Monday, July 16, 2012

Atheist Watch

This is a blog devoted to, well:

Watching hate group atheism, sounding the alarm against their bullying.

27 comments:

Arizona Atheist said...

Hi Mr. Reppert,

I think it's interesting that you've decided to link to a blog whose author is constantly hateful and rude to pretty much anyone who tries to discuss something with him. Ironically, it's my belief that the “hate” he believes he reports about atheists is nothing more than a projection of the hate and venom he shows atheists. While I can respect the fact that he has dyslexia and is able to write as decently as he does, he seriously needs to shape up his attitude (and his arguments) if he wants people to take him seriously.

You've got a nice blog here. I'd hate to see your credibility decrease due to your recommendation of this individual by linking approvingly to his blog because he has zero credibility in the eyes of many.

Thanks.

Crude said...

Victor, in the past, has linked to all kinds of things - both atheist sites and theist sites, atheist arguments and theist arguments, good ones and bad ones.

And would you really 'hate to see his credibility decrease'? You're an atheist advocate. Victor is a philosopher and a theist who advocates various arguments for God. You apparently support the Cult of Gnu, which is dedicated to attacking religious people and theists, by showing them disrespect, insulting and degrading them etc.

In short, c'mon. Victor's not going to take a credibility hit from yet another site link, and your complaint reeks of insincerity. Who's fooled by caca like this?

Arizona Atheist said...

Crude,

Victor, in the past, has linked to all kinds of things - both atheist sites and theist sites, atheist arguments and theist arguments, good ones and bad ones.

My point was more about associating with someone with his attitude, though his argument are also poor.

You're an atheist advocate. Victor is a philosopher and a theist who advocates various arguments for God. You apparently support the Cult of Gnu, which is dedicated to attacking religious people and theists, by showing them disrespect, insulting and degrading them etc.

Yes I like the new atheists but that doesn't mean I have to adopt their tactics. I actually enjoy having discussions with kind people like Victor. I show respect for people who show me respect. It's that simple.

and your complaint reeks of insincerity. Who's fooled by caca like this?

Insincere? Are you a mind reader or something? I've talked with Victor in the past and we had some good, fun exchanges. I was completely sincere.

Crude said...

AA,

My point was more about associating with someone with his attitude, though his argument are also poor.

Hold up.

So, you think it's a bad idea to 'associate with' - link to - someone who is intemperate in their comments?

Are you aware of guys named PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Jerry Coyne (and more), all of whom rely on ad hominems, insults, attacks, mockery, and more - and who also have (at least in the case of Dawkins) gone on record as saying they support belittling people they disagree with to shame them into silence, or changing their mind?

I take it you condemn them as well, yes?

Yes I like the new atheists but that doesn't mean I have to adopt their tactics.

No, you don't have to adopt their tactics. But unless you want to be a flat out hypocrite, you do have to condemn them.

Or is it a good cop, bad cop thing? You'll be the good cop, but if that doesn't work, screw it - bring in the bad cops to insult and degrade?

Straight up answer, AA: do you condemn their tactics, or don't you?

Insincere? Are you a mind reader or something? I've talked with Victor in the past and we had some good, fun exchanges. I was completely sincere.

I'm not a mind reader at all. That's why I have to go by the evidence I see - and I think your criticism of this site just linked to is pretty insincere.

But hey, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you condemn Dawkins, Myers, etc for their rhetoric and their methods, rather than just condemning theists who get unruly. Maybe you think atheists shouldn't associate with them, just as theists shouldn't associate with whoever is behind atheist-watch.

Let's see.

Morrison said...

Arizon Atheist regulary ridicules and smears believers and then congratulates himself. He has whole columns of "reviews" of Christian authors whom he ridicules. It got so bad he ended up removing all of his discussions from Amazon.

Its very ironic to hear him complaining about "hate".

Of course, on what morally relativistic ground he is condemning ANYONE is unclear.

Victor Reppert said...

