Friday, December 14, 2012

Is the term Gnu Atheism derisive

I'll take Pharyngula as authoritative here. Apparently not.

80 comments:

William said...

I find it insulting to the original Gnu myself:

"What's the second issue? Open source and free software....The Gnu project is one of the original projects that pushed the notion of open source and free software, long before the term "open source" was coined. Much of that movement today would not exist without what the Gnu project had done. "

--
Here.

im-skeptical said...

Perhaps I don't get around enough to see how it is used in other contexts. It may have become owned by some as a sort of badge of honor. I can speak of how I have seen it used in this forum. The first time the term was applied to me, it felt like derision.

Please note that I don't advocate policing speech for political correctness. Everyone should feel free to express his ideas in a manner that reflects his thinking.

William said...

I dislike "Cult of Gnu" myself, due to:

1. A cult usually implies some kind of leader worship and I don'tseethat here much.

2. Hated this when said in a purely commercial context back when Microsoft was still doing PR war with Linux/Apache over web servers.

So "Gnu atheist-- pretty neutral
"Cult of Gnu" -- derisive.

Crude said...

As someone who uses the CoG term, and who knows fully well that using it in that context (as opposed to just 'Gnu atheist') is derisive, I'll simply ask the following:

Does the Cult of Gnu really have standing to ask people not to refer to their group with derision?

I'll say again: the CoG doesn't refer to mere atheists, certainly not mere agnostics or irreligious or, etc. It picks out a pretty particular subset of atheists in its reference. It also happens to be a subset whose most visible leadership and representatives make a habit of mocking and derisively referring to just about any religious person they have in their sights, to the delight of their followers.

CoGs complaining about this says a lot about their chutzpah, or self-unawareness, but it doesn't really highlight any serious issue.

Syllabus said...

A cult usually implies some kind of leader worship and I don't see that here much.

And the combox over at Pharyngula consists of... what, exactly?

In all seriousness, though, I find the term less than useful, as there are perfectly good wildebeests that have done nothing to merit association with those people.

cautiouslycurious said...

Syllabus,
"And the combox over at Pharyngula consists of... what, exactly?"

A bunch of atheists jumping down theists' throats, which is the same exact thing that occurs here in reverse, although on a smaller level due to a smaller audience. It's a stretch to call that leadership worship.

Syllabus said...

A bunch of atheists jumping down theists' throats, which is the same exact thing that occurs here in reverse, although on a smaller level due to a smaller audience.

And, I would hope, with orders of magnitude fewer obscenity-laced ad homs.

It's a stretch to call that leadership worship.

Possibly, but I don't think that, for that particular blog, the term "echo chamber" goes entirely awry.

Crude said...

A bunch of atheists jumping down theists' throats, which is the same exact thing that occurs here in reverse

Hahahaha.

No.

For one thing, even an atheist who disagrees with the pack on those sites gets absolutely savaged. Second, there's not nearly as much personal attacks, foul language, etc. Third, you have to be snarky and pissy to get mocked here for the most part, or have the track record for such. At Myers' swamp, all you have to do is disagree with the horde.

Really, compare this snippet to most of what goes on here.

And that's just Myers. Go check out Coyne's moderation history sometime.

William said...

I was looking at Coyne's site, and found it referenced countries that persecuted atheists here:

atheists

...and this reminded me of a similar map about persecution of Christian minorities here:

Christians


Note the extreme overlaps of the maps. Countries that have institutionalized persecution of atheists have usually already institutionalized the persecution of Christians (and likely Jews)!
This suggests some kind of divide-and-conquer strategy is going to be used in some country, somewhere, soon. If not already.

So, when are the Gnu atheists and the Christian apologists going to decide if the enemy of my enemy is my friend, or have they already decided that's not so?

cautiouslycurious said...

Crude,
"Really, compare this snippet to most of what goes on here."

If that guy was serious, he was indistinguishable from a troll. Look at the content of the post. PZ posts a cartoon criticizing behavior X saying that it is demeaning to women and derails the conversation about rape. What does Hero do? Behavior X.

