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fnxtr



Posts: 2109
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 24 2011,14:09   

Quote (Louis @ Nov. 24 2011,09:53)
Quote (fnxtr @ Nov. 24 2011,16:08)
[SNIP]

?

So, it has to be a text, but not necessarily a Christian text.

Like I said, arbitrary.  

The OED is descriptive, not prescriptive. People are gonna use words any way they want. I'm not happy with the way the latest generation uses "gay", and I fight it when I can, but there you are.

No letter to The Times from me.

It's no more arbitrary than any other word or term.

Once quick thing, Wesley kindly reminded me I erred, in Christianity "fundamentalist" comes more from the adherence to five fundamental principles of Christianity than any specific reading of any text. The literalism/specific readings comes into it, but that's not the biggest or original bit. The same question remains however, what fundamentals are these atheists sticking to? Considering Christians are also atheists, as are Muslims, Jews, Sikhs etc etc etc I think you'll find that the definition needs so much stretching that it breaks.

Anyway, yes language evolves. So? I don't think the distance between "fundamentalist" as "someone who adheres to the fundamentals of X" and "frothing lunatic fanatic nutbar" or whatever is sufficient. Especially, contra "gay", the original meaning is still in majority use. Wesley suggested "Evangelical Atheist" due to the "for the shared property of not being satisfied to leave another party with the same beliefs that they started with". Now that is a bloody good way of phrasing it, even if I would prefer another word to Evangelical. At least it confers the right connotations. It even maintains the rhetorical punch.

One doesn't simply Humpty Dumpty-esque get to define words as one wishes and maintain clarity. Whilst language evolves the use of words with reasonably shared definitions is what permits good communication. What Greta (and I) is saying is that as a descriptor "fundamentalist" is a crap one. It implies, falsely, an equivalence of opposed positions that the middle ground would be preferable to. I.e. that between "fundamentalist religionists" and "fundamentalist atheists" there exists some median point at which the right answer lies. It's false balance.

Consider the phrase "fundamentalist a-Santaists", i.e. fundamentalist people who do not believe in Santa. It's an absurdity. Likewise "fundamentalist atheist". The only reason this isn't considered so is simply because we are swimming through a religiously privileged sea, we are used to accommodating and apologising for religious privilege. And I do mean WE. I do it too. (Just so Carlson doesn't get his fee-fees hurt again, I can do that directly, I don't need hints).

Louis

Well put.

I think, maybe, that the distance between "someone who adheres to the fundamentals of X" and "frothing lunatic fanatic nutbar" depends on where you're standing.

True, no-one flies airplanes into buildings in the name of godlessness. So far.

Anyway, I'm not about to go frothing lunatic fanatic nutbar on this particular issue. :-)

--------------
"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: Nov. 24 2011,14:33   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 24 2011,12:06)
Vis Pharyngula, I just want to know why there's a little guy pantomiming a uterus and fallopian tubes pasted atop every quoted passage. What's up with that?

It introduces a tard quote and refers to a Monty Python sketch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v....related

I hope this is what you meant.

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

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 24 2011,16:58   

Just spent a couple of days in Montpellier with Ali for a Pain Of Salvation/Opeth concert. Good show, crappy concert. Full of students very noisy and not caring about the performance at all.

Still, I was so happy to be home and get to read the new stuff here at AtBC.

Not so much anymore.

I'll get back to my old peanut gallery postings for a while...

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 24 2011,18:18   

Quote (Louis @ Nov. 24 2011,09:49)
...

The evidence I have of your shitty ally status is this: your own words. You frequently (and are doing so again here) mock people with legitimate complaints against the discriminatory status quo. I'm not outraged at the gelato guy's sign (nice straw man), I'm outraged that any such thing is apologised for in a civil society. Are you so soaked in apologising for oppression that you cannot see this tiny insignificant incident is a part of a greater pattern?



Louis...

Sticking with just the sign thing, how do you consider this as part of a discriminatory status quo (if you do)?

Personally, I see it as a hot blooded reaction to a perceived personal attack. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

  
Cubist



Posts: 349
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 24 2011,18:25   

Quote (BWE @ Nov. 24 2011,13:48)
 
Quote (Cubist @ Nov. 24 2011,03:50)
What's the point of your Post Atheist movement, BWE? I might be persuaded to sign on, depending on what it is and what it's intended to do. At present, all I can make out is that it's just a "no Pharynguloids allowed" club, and if I'm right about that, please count me out. But if I'm wrong about your Post Atheism movement, could'ja please clue me in on what its actual goals & etc are?

Yes. You are wrong and i will flesh it out on friday or maybe tonight. i remember to respond directly to this post. And thanks.

Coolness. I gotta say, my expectations are not high; your explicitly-stated Fallwell has been dead for quite a while now, Dover school board lost, The Discovery Institute authors can't sell enough books to fill a wagon any more, religion makes people do stupid things, so does atheism 'mantra' does not inspire confidence. I mean, sure, Falwell's dead, but the USAn political system is still full to the brim with godbots & people who shamelessly pander to godbots; Dover was a win for the good guys, but the bad guys just keep on tryna cripple science education; etc etc etc; and your 'mantra' carries real heavy connotations of it's all good, don't worry be happy, can't we all just get along. That's one almighty big and thick pair of rose-colored glasses you're wearing, y' know? So... let's just say that the omens are not even mildly auspicious.
Nevertheless, I'm perfectly willing to give you a chance to demonstrate that you've got more on your mind than just demonizing Pharyngula and minimizing/ignoring the very real problems atheists face in the current culture.

  
BWE



Posts: 1896
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 24 2011,18:29   

Re: louis' request for the atheist bible.

Most of it can be found on pharyngula. If you would like to see it printed, hit ctrl+p.

Here's the deal, when there is a them, the path toward an us leads to a set of absolutes. Oz has made it disengenuous to try to maintain that atheism is not avpositive doctrinr. Now atheism means that atheists are a group that can be oppressed rather than a simple statement of rwjection of theist doctrine. Now, the church of atheism is actively trying to supplant the church or theisms doctrines with new ones rather than simplyrejecting the old ines.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 24 2011,18:33   

Quote (BWE @ Nov. 24 2011,18:29)
Re: louis' request for the atheist bible.

Most of it can be found on pharyngula. If you would like to see it printed, hit ctrl+p.

Here's the deal, when there is a them, the path toward an us leads to a set of absolutes. Oz has made it disengenuous to try to maintain that atheism is not avpositive doctrinr. Now atheism means that atheists are a group that can be oppressed rather than a simple statement of rwjection of theist doctrine. Now, the church of atheism is actively trying to supplant the church or theisms doctrines with new ones rather than simplyrejecting the old ines.

I don't think that I agree with that, unless you think that atheism is a movement with thought leaders/designators.

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 24 2011,19:13   

You know what, Louis, I could respond at length, but it all boils down to just a few responses.

     
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 24 2011,10:23)
The reason I disagree with you is because I disagree with your content free whining about genuine matters of serious principle. You, and people like you are shitty allies.

The fact that you can't or won't figure it out doesn't mean it is content free. It should be abundantly clear what I am trying to say. You seem willfully intent in not understanding it.
     
Quote
In exactly the manner MLK describes you are as much of a roadblock to a more equitable society as the genuine bigots.