I linked to the blog because I think that it makes a point that I agree with in general and have made here, namely, that, under the leadership of people like Dawkins and Myers, have indulged a willingness to engage in hateful rhetoric.

Whether the instances he identifies would be ones that I would agree with is another matter.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Victor -- I just looked at the site. Despite its stated purpose (to "sound the alarm against" the bullying of hateful rhetoric from atheists), the scope of the site seems to go beyond that. For example, right now, the latest post is "Prayer Studies and the Echo Chamber." I didn't read anything in that blog post which alleges anything to do with hateful rhetoric by atheists. Rather, this post seems to be a run-of-the-mill response to certain atheist critiques of claims about the power of prayer. I found several other examples of articles on the site which appear to have zero to do with hateful rhetoric, but seem to be standard critiques of certain atheistic arguments.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I just want to point how extremely selective the author appears to be--based on my 3 minutes of skimming the site--in terms of interacting with atheist arguments. My impression is that he spends most or all of his time interacting with the weakest arguments for atheism, but spends little or none of his time interacting with the strong arguments for atheism.

In contrast, on The Secular Outpost and The Secular Web, we regularly go out of our way to interact with the best arguments theists and Christians have to offer. We obviously have a bias, but we at least attempt to interact with the strongest arguments for theism and Christianity.

Crude said...

In contrast, on The Secular Outpost and The Secular Web, we regularly go out of our way to interact with the best arguments theists and Christians have to offer. We obviously have a bias, but we at least attempt to interact with the strongest arguments for theism and Christianity.

Are you backing AA's statement that it's wrong to link to this blog? If so, I'd direct the same questions to you as I did to him.

In contrast, on The Secular Outpost and The Secular Web, we regularly go out of our way to interact with the best arguments theists and Christians have to offer.

And I take it you guys condemn PZ Myers, Jerry Coyne, Dawkins, etc, and various other atheists who engage in hateful rhetoric, engage in or support mocking, ad homs, and the idea of humiliating Christians as a means of changing their minds?

Again, I'm not even endorsing the site Victor linked to - he links to a lot of things, including atheist sites and arguments in the past. But I'm getting the impression this worry and criticism is distinctly one-sided.

Victor Reppert said...

Yes, the Outpost, particularly, is head and shoulders about what I see on most of the internet from atheists. I plan to respond more to it, and less to other stuff.

cl said...

Victor,

"Yes, the Outpost, particularly, is head and shoulders about what I see on most of the internet from atheists. I plan to respond more to it, and less to other stuff."

Me too.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Are you backing AA's statement that it's wrong to link to this blog? If so, I'd direct the same questions to you as I did to him.

Huh? This is an odd response. If atheist A1 says P and atheist A2 later says Q, not even addressing P, it seems odd to assume or even suggest in the form of a question that A2 agrees with P.

I think Victor frequently shares links to a lot of sites, just like I do. I don't assume he endorses his links any more than he endorses mine.

I do tend to agree with Arizona Atheist when he writes, "it's my belief that the “hate” he believes he reports about atheists is nothing more than a projection of the hate and venom he shows atheists."

And I take it you guys condemn PZ Myers, Jerry Coyne, Dawkins, etc, and various other atheists who engage in hateful rhetoric, engage in or support mocking, ad homs, and the idea of humiliating Christians as a means of changing their minds?

This may come as a surprise to you, but I haven't read very much of what they have written. When I have read something I disagreed with--whether because I thought it was hateful or because I thought it was factually incorrect--I have criticized it.

Again, I'm not even endorsing the site Victor linked to - he links to a lot of things, including atheist sites and arguments in the past. But I'm getting the impression this worry and criticism is distinctly one-sided.

My post to Victor wasn't even about AA's original comment or your objections to AA.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

"I don't assume he endorses his links any more than he endorses mine." This should have been: "I don't assume he endorses his links any more than I endorse mine.

Crude said...