Gee, I wonder why people would find that unacceptable? /sarcasm

Now that I think about it, there is a difference that I didn't initially notice. Due to the size of PZ blog and that he makes (a little) money off of it, he has an incentive to create an environment to garner as large an audience as possible. This certainly doesn't mean allowing everyone to partake since some individuals can drive more people away. For whatever reason, he's made it an environment that is friendly to women. If you disagree with that, then you can take it up with the horde. For example, take Lexie's post in response to oneplus999's initial comment and immediate reactions:

"This feels like my life me yelling and stamping my little feet and men just laughing at me. But I just thought I’d say that I’m a new commenter but while I’ve been lurking one of the things which kept me here (besides PZs obviously awesome posts) is how whenever I saw a someone post something sexist so many of the men called them on it. It restored my faith in humanity. In my life when someone says something blatantly misogynistic normally no one says anything even other women who are too scared to get in their faces or even worse actually buy into their stupid view. So thanks everyone here."

Surely, you can find a better example than that, right? Or are you saying that people don't get mocked here for saying incredibly ignorant things?

cl said...

The only difference between the Cult of Gnu and other cults is in the multiplicity of leaders. There's no rule that says a cult must only have one leader. The followers are generally just as unthinking, and just as blind. In fact a bit worse, because they're under the delusion that they are both seeing and thinking. That makes it a bit worse.

Gnu atheism is definitely a cult, just like any other: for the CoG really believes that they have the intellectual highground, and the means of discovering truth.

True thinkers on both sides just point their fingers and laugh.

cl said...

cautiouslycurious,

I still don't understand why you use that moniker. You're neither cautious, nor curious, and you seldom look before you leap. For example:

"A bunch of atheists jumping down theists' throats, which is the same exact thing that occurs here in reverse, although on a smaller level due to a smaller audience."

Pure nonsense. Here, there are atheists who are respected because they AREN'T like the Pharyngulites, and many of us have had plenty a reasonable, insult-free exchange with them. Here, people don't swear and insult others with profanity (with one notable exception).

Over at PZ's place it's just like an episode of South Park. There is little to intellectual discourse, just culture war nonsense. Over there philosophy is insulted, here both philosophy and science are embraced.

Here, our host is a cordial, gentle man who would never insult a fly. Over there, our host is a bigoted, loud-mouthed insecure jerk who say whatever he can for shock value and other nefarious purposes.

For you to attempt to equate the two means you're either dishonest or not thinking very criticially. I'll assume the latter.

Crude said...

If that guy was serious, he was indistinguishable from a troll. Look at the content of the post. PZ posts a cartoon criticizing behavior X saying that it is demeaning to women and derails the conversation about rape. What does Hero do? Behavior X.

Gee, I wonder why people would find that unacceptable? /sarcasm


Uh, yeah. In other words - he disagreed. He haltingly, apologetically disagreed with what everyone else was saying. That was his big thoughtcrime. 'Let me explain why I disagree with the consensus here.'

If you're saying 'Yeah well he should know better than to disagree with Myers' or Myers' minions!', that's rather the freaking point I was making.

But you think it's okay, because some people like seeing the horde descend in a foul-mouthed, angry rant that ends in a banning against someone who disagreed. While being extraordinarily apologetic and self-effacing the whole time.

Oh, better yet, your additional point: 'That's okay, because PZ's in this for the money too.' Not exactly a brilliant defense.

Surely, you can find a better example than that, right? Or are you saying that people don't get mocked here for saying incredibly ignorant things?

The example is fine. That you don't agree with it isn't a concern. If anything, your reaction just illustrates my point further.

And there's the false equivalency: no, what goes on around here doesn't become anything within the ballpark of Myers' rathole. No, if minorly, meagerly disagree around here, that's not what happens. I disagree with Victor's politics strongly quite often - either of us have yet to descend into crazy foul-mouthed rants at each other.

In fact, CC - multiple people disagree with you right now. Who's cursing you out? Who's screaming 'Victor, ban this troll!' merely because you disagree? Yes, you've been told that you don't understand what you talk about before. Why, people even have mocked your name a bit. It's never even approached what goes on at Myers' crappy little outpost, daily.