You tried to call me a misogynist before:
     
Quote
So just like those uppity women you don't like expressing feminism that questions your privilege and upsetting the applecart

...only to backpedal with a "Jeesh, don't be so sensitive. when I said 'you', I didn't really mean *you*." This is the same thing here. You know nothing about me, how I have conducted myself throughout my life, or what I may have done to advance or impede the cause of equality.  But, I have criticized PZ and that is apparently sufficient to brand me a traitor to all humanity.  

     
Quote
PZ probably has monetised his anger. And? Does this mean any specific thing he says is incorrect?
.......
And yet your complaint is with the medium, the messenger not with the actual substance. You cannot criticise the message so you go after the messenger. Yet more data in favour of the "shitty ally hypothesis".

You have managed to almost be correct here. Blind pigs, truffles and all that.

I have no problem at all if PZ makes some bucks off of this.  Why should Bill Donohue and Rev. Al Sharpton be the only ones making victimhood a career move?  But, let's not kid ourselves as to his righteousness.

There are plenty of things that could have been done after GG's boneheaded move.  They could have organized a sit-in at the the guy's shop. They could have confronted the guy in person, they could have dispatched a conference organizer to deal with the guy.  Or they could snuggle in next to their Dell and blog about it!  

Then when the guy prostrates himself publicly and offers a personal apology, how does PZ respond?
     
Quote
     
Quote
   Apology not accepted. What I see in you is a person who hates me for not believing in the nonsense of your religion; while you may now be in a panic because your actions were unethical and illegal, and you were caught out, and face economic consequences for them, I don’t see any sign that your attitudes have changed in the slightest.

   You’ll just have to live with the fact that I won’t be buying your ice cream on the rare occasions I visit your town, while I have to live with the fact that I live in a country where my rejection of your religion makes me a pariah. There’s absolutely nothing you can do to make up for that.

......
I don’t give a good goddamn what they say, I care about what they do. And until 150 million Christians rise up and show some respect for common humanity and reason, and apologize to me and every godless citizen in this country, I will not be magnanimous.

In other words, the price of PZ's magnamity is 150 million apologies. And, until he gets them, he will summarily dismiss the guy standing in front of him with a magisterial wave of his hand. So what if that person is offering just such an apology. It is obviously not sincere. Because if it was. the person would have brought the other 149,999,999 with him.

He could have had a positive impact on that one guy.  Hell, he might have even won the guy over.  PZ is an educator, ferchrissake. I thought they lived for teachable moments? But, alas, no. Somewhere, one of GG's co-religionists thinks atheists should be discriminated against.  Better smite them all just to be sure. How very Old Testament.  

     
Quote
The people PZ is having a go at is people like you. People who whatever happens continually apologise for the wrongs of others and try to avoid confrontation. He's having a go at the shitty allies. And good on him!


And it is right here where I finally figured out that it is useless to even try and communicate with you. I guess I am a little slow sometimes.  My foolish belief in better angels and all that. But, it seems, you are just as intractable as he is.  You aren't interested in trying to understand what I am saying.  You only are interested in proving that I am wrong and if you construct a few strawmen along the way, well, it's all in a days work.

Not once have I apologized for the wrongs of GG. Not once. (Go ahead, smart ass, try and find it.) All I have done is criticize PZ.  You might want to ask yourself, Pumpkin, why you seem incapable of differentiating the two.

Nor, I would add, have I eschewed confrontation.  Heck, despite being an unapologetic capitalist, I am fully supportive of what the Occupy Wall Street movement is trying to accomplish. Confrontation that highlights the discrimination and plays deftly on the power imbalance is an effective way to drive a point home and to galvanize support.



But temper tantrums are a shitty form of confrontation.  If they were any damn good, we would been eating our dessert before our vegetables ages ago.

     
Quote
And what PZ does is a valid tactic, it does stir the pot and highlight issues. Is it the only tactic? Nope. Do I always like it? Nope. Demagoguery has its place in the thousand flowers.


But, apparently I don't.  Is the garden already full, Louis, or isn't my brand of flower on the Approved List?

     
Quote
5) I have yet to give any message board participants a sound thrashing. I charge by the hour for that anyway.




--------------
It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 24 2011,19:31   

Quote (BWE @ Nov. 24 2011,18:44)
Louis, where did i say i didnt expect to be argued with? In fact, it was the exact thing which led me to post this thread. I posted on pharyngula and got only no u as a response.

It was pretty much identical to responses on UD to elizabeth liddle.

Im on my phone right now so cant give a long reply but watch this space! I will offer a detailed response. And i do expect to argue the point. Thats why i posted the thread!

And it looks like the issue is worth arguing judging by the replies on this thread.
:)

Well you'll never find me disagree with the fact that some people on Pharyngula make it bloody hard to discuss anything there. If that's the total of it, then well, erm, not controversial. I've not bothered much with the threads there on this issue for a reason.

If there is a serious argument to be had, and I'm not really convinced there is, what I'd ask is what are the specific claims/arguments you disagree with from PZ?

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 24 2011,19:44   

Quote (fnxtr @ Nov. 24 2011,19:09)
[SNIP]

True, no-one flies airplanes into buildings in the name of godlessness. So far.

So far? Really? Tell me how you get from ATHEISM, a lack of belief in a deity, to flying planes into buildings. I can draw you a line from fundamentalist christianity, or extremist islam, or extreme revolutionary communism to an act like this (hell, a few hours on google and I could probably find you examples), but atheism. I don't see it. Not because I'm an atheist, but because there's nothing there to base such a decision on. You can get specific jihadist interpretations of the qu'ran, or violent interpretations of the bible, but atheism lacks anything remotely like this.

I can see how people who are also atheists could do nasty things, plenty of evidence for that, but nasty acts specifically derived from atheism? Nope. That reduces to the theist claims that atheists lack morals etc, which are rank nonsense.

Quote
Anyway, I'm not about to go frothing lunatic fanatic nutbar on this particular issue. :-)


I think I've sailed that ship!

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 24 2011,20:16   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Nov. 24 2011,23:18)
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 24 2011,09:49)
...

The evidence I have of your shitty ally status is this: your own words. You frequently (and are doing so again here) mock people with legitimate complaints against the discriminatory status quo. I'm not outraged at the gelato guy's sign (nice straw man), I'm outraged that any such thing is apologised for in a civil society. Are you so soaked in apologising for oppression that you cannot see this tiny insignificant incident is a part of a greater pattern?



Louis...

Sticking with just the sign thing, how do you consider this as part of a discriminatory status quo (if you do)?

Personally, I see it as a hot blooded reaction to a perceived personal attack. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

Ok this is quite simple. The two (hot blooded response and expression of discrimination/greater status quo) are not mutually exclusive.

Imagine the analogous sign in a white majority country:

"No people from the Million Man March are welcome in my WHITE shop".

However that sign came about I hope we'd both agree that it's a pretty clear example of a discriminatory sign. The sign that this chap put up, for whatever reason, took the same form. The sentiments expressed in the sign are explicitly discriminatory however they came about.

Sure the guy reacted hotheadedly and poorly, and whatever reaction people have to that is theirs to have, let them have it, but it doesn't detract from the fact that his sign, his act was one of discrimination.