Huh? This is an odd response. If atheist A1 says P and atheist A2 later says Q, not even addressing P, it seems odd to assume or even suggest in the form of a question that A2 agrees with P.

Is it assuming or suggesting by asking whether or not you do, in fact, support the statement?

This may come as a surprise to you, but I haven't read very much of what they have written. When I have read something I disagreed with--whether because I thought it was hateful or because I thought it was factually incorrect--I have criticized it.

I find it hard to believe you can be a regular contributor to a place such as secular web, etc, and be unaware of what PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, etc at least generally say about Christians and theists generally.

My post to Victor wasn't even about AA's original comment or your objections to AA.

I think I can be forgiven, in a thread which didn't even have ten comments, for assuming that your comments had some relation to the OP or the replies in it.

Thrasymachus said...

My experience of metacrock have been pretty negative, so I don't take him seriously. It'd be bizarre to say that reflects badly on Victor though: reblogging a link is a pretty minimal endorsement.

@Victor: I fear you've discussed this before and I've missed it, but does anyone write something meaty making the case that Dawkins Myers et al. are doing hateful speech, as opposed to garden variety boorish offensiveness?

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Crude -- I find your reply to me to be, again, uncharitable. Here were my exact words:

This may come as a surprise to you, but I haven't read very much of what they have written. When I have read something I disagreed with--whether because I thought it was hateful or because I thought it was factually incorrect--I have criticized it.

And here is your reply:

I find it hard to believe you can be a regular contributor to a place such as secular web, etc, and be unaware of what PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, etc at least generally say about Christians and theists generally.

But I never said I am "unaware of what PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, etc at least generally say about Christians and theists generally." I said, quote literally, "I haven't read very much of what they have written." I have read some of PZ Myers' blog posts. I have read Dawkins' God Delusion.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

"quote" should be "quite." I seem to be having typing problems today!

Crude said...

Jeff,

I find your reply to me to be, again, uncharitable.

Uncharitable? Not really. But sure, let's say I'm not being precise enough.

But I never said I am "unaware of what PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, etc at least generally say about Christians and theists generally." I said, quote literally, "I haven't read very much of what they have written." I have read some of PZ Myers' blog posts. I have read Dawkins' God Delusion.

Based on your reply, I can't tell whether you're saying you are or are not aware of the general tone of and approach towards theists the men in question have. I again say, I find it hard to believe you're unaware of that tone and approach. If you're aware, wonderful. If you're not - hard to believe, but say what you will.

Victor Reppert said...

I think Jeff knows all about the tone and attitude of the Gnus. But his primary focus is on the actual debate the between theists and atheists, as opposed to the kind of noisy and unsubstantial features of the New Atheism. He has concurred with me with respect to certain ways in which atheism has been advocated.

Victor Reppert said...

By the way, Jeff was one of first solicited my initial Argument from Reason essay for Internet Infidels, way back in 1998. I won't forget that. He also asked for my paper on miracles, which also now appears there.

Crude said...

Victor,

He has concurred with me with respect to certain ways in which atheism has been advocated.

No doubt.

Here's where my problem comes in: I often find the 'nice fellow atheist' condemnations of the Cult of Gnu pretty weak. Not always, but often. They usually add up to a muted, qualified, 'well, I don't think their tone is particularly helpful' and little else. Whereas the expectation with theists is out and out condemnation of and disassociation any theist who acts the same way, or halfway the same, as PZ Myers and company do on a regular basis.

So when this sort of thing comes up, I like to know just what the standards are. Putting Jeff aside for the moment, I think I asked AA some fair questions, and I think the reply was telling.

Victor Reppert said...

I'd like to see an atheist come out and say that they are as embarrassed by some of Dawkins' antics as I am when I hear people like Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson appearing as spokesmen for Christianity.

Of course, Gnu have a name for an atheist who does this: Accommodationist.

MickRuggieri said...

Maybe the main issue is that we all suffer from confirmation bias and selective outrage. Opposing viewpoints are important, it is when either side resorts to ridicule or appeals to fear that we run into the problems.