So, no. The two sides aren't equivalent. The proper comparison between the Cult of Gnu isn't PZ Myers' blog and this blog. It's PZ Myers' blog and a Westboro Baptist event.

cl said...

Crude,

"Why, people even have mocked your name a bit."

I actually wasn't even mocking, I was being genuine: I don't understand the moniker. The behavior rarely matches it. It makes no sense.

That said, it's a common phenomenon amongst Gnus. Like Pharisees and Scriptures, Gnus love to adorn themselves with lavish little titles like "rational" or "reason" etc., but their behavior rarely affirms them.

Crude said...

I didn't really have you in mind there, cl, so that's fine. It was more 'past interactions on here'.

Eric said...

"Over at PZ's place it's just like an episode of South Park. There is little to intellectual discourse, just culture war nonsense. Over there philosophy is insulted, here both philosophy and science are embraced."

Here's a funny observation: Compare comment counts on the hard science threads at Pharyngula with the wolly religion/philosophy threads -- notice anything? It seems as if the hardcore science folks over there have surprisingly little to say about science, since those threads rarely crack fifty comments, while the religion/philosophy threads regularly accumulate hundreds of comments. So even there the regularly expressed adoration of science strikes one as little more than a pose.

Crude said...

Eric,

It seems as if the hardcore science folks over there have surprisingly little to say about science, since those threads rarely crack fifty comments, while the religion/philosophy threads regularly accumulate hundreds of comments. So even there the regularly expressed adoration of science strikes one as little more than a pose.

I recall Coyne himself posting a complaint that his posts about religion get all kinds of hits and responses, but his posts about science with religious commentary minimized see a very marked dropoff.

You even see it in their leaders. PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins both love science so much that they stopped doing it. Even EO Wilson flat out called Dawkins an ex-scientist.

Eric said...

Crude, I wasn't aware of that remark by Wilson.

It reminds me of what Barrow said in response to Dawkins's comments on the constants physicists deal with:

“You have a problem with these ideas, Richard, because you’re not really a scientist. You’re a biologist.”

Ouch!

(Of course, I disagree with Barrow -- of course biologists are scientists. Concerning whether Dawkins is a scientist 'any more,' I'd tend to agree with Wilson. But I do find it amusing to see undeniably legitimate scientists questioning the scientific bona fides of the self proclaimed paragon of reason and science!)

Eric said...

Perhaps this explains so much of the irrational William Lane Craig hatred on the web: These folks, who pose as lovers of science, simply cannot brook the fact that an evangelical Christian apologists understands both basic science and advanced physics far better than they do!

ozero91 said...

In other news, PZ Myers has discovered Dawkins' money-making secret.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Happy-Atheist-PZ-Myers/dp/0307379345

cl said...

Eric,

"It seems as if the hardcore science folks over there have surprisingly little to say about science, since those threads rarely crack fifty comments..."

Well, that's because there really aren't any hardcore science folks there, just a bunch of pop internet atheist cultists who wave the flag of science. Your observation is spot on. There's one thread in particular where I recall calling PZ out on a lame conspiracy theory assumption he gave absolutely zero evidence for. You should have seen how they pounced on me. I'll see if I can find it and post the link. It's a perfect example of what we're talking about.

William said...

cl: "Well, that's because there really aren't any hardcore science folks there"

Maybe because if you want hardcore science, it's at the peer-review journal sites, not the amateur journalist sites (lol)?

Crude said...

Eric,

Actually, if you were wondering where the source for my quote was: right here.

"Would you like to talk about Dawkins?" he continues – and when I say yes, he laughs. "I hesitate to do this because he's such a popular guy, but Dawkins is not a scientist. He's a writer on science and he hasn't participated in research directly or published in peer-reviewed journals for a long time. In other words, there is no Wilson-versus-Dawkins controversy: it's Wilson versus … well, I could give you a goodly list of other scientists doing peer-reviewed research."

It was nice to hear him say it, because I always see Dawkins introduced as 'Noted evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins', even by Christians. He's not. It's like introducing Robin Williams as "Mork from Ork". Sorry, maybe once upon a time, but things have since changed.

Ryan Anderson said...