This act didn't occur in a vacuum, the greater social context genuinely matters. This guy felt perfectly entitled to exclude people from his business for their difference from him. He wasn't attacked IN his business, he wasn't attacked personally, he wasn't actually attacked at all. He simply exists in a society where the questioning of people's religion and the religious privilege (tax breaks etc, the standard stuff) that exists is frowned upon. It is socially awkward. Go and read the MLK quote I posted above, it's not like this is a new or unique problem. The form that every minority group challenging every majority group follows is roughly this one. None of this is a surprise.

Again, as mentioned above, there exists in the USA a culture where atheists are discriminated against. Granted that discrimination is usually not that serious and certainly not as serious as that that previous and current minority groups experience. Imagine if this guy had noticed the speaker that so offended him was black, or gay, or a woman, and put up a sign saying "black/gay/female Skepticon people are not welcome in my Christian shop". I don't think he'd have got away with THAT so lightly! And rightly so.

There were times when similar signs put in doors (no Blacks, no dogs, no Irish). This was socially accepted, part of normal society. People felt entitled to do this. As rash as this guy was, this guy felt entitled to do it. I doubt he would have felt entitled to make the analogous signs above that I mentioned (even if they had been relevant). The reason being is that those sorts of signs are now less socially acceptable. Sure, they're probably acceptable somewhere, but I'd guess an urban environment isn't one of them. Open discrimination against atheists is still tolerated in the USA (and elsewhere). It's socially acceptable by and large. This hotheaded act would have been vastly less likely in a society where such an act was beyond the pale.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Kristine



Posts: 3037
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 24 2011,22:20   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Nov. 23 2011,19:17)
 
Quote (BWE @ Nov. 23 2011,18:52)
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyng....keptics

PZ Meyers has gone so far beyond stupid douchebaggery now that I need a label which explicitly excludes him from polite society.

I am calling the new movement "Post Atheism" and it's mantra is, "Fallwell has been dead for quite a while now, Dover school board lost, The Discovery Institute authors can't sell enough books to fill a wagon any more, religion makes people do stupid things, so does atheism."*

Yeesh. The cult members in the fanboi club over there are embarrassments to humanity.

Pharyngula, is Uncommon Descent. PZ is Dembski.

Fucking A.

Sickening really.

*Edited to add discovery institute bit and to add that PZ has become dembski.

Fanaticism is bad... even when you agree with them.

I (and I think everyone here) has commented on this before.

Heck, I sent PZ a personal note about the fanaticism of his followers and the little cult he's developing.  In the end, it will be as bad as fundie religions.

William Dembski is disingenuous, if not an outright liar, and also a bad representative of the "science" in which he claims expertise (mathematics - yes, he has called himself a "scientist"), and knows little of which he speaks (remember that disastrous WEASEL claim).

Whatever you think of PZ's actions, is he really William Dembski? Has he caused the kind of damage that Dembski has caused? I am not comfortable with such an assertion.

Pharyngula still provides good science information - UD never has and never will.

I have a hypothesis of my own - that we are not born atheists (at least most of us - I may have been), but pagans, so PZ essentially cursing this guy and not forgiving him doesn't bother me much. (That guy who said, "Humanists forgive others their trespasses," blah blah, made me want to barf! Go to a Unitarian Universalist church already, buddy! ) I just think that if he's going to go there, do it with humor and with an economy of words.

I mean, I would have said, "Ah, ice cream man is back for another lick!" or something like that, if I am going to not accept an apology. (It seems like it was an apology, not a notpology.) Knowing me, I'd probably not accept his apology but eat his ice cream anyway - or at least demand a lot of samples, and then not buy anything. ;)

What does this have to do with atheism, as far as we being in the "post-atheism" era or whatever? I have not changed. I don't follow anyone, not PZ and not Dawkins - my ego is, frankly, too big for that. I'm me, and other atheists/nonatheists are themselves, too. I'm only interested in this "movement" insofar as it accomplishes cultural/political/legal change. Other than that - phhhht! Atheist poetry sucks, and I've dropped out of most atheist events around here, unless they are hosting an event about science.

Yanno...science? Something I am really interested in?

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 24 2011,22:48   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Nov. 25 2011,00:13)
You know what, Louis, I could respond at length, but it all boils down to just a few responses.

     
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 24 2011,10:23)
The reason I disagree with you is because I disagree with your content free whining about genuine matters of serious principle. You, and people like you are shitty allies.

The fact that you can't or won't figure it out doesn't mean it is content free. It should be abundantly clear what I am trying to say. You seem willfully intent in not understanding it.
       
Quote
In exactly the manner MLK describes you are as much of a roadblock to a more equitable society as the genuine bigots.

You tried to call me a misogynist before:
       
Quote
So just like those uppity women you don't like expressing feminism that questions your privilege and upsetting the applecart

...only to backpedal with a "Jeesh, don't be so sensitive. when I said 'you', I didn't really mean *you*." This is the same thing here. You know nothing about me, how I have conducted myself throughout my life, or what I may have done to advance or impede the cause of equality.  But, I have criticized PZ and that is apparently sufficient to brand me a traitor to all humanity.  

       
Quote
PZ probably has monetised his anger. And? Does this mean any specific thing he says is incorrect?
.......
And yet your complaint is with the medium, the messenger not with the actual substance. You cannot criticise the message so you go after the messenger. Yet more data in favour of the "shitty ally hypothesis".

You have managed to almost be correct here. Blind pigs, truffles and all that.

I have no problem at all if PZ makes some bucks off of this.  Why should Bill Donohue and Rev. Al Sharpton be the only ones making victimhood a career move?  But, let's not kid ourselves as to his righteousness.

There are plenty of things that could have been done after GG's boneheaded move.  They could have organized a sit-in at the the guy's shop. They could have confronted the guy in person, they could have dispatched a conference organizer to deal with the guy.  Or they could snuggle in next to their Dell and blog about it!  

Then when the guy prostrates himself publicly and offers a personal apology, how does PZ respond?
       
Quote
       
Quote
   Apology not accepted. What I see in you is a person who hates me for not believing in the nonsense of your religion; while you may now be in a panic because your actions were unethical and illegal, and you were caught out, and face economic consequences for them, I don’t see any sign that your attitudes have changed in the slightest.

   You’ll just have to live with the fact that I won’t be buying your ice cream on the rare occasions I visit your town, while I have to live with the fact that I live in a country where my rejection of your religion makes me a pariah. There’s absolutely nothing you can do to make up for that.

......
I don’t give a good goddamn what they say, I care about what they do. And until 150 million Christians rise up and show some respect for common humanity and reason, and apologize to me and every godless citizen in this country, I will not be magnanimous.

In other words, the price of PZ's magnamity is 150 million apologies. And, until he gets them, he will summarily dismiss the guy standing in front of him with a magisterial wave of his hand. So what if that person is offering just such an apology. It is obviously not sincere. Because if it was. the person would have brought the other 149,999,999 with him.

He could have had a positive impact on that one guy.  Hell, he might have even won the guy over.  PZ is an educator, ferchrissake. I thought they lived for teachable moments? But, alas, no. Somewhere, one of GG's co-religionists thinks atheists should be discriminated against.  Better smite them all just to be sure. How very Old Testament.  