That's my take on it at any rate.

Take care,

Crude said...

Victor,

I'd like to see an atheist come out and say that they are as embarrassed by some of Dawkins' antics as I am when I hear people like Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson appearing as spokesmen for Christianity.

See, I agree. And to their credit, some individual atheists have. But it's always some lone voice in the wilderness.

I was in a conversation once on Christian Cadre, and a very nice atheist spoke up and said it wasn't fair of the OP (possibly Metacrock, frankly) to make it sound as if atheists were, as a rule, like Myers or Dawkins, and that plenty of them don't like how they act.

I was skeptical, and I said why: I asked them to name the atheist organizations that denounced and distanced themselves from Dawkins, Myers, or even acts like Blasphemy Day (remember that gem?) the way many Christians open up Robertson when he says something inane, or the Westboro Baptists as an organization. If it's happening, I'm not seeing it. And it really looks like a good cop, bad cop thing - someone may not want to engage in it personally, but man, they're glad someone is doing the necessary dirty work.

See, Mike Ruggieri mentions confirmation bias and selective outrage. But I don't think we 'all' suffer from it. As you say, Victor, the culture of the Cult of Gnu is that if you're not with them, you're against them. You can't say 'Dawkins is a windbag' or even 'Myers is a windbag' and expect to stay in good standing, even if you're an atheist.

There's a reason I always refer to that wing of atheism as the Cult of Gnu. The whole 'free thought' thing could get more ironic.

Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Metacrock said...

It is not true that I'm hateful to eveyone who wants to discuss things with me. If you would follow the dialogue that I put up from CARM just one tine and really pay attention you would see that they gang up on me 12 at a time. they lie about the data, they indulge in personal attack and character assassination all the time. they distort everything i say. It's constant. it's all the time because I stand up tot them.

they hate me and the make me the lightening rod for their ridicule because I stand up to them.

they would tell me on a regular basi 'you are lying, you never went to graduate school. you never did. I got John Loftus to talk to the department secretary to prove that I was a Ph.D. candidate, he will will tell you I was. I proved he was a student of Craig's to get Christians off his back and he proved I was a Ph.D. candidate to tell it to the atheists who were lying about my education.


they turn right around and continue to say all sorts of things about how i never went to graduate school all I ever studied was theology ect ect.(as though that's a big crime).

when you say "he's rude to everyone" you are just repeating a part line that characters assassins have handed down for he faithful to repeat.

Metacrock said...

"We are being too thin skinned if we can't handle vigorous criticism without calling it hate speech (or escalating matters with comparisons to the Klan). Dredging the web for this trash site responding to the fringe. Way to promote thoughtful discussion."

Of cousre you are not willing to examine the text to see how it's been couched. I never said "all atheist are a hate group." I never said that.

I have always maintained that there is a segment that works under a hate group mentality. they are a minority. I'm more concerned with the ideological aspects of the atheist movement and their paranoia about admitting that they have a movement.

Again you are repeating surface stuff, slogans that are handed down as party line: this is the "official take" on metacrock.

Metacrock said...

"I think it's interesting that you've decided to link to a blog whose author is constantly hateful and rude to pretty much anyone who tries to discuss something with him. Ironically, it's my belief that the “hate” he believes he reports about atheists is nothing more than a projection of the hate and venom he shows atheists. While I can respect the fact that he has dyslexia and is able to write as decently as he does, he seriously needs to shape up his attitude (and his arguments) if he wants people to take him seriously."

These are the words of Arizona Atheist. he has a real motive to slander me because he infiltrated the CADRE. he pretended to be something he was not. He then divulged all sorts of private communication that was not meant to be shared with the public (nothing so dire as our plans to take over the world but it still was a cowardly and dishonest breach of the agreement one tacitly make when joining a group with a secret email list).

Because we denounced his dishonesty he go very personal in his mocking and ridiculing of us. He has a big motive to go after me and put me down as much as he can.