just an assumption of guilt and boom... no career, no wife, nothing.  It's all gone.  For a claim that may or may not have been real.  No one knows, nearly 20 years later, whether he was involved in a sexual assault or not because it never went to trial and no evidence was ever presented.

PZ has basically destroyed Shermer... in just a few paragraphs.

So far, I have seen two types of people arguing about this incident.  One the one hand are the people who assume that Shermer is guilty.  On the other hand are people who want to see evidence that he is guilty.

If PZ had said "Shermer is a murderer", then people would have laughed it off... demanded to see evidence... then ignored it when none was forthcoming.

Sexual assault/rape is fundamentally different from other crimes though.  Half the people seem to think that the victim is always telling the truth and half seem to think that the victim is lying.  There doesn't seem to be an 'innocent until proven guilty' status for sexual assault.

Of course, in this case, we don't know because we have no idea who the victim is.  We don't know when this happened.  We don't know where it happened.  All we have is a claim by PZ.

PZ doesn't like Shermer.  We know that.  PZ could be making this up.  PZ could believe the person, but that person is making it up.  There really could have been an assault.  Heck, the woman could have willingly said yes, but then regretted it in the morning.  No one knows (and we'll likely never know).

What we do know is that PZ's actions have likely destroyed the reputation of someone... without evidence.  Maybe PZ does have evidence, he just chose not to post it.  But if there was evidence... then he should have gone to the authorities and encouraged his friend (or friend of a friend) to go to the authorities.



BTW: All this stuff probably needs to get moved the BW.

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Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
midwifetoad



Posts: 3592
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2013,12:24   

I assume she is telling the truth from her point of view, and I assume it is not acceptable to have sex with someone too drunk to resist.

I differ for the woman and from PZ in that I also don't think it is acceptable to get too drunk to protect oneself in public. It just isn't acceptable. I have no sympathy for drunk drivers and I don't like being with people who are drunk. Never have. and this is one of the reasons. People think they are excused from the consequences.

I note that she didn't mention alcohol. I wonder why.

I can accept being wrong in this case if I am wrong. But the  common M.O. in the auxiliary accusations seem to involve alcohol.

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Ēletís not make a joke of ourselves.Ē

Pat Robertson

  
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