       
Quote
The people PZ is having a go at is people like you. People who whatever happens continually apologise for the wrongs of others and try to avoid confrontation. He's having a go at the shitty allies. And good on him!


And it is right here where I finally figured out that it is useless to even try and communicate with you. I guess I am a little slow sometimes.  My foolish belief in better angels and all that. But, it seems, you are just as intractable as he is.  You aren't interested in trying to understand what I am saying.  You only are interested in proving that I am wrong and if you construct a few strawmen along the way, well, it's all in a days work.

Not once have I apologized for the wrongs of GG. Not once. (Go ahead, smart ass, try and find it.) All I have done is criticize PZ.  You might want to ask yourself, Pumpkin, why you seem incapable of differentiating the two.

Nor, I would add, have I eschewed confrontation.  Heck, despite being an unapologetic capitalist, I am fully supportive of what the Occupy Wall Street movement is trying to accomplish. Confrontation that highlights the discrimination and plays deftly on the power imbalance is an effective way to drive a point home and to galvanize support.



But temper tantrums are a shitty form of confrontation.  If they were any damn good, we would been eating our dessert before our vegetables ages ago.

     
Quote
And what PZ does is a valid tactic, it does stir the pot and highlight issues. Is it the only tactic? Nope. Do I always like it? Nope. Demagoguery has its place in the thousand flowers.


But, apparently I don't.  Is the garden already full, Louis, or isn't my brand of flower on the Approved List?

     
Quote
5) I have yet to give any message board participants a sound thrashing. I charge by the hour for that anyway.



1) Carlson, you don't read so good do you. I have repeatedly said *I* am sexist (etc). If there is a difference between us, then it is that I realise that I am sexist and you are working to ignore your own sexism (or whatever-ism). You repeatedly ignore this. You're in denial. Your posts scream it. Sorry if you don't like that, but tough. Get to grips with your own failings like an adult.

Oh, and if you continually oppose genuine attempts to improve (for example) women's rights by act or argument, then yes, it's very likely you are a misogynist of some degree. Do you do this Carlson? I can't answer it for you, but I can say that you continually argue against the people trying to challenge discriminatory status quos. Why do you do that?

2) I don't think you're a traitor to all humanity, or indeed to anything, I think you're a shitty ally to making a more equitable society, which is what my goal is. You STILL haven't grasped why I think this despite several clear explanations. I'll try again.

You're right, I know nothing about your life. I don't need to. I'm sure you give your mother flowers and help old ladies across the road. Good for you, I'm sure you are a saint. I'm even happy that you are criticising PZ. Good on you, I have many criticisms of his out put. The problem I have is that your criticisms are FREE OF SUBSTANCE.

Don't play silly games and claim your point is hidden and I'm being stupid, it's isn't, it's obvious and it's still substance free. You are criticising PZ's form not the substance of his claims (and throughout your posts you do it again and again). THAT'S the issue. If the totality of your complaint is that PZ is manipulating his status as a victim to create blog drama and cash in, then great, as I said before if he is (and some days I think he is), so what. I can't get any more energised about it than I do about opinion columns in the papers. People getting paid to manufacture opinion, shock horror. Would I prefer a world without it? Sure. Will it ever happen. Doubtful.

None of this addresses the substance of what PZ has written, like I said before, repeatedly, my objection to your criticism is that it is SUBSTANCE FREE, not that it exists. Criticism GOOD. Substance free criticism BAD. See the difference?

All your criticism is due to what you see as PZ sensationalising things for profit. I've said that it's tangential to the substance of the issue and all you do is repeat it. I don't care if the information I get comes from you, or PZ, or anyone. The person, the source, doesn't matter. What matters is that the information is good. If PZ's information is crappy, then fine THAT is something worth criticising, thus far, as I've said before, all you are doing is rationalising (badly) your dislike and butthurt. You are nothing if not transparent.

Your shitty ally status is because, as mentioned above, you aren't saying "holy crap, that's outrageous, look at that piece of injustice, how the hell do we do something about that?" you instead say "hey, look at that guy who is jumping up and down in anger at that injustice, what an asshole, who's paying him to do that? Oh he's just playing the victim card to make a buck!". You don't engage with what the guy is saying about the injustice, you dismiss him for tangential irrelevancies.

3) On the day, what did PZ et al actually do? Nothing. There's your response. Disapproval. No boycott, not great drama, nothing. When did the big drama start, well let's see. It's here. In a post entitled "Fair Weather Atheists and Sunshine Skeptics". Clearly he's having a go at gelato guy....oh wait he's not.

Yeah *I'm* the moron who's not worth bothering with. Oh no, wait, I'm not, it's you. Tell me Carlson, do you tire of your dishonesty or is it something fun? Just like every creationist moron the world has ever produced you are incapable of reading a simple document for comprehension and instead have to tweak it to make it say what you want by cutting out the inconvenient bits. Let's just say your tactics are not unfamiliar.

Great illustration of your dishonesty? You're snipping out of context the bits of PZ's words you think make your case, when they don't. This first part of the post is setting up why he doesn't want to accept the apology of Gelato Guy, why he considers the apology insufficient. Whether or not you or I agree with that, that's PZ's choice. He's asking for nothing more than equality with his comment about 150 million people. He's asking that the people who thoughtlessly contribute to a culture of discrimination (which demonstrably exists by the way) against atheists (not as a community per se but as individuals) to apologise. He's pointing out the inequality of the situation. He's not scapegoating this poor gelato bloke, he's using him as a teaching example (surely you're in favour of that...right?). He's saying why should he, PZ, bear the burden of magnanimity? He's not the one doing the discriminating. What he is doing is illustrating the disparity in the situation here, the inequality.

This is obvious rhetoric from PZ, sure it's overblown. I'm not particularly a fan, but have you ever heard of using hyperbole to make a point? Surely even you've heard of that, Carlson? Or are you too focussed on making PZ a monster to be remotely honest?

Even then, rhetoric and demagoguery have their place. The rallying cry "Look chaps, this really isn't that big of a deal but one day could we get around to, you know, maybe doing something about this?" is unlikely to win great hordes to your banner.

You snipped the preceding paragraphs. The paragraphs give examples, context, all of which can be substantiated, as to the nature of the discrimination and oppression faced by atheists. That's not victimhood, that is as I said above a recognition that the playing field is not level. Pointing that out is not hand wringing or self pity, it's the first step to changing it. How can you change something if you're not aware of it first?

The second part of the post (and the title) explain the real problem here, the problem I mentioned before: fair weather friends. This is what I was pointing to with the MLK quote. There are very few genuine bona fide bigots in the world. There are a much larger number of people who want a quiet life (and good on 'em), who don't question much of what they are told, who don't challenge what they are coerced to do. This far larger number are the bigger problem. What MLK was despairing about was getting these people to act and it is exactly what PZ is despairing about.