I like Gnu, what bothers me though is when someone makes up what they think is a clever play on someones name, like for example, "Dick to the Dawk". I tune out immediately and ignore everything else that person says, it simply doesn't matter if their arguments are valid or not at that point.

cautiouslycurious said...

Crude,
“Uh, yeah. In other words - he disagreed.”

It’s akin to someone posting about depression being a mental illness and how saying “Just snap out of it” is condescending, useless information, and just enrages the person that the comment is pointed towards and then someone in the comments posts “Just snap out of it.” A reply such as “Oh, really, was that my problem, I’ll just think myself out of a mental illness, thanks for the advice, jerk” would be appropriate. Sure, it’s rude, but it will show the person who said the comment how inappropriate it was; tit for tat. Sure, the commenter may disagree that it’s not terrible advice, but they are completely ignorant about the issues involved and have just been told that it’s horrible advice. On the other hand, it’s just what a troll would do. It’s the old age dilemma, is the offender ignorant or malicious. Since they were just told how ignorant it is, malice tends to be the better explanation.

Actually, there wasn't that much disagreement in the thread since they later admitted that their comment was condescending, trivial since everyone knew it, intentionally provocative, and didn't accurately describe their position (playing the ol' devil's advocate). In other words, a troll was banned, sad day for him. What’s the big deal?

“Oh, better yet, your additional point: 'That's okay, because PZ's in this for the money too.' Not exactly a brilliant defense.”

I didn’t ascribe a motive to PZ. That’s what “for whatever reason” means. I was pointing out that blogs may not have the same dynamics when you change their size. Don’t read into more than what I said in my post. There are plenty of reasons to restrict the audience and limit discussion, even for academic reasons.

“The example is fine. That you don't agree with it isn't a concern. If anything, your reaction just illustrates my point further.”

I disagree with it because I probably basically agree with him and I wouldn’t have said what he said. He derailed the discussion to make a trivial point, a point that is both condescending and insulting. A lot of blogs have comment policies regarding going off-topic so the fact that he was banned isn’t all too surprising in terms of blogging practices. I’m questioning whether you even have a point since the example doesn’t show someone being banned for mere disagreement. Just look at the thread; there are other people who disagreed who didn’t get banned. Also, picking someone who admitted that they “wanted to stir up the hornet’s nest” by playing devil’s advocate (i.e. trolled) and monopolized the thread (contra comment policy) doesn’t really help your case either.

“In fact, CC - multiple people disagree with you right now. Who's cursing you out? Who's screaming 'Victor, ban this troll!' merely because you disagree? Yes, you've been told that you don't understand what you talk about before. Why, people even have mocked your name a bit. It's never even approached what goes on at Myers' crappy little outpost, daily.”

Do you think four lettered words make the difference? Just to let you know, atheists don’t typically grant them a special category for offense. Just because the people here use substitutes doesn’t make the verbal barrage any different.

Not to mention that your overarching criticism may be obsolete since PZ has since updated his comment policy to include: “TET will become [Lounge]. It is still the same: an open thread, talk about what you want, but I’m going to be specific: it is a safe space. Discussion and polite disagreement are allowed, but you will respect all the commenters, damn you. No personal attacks allowed at all.” If you want earmuffs, he has threads for that, if not, then he has threads for that as well.

cautiouslycurious said...

Eric,
Controversial topics where disagreement is, and therefore more back and forth comments, are where more comments occur. What a shocking discovery.

CL,
“Pure nonsense. Here, there are atheists who are respected because they AREN'T like the Pharyngulites, and many of us have had plenty a reasonable, insult-free exchange with them. Here, people don't swear and insult others with profanity (with one notable exception).”

Right, just like with Angra Mainyu? Who Victor said “is a serious interlocutor” and said a few people were trigger happy in their attacks? The same person who described some commenters on this site as insulting and hostile? The same person who came back and back again to defend himself from misrepresentations? You sure have a funny definition of reasonable, insult-free exchanges. Unless of course, is this the notable exception you’re talking about?

Crude said...

It’s akin to someone posting about depression being a mental illness and how saying “Just snap out of it” is condescending, useless information, and just enrages the person that the comment is pointed towards and then someone in the comments posts “Just snap out of it.”