These people are bigot-lite, I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Prejudice. Why do I say "these people" when it's a set that includes me? Anyway, US, WE, the great unwashed, we pay our bills go to our jobs and compromise ourselves endlessly to put food on the table and sundry other luxuries. We whore ourselves out. That is reality. We cannot exist without some form of compromise. However some forms of compromise are too much, sometimes drawing a painful line in the sand and standing one's ground, even though it pisses people off, is the right thing to do. This is what PZ and the other people you airily dismiss and deride are doing in their own little way. It's hardly a brave last stand, but it is a non-zero contribution. A book by Dawkins, a talk by Ariane Sherrine whatever, all these tiny little things contribute piece by piece to the change in social attitudes. They encourage people to examine their own principles, perhaps even to draw their own little lines, to make the wrong sorts of compromise a little less. This is a Good Thing ™. This is how the west was won.

Women's sufferage was highlighted by a few brave women, women derided in EXACTLY the manner you deride PZ and others. The civil rights movement was highlighted by a few brave people, people derided in EXACTLY the manner you deride people and others. The gay rights movement was highlighted by a few brave people, people derided in EXACTLY the manner you deride PZ and others. Are any of these people saints? No. Is PZ a saint? HAH! No! Far from it. Were all of these people right all the time about all things? No! Is PZ! Of course not! If anyone is making dismissive grandiose handwaves it's YOU.

There were opinion writers and pamphleteers, people who chained themselves to railings and people who made cups of tea. All of these people played some non zero part in making societies just that little bit more equal in some ways. Is the job done? Not by a long shot. They are not demanding you do the same as them, they are not demanding ideological purity, you are...which brings me neatly to....

4) Your whinge about PZ the educator and a positive impact. Projection and fantasy pure and simple. I worked for one of the hardest, nastiest supervisors in chemistry. He'd ball people out, ridicule them, be mean as hell. He was an educator too. He had a massively positive impact on me, there is no part of my life in which I have learned as much as quickly.

I'm more than happy to admit much of that was IN SPITE of him! Remember, let a thousand flowers bloom. I loathed his style of dealing with people because it took not account of detail or fact, it was one way or no way. But his methods forced me to learn, to grow and to act in ways I had previously not considered. I took a lot from it. I then moved to a job where my boss was sweetness and light. Wouldn't say boo to a goose, always helpful, but come appraisal time all the problems he'd had would appear. I hated that even more. Never knew where you stood, it was far harder to learn anything.

The former tactic worked for me to a large degree, the latter didn't at all. Oh I'd work for the nice guy in a heart beat, but I'd rather deal with someone capable of delivering some honest feedback, even if it was wrong. At least I could argue.

This is why I advocate pluralism here. PZ's methods are not yours, or mine for that matter. But they have their place and they do work. Do they work at all times, in all places for all people? No of course not. And no one, not even PZ, is saying they should.

You however are trying to tell PZ and others like him how to act. He's an educator, he should behave as YOU think an educator should. He's not having a positive influence on this guy. All evidence free whinges about PZ's tone. You have fuck all else but tone trolling noise. And where you don't tone troll you flat out lie.

For example, PZ is not scapegoating this one gelato guy for other people's discrimination, he is refusing to accept an apology for Gelato Guy's OWN discrimination. He's not said it's insincere (your lie), he's said it's insufficient. His acceptance of GG's apology is not conditional on 150 million apologies, it's conditional on it being sufficient to compensate for the discrimination GG perpetrated. The point about the 150 million thing is that, as said above, the burden does not fall on the party being discriminated against to be magnanimous. Should Rosa Parks have given up her seat if the guy had asked using the word "please"? No! A thousand times NO! The protest Rosa Parks (much more bravely) made was a refusal to give into discrimination, to act like discrimination is okay. Acceptable. That the gelato guy has apologised does not place any burden on anyone to accept it. That is the extent of PZ's point here. Situation is unequal, not in PZ's favour, no burden to accept apology on PZ. Done.

So no, your analysis is simply wrong, counterfactual and designed as per usual to reinforce your butthurt and dislike of PZ et al. You really are rather boring.

5) Straw men? From me? Where? Find one.

6) You've not apologised for the wrongs of GG? Deary me, when reading for comprehension is this bad on your part Carlson I can only begin to suspect genuine mental deficiencies. Don't worry, champ, I'll run you through it slowly. See, I can be patronising and nasty too, isn't this fun? The problem you have, fuck wit, is that I am much, much better at it. What was it you said? Oh yes:

"And what did I do, young padawan? I got back in your face and, apparently, didn't meet a level of discourse worthy of your consideration."

LOL! You haven't met a level of discourse that makes me think you're capable of wiping piss off my boot. Hence why I am treating you like the driveller you are. My serious consideration is so far beyond your reach as to be a dream. You'd have to deal with the SUBSTANCE first, the arse gravy you are spattering forth is hardly challenging. Anyway, enough fun with the fuck wit...

I said you are issuing apologetics for a discriminatory status quo, and you continue to do so. This is not the same thing as apologising for GG's actions. Are you smart enough to grasp that? Gee, if you're going to accuse me of making straw men (a false accusation I might add), it's kinda a bad idea to, you know, make then yourself. Pro tip for you there, champ. Just something I picked up getting an education whilst you had your head up a horse's arse....tell me, am I being nasty enough yet? I can do better. I have a lake of vitriol waiting just for you, England did badly in the rugby world cup, I still haven't gotten over it.

For the umpteenth time: You a criticising someone blowing the whistle on an injustice and complaining about that injustice because you do not like the way they are doing it. That's it. That's the epitome of an apologetic for the status quo, it is an attempt to shout down the whistleblower/complainant, to distract from their complaint by throwing irrelevancies at them. Here, look again at your arrant whinging:

PZ manipulates outrage for a buck. (Great, if he does, so what. So does every newspaper on the planet. It's irrelevant. What matters are the facts, the claims, the accuracy, the SUBSTANCE. Not dealt with that yet have you?)

PZ could have been nice to this guy and wooed him into a more rational place. (Great, perhaps he could and perhaps he should. But the conjecture that PZ's acts DIDN'T work and DON'T work are, well, purely conjecture on your part. You are assuming your conclusions. More than that you are asking the party being discriminated against to act with a magnanimity not displayed by the party doing the discriminating, you are openly favouring the discriminator. See why you're a shitty ally yet?)

PZ is chucking a temper tantrum/is nothing more than a keyboard warrior and sundry similar claims. (Super! How dismissive is THAT. Taking someone's relatively moderately expressed refusal of an apology with reasons given, ignoring those reasons and accusing them of being both dismissive AND petulant! Isn't that content free failure to engage with the REASONS, the SUBSTANCE, kinda, you know, arrogantly dismissive? Why yes, yes it is.)

Don't tell me about irrelevant shite like supporting the OWS thingy, who the fuck cares? You said this:

"Confrontation that highlights the discrimination and plays deftly on the power imbalance is an effective way to drive a point home and to galvanize support."

What the hairy fuck do you think PZ has done? He might have done it in a way you or I don't like, but he has highlighted the discrimination by confronting it, and his refusal to accept an apology is a precise illustration of the power imbalance of religious privilege. It drives the point home and, well he has a lot of support.

Your arguments on the topic of PZ et al have ever run thus "PZ et al are a bunch of whiny titty babies because everything they do proves they are whiny titty babies" You simply assume your conclusions because you don't like the people involved. It ain't me having a hard time separating ANTHING....pumpkin.

7) What flower do you want to put in the garden? Being nice to Gelato Guy and accepting his apology? Sure there's room for that flower. The garden is in fact dominated by that type of flower. No one is trying to silence you in the way you are trying to silence people like PZ. Ohhhhh I know you don't think you are trying to silence them, but then you don't think you're a bigot (or apologist for bigotry either) so forgive my doubting your perspicacity. The effect of pushing the focus on the means and tone of the messenger at the expense of the message is an attempt to silence that message. Is it possible you are too stupid to understand even this simple thing?

8) That piffling pile of chump change you display is not enough. Anyway, you've been shellacked for free. Don't ask me again, I won't be so generous.

9) I'm done being nice to people who cannot do me the "nice" of actually engaging with what I am saying, and what they are criticising. You want manners? Fucking demonstrate them yourself.

Louis

P.S. I've wasted time and effort on many lines. One I wrote earlier sums it all up:

"You are consistently on the side of shutting people with legitimate complaints up, simply because you don't like how those complaints are expressed or over what specific incidents."

All the rest is gravy. Carlson, if you are not a bigot (and as I have said, you are probably no more a bigot on any specific thing than I am), you are an apologist for bigotry (and THIS is where we differ).  Read the "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" and try to understand why this is the case. Forgive me if I severely doubt you lack both the inclination or capacity to do so.

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Bye.

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3553
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 24 2011,23:26   

I more often than not agree with the content of PZ's posts, if not the style, but I don't visit any more. I once made the mistake of trying to open up a shade of gray on some topic and was creamed by 50 true believers.

So I stopped reading the comments and eventually stopped going to the site.

This may seem trite, but I blame it on the economy. People all over are just in a foul mood. It seems to cut across politics and religion.

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”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
George



Posts: 312
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,00:51   

Quote
What the hairy fuck do you think PZ has done? He might have done it in a way you or I don't like, but he has highlighted the discrimination by confronting it, and his refusal to accept an apology is a precise illustration of the power imbalance of religious privilege. It drives the point home and, well he has a lot of support.


I really wonder how effective he and his tactics are in getting real change?  He has a big choir that he preaches to, but are his methods effective in highlighting discrimination to the right audience, the religious majority?  It strikes me that his approach might be counterproductive.  Yes, I'm going on about tone, shoot me.

  
BWE



Posts: 1896
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,00:58   

Quote (Louis @ Nov. 24 2011,17:44)
Quote (fnxtr @ Nov. 24 2011,19:09)
[SNIP]

True, no-one flies airplanes into buildings in the name of godlessness. So far.

So far? Really? Tell me how you get from ATHEISM, a lack of belief in a deity, to flying planes into buildings. I can draw you a line from fundamentalist christianity, or extremist islam, or extreme revolutionary communism to an act like this (hell, a few hours on google and I could probably find you examples), but atheism. I don't see it. Not because I'm an atheist, but because there's nothing there to base such a decision on. You can get specific jihadist interpretations of the qu'ran, or violent interpretations of the bible, but atheism lacks anything remotely like this.

I can see how people who are also atheists could do nasty things, plenty of evidence for that, but nasty acts specifically derived from atheism? Nope. That reduces to the theist claims that atheists lack morals etc, which are rank nonsense.

 
Quote
Anyway, I'm not about to go frothing lunatic fanatic nutbar on this particular issue. :-)


I think I've sailed that ship!

Louis

Louis, i get to flying planes into buildings from thinking that i am right and the guy in the building is wrong. Has nothing to do with where the idea came from. Religion just has a history of well defined us and them delineations.

Seems to me that pz is using the very same playbook.

And, in terms of nasty acts in the name of atheism, you're working awefully hard to rationalize one right now. Think about that for a minute before you respond.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Raevmo



Posts: 235
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,01:28   

For a moment I thought Kairosfocus had hijacked this thread, but a search for Lewontin came up empty...

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After much reflection I finally realized that the best way to describe the cause of the universe is: the great I AM.

--GilDodgen

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,02:19   

Quick word (because fuck, I'm tired of reading text-walls):

This "adress the substance, not the form" is getting quite boring. It sound's like the IDiots, really. Most people who have complains about PZ have tried to adress the substance, in a polite way. The way their views and opinions have been received over there just destroyed all hope of a good debate.

So sure, let's adress the substance, just not there where it would count for something. Let's do it somewhere else where nobody concerned will give a fuck.

When PZ gets rid of Caine, Nerd of Redhead and all the other obnoxious sycophants, maybe we* can get back there and adress the substance.

*Obviously not me.

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
rhmc



Posts: 340
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,05:19   

Quote (Raevmo @ Nov. 25 2011,02:28)
For a moment I thought Kairosfocus had hijacked this thread, but a search for Lewontin came up empty...

POTD!

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,05:24   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Nov. 25 2011,07:19)
Quick word (because fuck, I'm tired of reading text-walls):

This "adress the substance, not the form" is getting quite boring. It sound's like the IDiots, really. Most people who have complains about PZ have tried to adress the substance, in a polite way. The way their views and opinions have been received over there just destroyed all hope of a good debate.

So sure, let's adress the substance, just not there where it would count for something. Let's do it somewhere else where nobody concerned will give a fuck.

When PZ gets rid of Caine, Nerd of Redhead and all the other obnoxious sycophants, maybe we* can get back there and adress the substance.

*Obviously not me.

You see this is my point, here you (and others) go again. Pharyngula is mean, PZ is nasty, commenter X is a shouty git. Great, how far does that get us?

The same goes for the comments section on Pharyngula. As I've said a few times now it's not the best place for a discussion, yes there are shouty people there who will stifle a discussion and this too is a bad thing. Fantastic, how far does that get us?

In neither case is anything achieved.

You can have your little fulminating pity parties about how mean PZ etc are, and they can have their fulminating self righteous parties about how dumb you all are and the merry go round and spins another turn. It's just so fucking free of any content. A plague on all your houses!

No one is stopping you addressing any substance. It doesn't have to happen at Pharyngula....

...and yet here we have a thread dedicated to the idea that PZ is mean and evil. Again. {eyeroll} It's every bit as pathetic as any sycophantic paean on Pharyngula. Don't any of you get this yet? WHO is saying something, and to a lesser extent HOW they are saying it is much less important than WHAT is being said.

So, let's all agree that PZ is a terrible person and every person on Pharyngula, myself included, is wicked in every possible way. Ok, happy? That's our base starting point. I concede totally the wickedness of all things Pharyngula. Job done. Now can I ask some questions? Good. On the current silly brouhaha:

1) What are the precise claims that PZ has made about the nature of discrimination against atheists in the USA? Could someone list them please.

2) Are any of these claims untrue and why?

3) What was PZ's response to the events (serious answers only please)?

4) Why, specifically, was PZ's reaction good, bad, indifferent, something else? Please give reasons.

5) What should be done to decrease the amount of discrimination against atheists (if, as per 2) this exists)?

There you go, 5 simple questions to get you started. All of them ignore the (to steal a phrase from Carlson) the pity party about being banned from/treated badly at Pharyngula or the endless whiny fucking butthurt about it.

Louis

P.S. Asking for people to address the substance not the tone makes me like an IDCist? Fuck me have you misread THAT debate. The IDCists are doing what YOU are doing, they complain about how mean the evil evolutionists are all the time and never produce any science etc. In other words, just like you they avoid the substance. Your example is 180 degrees out of whack.