Anyone can read the post I linked, CC, and see that your description of it doesn't match the reality. What happened was that people said that saying "X" is unhelpful and bad advice, and a person disagreed. The response was absolutely *fury*, namecalling, personal insults and attacks the likes of which - despite your attempts to invent some - are unheard of around here, on the absolute worst days (compared to what is, for Myers' swamp, 'a regular thing').

What it's actually akin to is someone posting that they disagree the rest of the group - but the group absolutely cannot stand dissent, particularly when they are very emotionally invested in the topic. Which is precisely what they're being accused of.

Don’t read into more than what I said in my post.

I don't have to, since you brought up a monetary concern on your own. That wasn't me divining anything, it was me quoting you.

Do you think four lettered words make the difference? Just to let you know, atheists don’t typically grant them a special category for offense. Just because the people here use substitutes doesn’t make the verbal barrage any different.

Yes, I do think vile slurs and 'oh so you found a girl who will fuck you, good for you' is pretty far away from 'You're ignorant on this topic' or the like. Yes, the 'verbal barrages' are different. Stop trying to equivocate your way out of this.

Also, picking someone who admitted that they “wanted to stir up the hornet’s nest” by playing devil’s advocate (i.e. trolled)

Hahaha. Playing devil's advocate means you trolled? Really? Okay, thanks CC. Like I said, you're not really doing a good job of defending PZ here. You're just making both him and you look worse for it, because you're trying to ignore the multiple elephants in the room.

Not to mention that your overarching criticism may be obsolete since PZ has since updated his comment policy to include

Sure, because that was the problem, right? It wasn't about the people present on the blog, it wasn't about PZ. It was about a posted rule. THAT was the culprit, all this time!

Really, this whole thread is just evidence that destroys your case. Here you are, disagreeing, defending someone held in low regard by most people here - but compare our collective behavior to what goes on at Myers' cesspool any day of the week.

"But, that's different! He was trolling (you know, playing devil's advocate.) We told him he was WRONG, and he continued to argue his perspective! Sure, people used vile insults and personal attacks - but that's just like saying someone is wrong or ignorant! And ultimately he was banned, but that was just for continuing to disagree with people even after everyone made it clear they thought he was wrong and insulted him and that didn't shut him up!"

Like I said, not the most inspiring defense of Myers here.

ozero91 said...

cc, you can still be an atheist without having to defend Myers. Just read the comments that some atheists left on Marshall's blog:

http://christthetao.blogspot.com/2012/11/pz-myers-guru-of-hate-and-timidity.html

It's just like how theists on this blog aren't automatically obligated to endorse or defend every behavior and statement of, say, WLC.

cl said...

CC,

Don't just make baseless claims assuming I followed a 350 comment thread, show me the insults in question. This is what I mean by neither cautious nor curious; you just expect me to believe you.

cl said...

I would also disagree with Victor that Angra is a serious interlocutor. The first time he ever came to my blog, he came out with bigoted blanket statements and assumptions.

http://www.thewarfareismental.net/b/2012/01/21/oh-theres-a-contradiction-alright/

Comment #6: "I wouldn’t expect you to see that, but readers who aren’t being irrational – if they’re being careful, of course – will see it."

And:

".Tenth, I already demonstrated all of that in my argument. You just cannot see it, because your faith gets in the way of rational thought, but that’s beside the point."

Angra left an ad hominem attack after our third exchange, and refused to concede any error whatsoever. Like Chris Hallquist, he attacked WLC as a "liar" all while failing to frame WLC's arguments in proper context. It's all there, read through it if you like.

That, to me, is not a serious interlocutor -- but I already know you have different standards.

ozero91 said...

"Don't just make baseless claims assuming I followed a 350 comment thread, show me the insults in question."

I think he was referring to BenYachov. I'll admit that I find Ben's language to be a little overboard sometimes.

Crude said...

I just love the implication here that Victor Reppert and PZ Myers basically oversee the same kinds of blogs in terms of tone and treatment of dissenters and so on.

Has PZ Myers ever said 'Hey, you all are jumping on this theist commenter, but he's serious and his ideas are worthy of discussion.'? How about Jerry Coyne?

ozero91 said...

cl,

Consider this proposition: "Prior to t=0, time does not exist." This would be true in both a timeless state as well as a temporal state, right?

ozero91 said...