If YOU think YOU are trying to address the substance on some issue and you cannot at Pharyngula then fine, there are many examples of that happening AS I'VE ALREADY SAID A DOZEN TIMES NOW. This is not one of them. This thread, the shit from Carlson, is one long tone troll. Substance free criticism of the tone, the people and not the issue. You see the two things are different. Isn't that amazing, why it's almost like nuance exists!

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Bye.

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,05:34   

Louis: I have no problems with PZ regarding GelatoGuy, although I think the courteous thing would have been to accept the apology, or at least adress the problem upfront and confront the guy (maybe he did, I haven't read this whole stuff yet). But we've already admitted that PZ is not courteous, so there's that.

Now, what is your point exactly? I just stated that it's neigh impossible to adress the substance at Pharyngula, and you agreed. I don't like the form over there, and you don't seem to be a big fan either. So?

What's your beef with me on this? Am I misreading you?

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,05:48   

Quote (George @ Nov. 25 2011,05:51)
Quote
What the hairy fuck do you think PZ has done? He might have done it in a way you or I don't like, but he has highlighted the discrimination by confronting it, and his refusal to accept an apology is a precise illustration of the power imbalance of religious privilege. It drives the point home and, well he has a lot of support.


I really wonder how effective he and his tactics are in getting real change?  He has a big choir that he preaches to, but are his methods effective in highlighting discrimination to the right audience, the religious majority?  It strikes me that his approach might be counterproductive.  Yes, I'm going on about tone, shoot me.

No I won't shoot you because this is a good point.

Debating tactics is valid, it's fine not to like PZ's tactics. I don't like them as often as I do. This has been my whole point about pluralism in tactics. I think there is room for the PZs of this world just like I think there is room for the non-PZs of this world. Some people will find PZ's tactics valuable, some won't. All the little anecdotes about a specific tactic's value are little individual data points and they all add up to a non-zero effect.

Yes PZ preaches to a large choir, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Preaching to the choir serves a purpose, it can create unity and so on and so forth. Sure it can also be exclusionary to people not of the choir, and that IS a problem (admitted oooooh I don't know for the 30 millionth time now). That's the cost of any

Here's a non PZ example, because to be frank, I'm sick to the back teeth of talking about the man as if he were the only important bloody thing in the world.

The four "new atheist" best sellers of note were: Dawkins' coldly rational "God Delusion", Dennett's analytical bordering on academic "Breaking the Spell", Hitchens' florid rhetorical "god is not Great", and Sam Harris' polemical "The End of Faith".

Which book is the right one? The most effective? The least divisive? The best? The least counterproductive?

The answer is all of them and none of them. You'd have to be ignoring reality to claim that these books were each individually ineffective or counterproductive, they worked differently for different people. Which one do you think I prefer? Since I'm so mean it must be the Dawkins or the Hitchens right? The virulent ones?

Nope, it's none. If I really had to pick it's the Dennett. My flower, the one I like to let bloom, is the analytical one. I like to delve deep and understand and research. But that's me. I don't think that preference should be beholden on others. I'm happy to let others like the Dawkins or the Hitchens or the Harris books, or whatever. It's not significant.

When I read the "God Delusion" and started talking about it to friends who had read it and what not, the most common complaint I'd hear was how arrogant Dawkins was. How rude. How pompous. I tried to point out to them, like I'm trying to point out here, this is not a valid criticism of his work. It doesn't address the arguments. I even coined a mythical version of the author, Richard Strawkins, because the critiques in the press and in person were so far off the mark more often than not. In some cases the criticism was a more blatant silencing, how dare this man be talking about this stuff! A case of not what the dog was saying but that the dog was talking at all.

When the dog speaks, I listen to the damned dog before deciding the dog is an idiot!

But that might be because I've eaten the wrong sort of mushrooms. ;-)

All of this stuff focuses to the point that of course we should criticise PZ and Dawkins and Harris and me, and you, and every damned one. That is in my view as close to a universal good as possible. Is it really too much to ask that we focus our criticism on the SUBSTANCE? Really? That's too much?

Louis

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Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,05:55   

Quote (rhmc @ Nov. 25 2011,10:19)
 
Quote (Raevmo @ Nov. 25 2011,02:28)
For a moment I thought Kairosfocus had hijacked this thread, but a search for Lewontin came up empty...

POTD!

{Golf clap}

Well done. Here's a cookie. You've made a complaint about the length of someone's posts. You must be so proud.

Louis

Edited for more snark

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Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,06:08   

Quote (BWE @ Nov. 25 2011,05:58)
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 24 2011,17:44)
 
Quote (fnxtr @ Nov. 24 2011,19:09)
[SNIP]

True, no-one flies airplanes into buildings in the name of godlessness. So far.

So far? Really? Tell me how you get from ATHEISM, a lack of belief in a deity, to flying planes into buildings. I can draw you a line from fundamentalist christianity, or extremist islam, or extreme revolutionary communism to an act like this (hell, a few hours on google and I could probably find you examples), but atheism. I don't see it. Not because I'm an atheist, but because there's nothing there to base such a decision on. You can get specific jihadist interpretations of the qu'ran, or violent interpretations of the bible, but atheism lacks anything remotely like this.

I can see how people who are also atheists could do nasty things, plenty of evidence for that, but nasty acts specifically derived from atheism? Nope. That reduces to the theist claims that atheists lack morals etc, which are rank nonsense.

 
Quote
Anyway, I'm not about to go frothing lunatic fanatic nutbar on this particular issue. :-)


I think I've sailed that ship!

Louis

Louis, i get to flying planes into buildings from thinking that i am right and the guy in the building is wrong. Has nothing to do with where the idea came from. Religion just has a history of well defined us and them delineations.

Seems to me that pz is using the very same playbook.

And, in terms of nasty acts in the name of atheism, you're working awefully hard to rationalize one right now. Think about that for a minute before you respond.

Ok then. I think you're wrong. Very wrong. Seriously wrong.

Look out your window. Keep looking until a plane appears with me at the controls.

I'd get some beers in, it could be a long wait.

The line from religious ideas and texts to things like planes crashing into buildings exists. It is documented, it is advocated by the ideas contained in those religions. People deliberately cherry pick specific religious ideas to make a case for their violence. I am saying it is impossible to do that with atheism. Atheism is a lack of a belief in a deity or deities. It may even go further in some cases and be active disbelief in a deity or deities. That's IT. Period. Full stop. The fat lady has sung. Elvis has left the building.

Religions have more to them than this, there are more things that make a Christian a Christian or a Muslim a Muslim. Their theism is insufficient. There is no "atheist religion", no text one must adhere to, no doctrine one must subscribe to. I vehemently disagree with your ludicrous claim that pressing CTRL P at Pharyngula with get me an atheist bible. Take for example the feminist content at Pharyngula. That's mostly from a specific school of feminism. Where's that contained in a lack of belief in deities? Do I have to subscribe to every aspect of that school of feminism in your Pharyngulite atheist bible? I hope not because I don't.

I chose that as an example because it is OBVIOUSLY ridiculous. You, and PZ, are attaching a whole slew of things to atheism that aren't there. I disagree with him and I disagree with you. The disagreement I have with him is pretty simple. He claims that there is more to being an atheist than being a "dictionary atheist". I disagree, that's the only requirement. Where I agree with him is that as people we should do more than merely assert our dictionary atheism. We should also stand up for positive rationality and values. But that's a different dance for a different partner. It's not encompassed in atheism.

Louis

P.S. If it seems this way to you, then perhaps you aren't looking hard enough. Ever consider that? Perhaps you're working awfully hard to rationalise your dislike of something. Think about it for a minute before you respond.

--------------
Bye.

  
rhmc



Posts: 340
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,06:15   

Quote (Louis @ Nov. 25 2011,06:55)
Quote (rhmc @ Nov. 25 2011,10:19)
Quote (Raevmo @ Nov. 25 2011,02:28)
For a moment I thought Kairosfocus had hijacked this thread, but a search for Lewontin came up empty...

POTD!

{Golf clap}

Well done. Here's a cookie.

Louis

thank you.  

you may now return to posting your GEMs.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,06:24   

Quote (midwifetoad @ Nov. 25 2011,04:26)
I more often than not agree with the content of PZ's posts, if not the style, but I don't visit any more. I once made the mistake of trying to open up a shade of gray on some topic and was creamed by 50 true believers.

So I stopped reading the comments and eventually stopped going to the site.

This may seem trite, but I blame it on the economy. People all over are just in a foul mood. It seems to cut across politics and religion.

I feel almost the same way. Shades of grey are difficult to discuss at Pharyngula, especially on some topics. No excuse can be made for that, it's not good. Ohhh I can understand it, but it's a pain in the arse.

But then am I really justified in demanding all things from just one blog? IDCists get a hard time when they come here. From their (wrong) perspective they are just trying to inject what they (wrongly) see as shades of grey. They're doing the same thing, at least in form. The problem is the substance isn't it though? The substance of your shade of grey was doubtlessly...erm...substantial! The IDCists do not have this luxury!

Perhaps the problem here is PZ's profile. It's big. BWE thinks atheist = PZ and atheism = Wot PZ sez. Otherwise why title a thread about whining about PZ and Pharyngula "The Official Post Atheism Movement starts now"? People are drawn to the damned blog like flies to shit (appropriateness of simile may vary depending on reader!) and seem to think they can demand it caters to them by virtue of.....what? The fact that it is big? Popular? High profile? Their own entitlement?

I don't get it. I really don't. I go there, I read stuff, I comment occasionally (vastly less than I do here for example) and I fuck off and read something else. Occasionally I might let myself get embroiled in an argument. More fool me! I would prefer it was a bit different over there, I'd like a lot of things in the world to be different. I want ponies to fart rainbows, I'm not going to get it.

When PZ or anyone says something that causes me to cringe inside and I feel the volcanic bubble of rage building, and it happens a lot, I read it, reread it, try to identify what and why it is pissing me off, and then I move on or not as I deem appropriate. It's my choice. I don't sit there like a dog in a manger and demand that whatever it is that pissed me off is evil simply by virtue of the fact that it pissed me off and that it must all go.

You can blame the economy if you like. I'm blaming the rugby.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
George



Posts: 312
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,06:27   

I absolutely take your point on a plurality of tactics being a generally good and useful thing.  I think every movement needs a lunatic fringe to grab attention and drive their own middle ground forward.  However, when the lunatic fringe is or appear to be no longer the fringe, but the main body of the movement, I think you wind up with serious problems in getting your message across.  I think this has happened with environmentalism to some extent, where a large part of the public had (at least in the past, I think it's changing now) the impression that all environmentalists were EarthFirst ecoterrorists.  Whether that's the case with atheism now, I don't know, but the risk is there.

Sometimes it's hard to separate tone from substance, when they're part of the same thing.  I'm referring to the second and longer part of PZ's post where he berates other atheists for wanting him to impose "self-censorship" on his views on Christians and Christianity.  He wants complete freedom to ridicule religious beliefs and not to have them protected and privileged in a "walled garden".  In this case, the substance is whether or not he should use that tone.  

I reckon that attacks on religious belief (a la the "cracker"/communion wafer incident a while back) are foolishly counterproductive if you're trying to eliminate atheist discrimination or trying to argue against creationism.  (But personally, I think that PZ is more interested in ridiculing religion for an audience and so isn't too fussed about entrenching opinions.)  Does he have the right to ridicule religion?  Absolutely - he's doing it right now.  Is it a smart thing to do?  Depends on the context, I guess.  If he's preaching to the faithful, it might be useful and amusing.  If trying to persuade Christians to stop discriminating against atheists or to see the errors in their beliefs, maybe not.  

It might be argued that ridiculing religion is like civil rights movement confrontations - sit ins, occupying whites-only sections of restaurants and buses.  But it's not really.  It's not defense of rights, but pure offense.  That's where I think your MLK analogy breaks down.  When applied to attacking anti-atheism, yes it fits.  But when applied to publicly attacking religious belief itself, that approach is more like the Nation of Islam.  (Treading close to Godwin territory?)

Anyway, I hate to comment and run, but I'm off for the weekend here shortly and away from the machine, so I won't be able to respond to anything directly for a while.

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,06:29   

Quote (Louis @ Nov. 25 2011,12:24)
[snip]

You can blame the economy if you like. I'm blaming the rugby.

Louis

Hey now! Too fucking far!!!  :angry:

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,06:33   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Nov. 25 2011,10:34)
Louis: I have no problems with PZ regarding GelatoGuy, although I think the courteous thing would have been to accept the apology, or at least adress the problem upfront and confront the guy (maybe he did, I haven't read this whole stuff yet). But we've already admitted that PZ is not courteous, so there's that.

Now, what is your point exactly? I just stated that it's neigh impossible to adress the substance at Pharyngula, and you agreed. I don't like the form over there, and you don't seem to be a big fan either. So?

What's your beef with me on this? Am I misreading you?

My beef with ANYONE, not just you, is very simple. PZ says something and the majority of the criticism is about HOW he says it, not WHAT he says.

Ignore the fact that it's PZ. If I say something and people focus on the HOW and not the WHAT they have fucked up. If YOU say something and people focus on the HOW and not the WHAT they have fucked up.

I'm seeing lots of HOW and very little WHAT.

A thread claiming to be about "Post Atheism" is actually about "WAH PZ Be MEAN". It's beyond pathetic. He's one guy and he certainly doesn't speak for atheists, especially not THIS atheist.

Louis

P.S. It would have been courteous to accept the guy's apology? Fair enough. I disagree, but then that's okay. We don't have to agree. Perhaps it's a translation thing. I think it might have been politically expedient to accept the apology and react a different way, but I'm not sure that's the right answer either. I'm not sure there IS a *right* answer. It rather depends on one's goals. I think PZ probably acted precisely in line with his goals.

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Bye.

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 25 2011,06:51   

Louis: PZ is not "just one guy". I think that's the main problem here. He's a prominent atheist figure (although bugger knows why). If it was about YOU, nobody would care much. If some theist came around and proclaimed atheism to be corrupt because Louis said X shit on a forum, it would be like pissing in a violin. Now, if a theist came around and pointed to PZ's many slights and hypocrisies, there would be weight to that claim.

In other words, I concure with George.

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
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