Or maybe this proposition would be better: "Time exists if and only if t=0 or greater." Wouldn't this remain true in either timeless or temporal states?

cl said...

ozero91,

"I think he was referring to BenYachov. I'll admit that I find Ben's language to be a little overboard sometimes."

That wouldn't surprise me, and I agree, as do at least a few others who comment here. That's why I qualified my statement with "one notable exception." However, even Ben, cuss as he may, doesn't routinely cross lines like the ilk at PZ's cave. That's why I asked for the quotes. At PZ's, insults 10X worse than Ben's are standard, common fare. Here, you have to try really, really hard to find anything that even comes close.

If CC wants to read my statement as, "people here NEVER swear and NEVER insult others with profanity," well, that's disingenuous. I'm saying if you line up Victor's blog next to PZ's, there's no way a reasonable, honest individual can claim that it's "the same exact thing that occurs here in reverse." That's a bunch of nonsense.

"Consider this proposition: "Prior to t=0, time does not exist." This would be true in both a timeless state as well as a temporal state, right?"

I don't think it would. I think it would be an incoherent, meaningless proposition. The very concept of "prior to t=0" is an absurdity (note that here, as in the argument I linked to, I'm defining "time" synonymously with Aristotle's kinesis: a transition from potency to act).

"Or maybe this proposition would be better: "Time exists if and only if t=0 or greater." Wouldn't this remain true in either timeless or temporal states?"

That one strikes me as a tautology: it's just saying time exists if time exists. On my view, time exists if and only if kinesis is taking place. That might just be a different way of saying the same thing you're saying, maybe I'm just splitting hairs.

But those are my off-the-cuff remarks for tonight, at least.

cl said...

So here's the link I was talking about, where PZ just rolls his own conspiracy theory without a lick of evidence:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/07/11/sign-this-petition/

First note the sampling of monikers in this thread alone: "Sili (I have no penis and I must jizz)", "Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls", "Ing: Gerund of Death" … I mean, really?

I show up at #15, grant that PZ's hypothesis is plausible, and make no other remark than a request for evidence to support it, and look at the reaction from these "freethinkers." Pure comedy. They were even able to brainwash one guy who initially objected to their lame behavior (stevenbrown #36).

Anyways, there is not one single thread in the history of Victor's blog that is even remotely comparable to this one, and this is a MILD thread at PZ's!

CC is off his (or her) rocker.

cautiouslycurious said...

Crude,
“What happened was that people said that saying "X" is unhelpful and bad advice, and a person disagreed.”

He actually agrees later in the thread that it’s useless advice after people have informed him that women have heard the same condescending advice ad nauseam by other people. This wasn’t an issue of disagreement when he was banned. But it was actually worse than what you stated, it’s someone saying that they don’t want said advice saying that it’s insulting and condescending and then you giving them the same advice they just said was insulting.

“Hahaha. Playing devil's advocate means you trolled? Really?”

Do you know how a conjunction works? Let’s go over this again. Intentionally provoking an emotional response by presuming an extreme position that you don’t actually hold is called trolling. The second part is called playing devil’s advocate. The first part is also part of the stated definition; give it a glance some time.

“I don't have to, since you brought up a monetary concern on your own. That wasn't me divining anything, it was me quoting you.”

I brought it up but I didn’t ascribe it to PZ. There are plenty of reasons to restrict comments, I named one as an example but said that it needn’t apply to PZ. If you want to actually respond to my position, please make a better effort to comprehend what I say. By your reaction, I suppose you would think that quote mining is also just an example of quoting someone; however, it’s equally important to understand what they say.

“Yes, I do think vile slurs and 'oh so you found a girl who will fuck you, good for you' is pretty far away from 'You're ignorant on this topic' or the like. Yes, the 'verbal barrages' are different. Stop trying to equivocate your way out of this.”

While I think “you’re ignorant on this topic” might be appropriate when used selectively. However, I don’t condone language such as “You’re a fucking idiot” or the lesser form “You’re an idiot.” I think this type of language is just as unacceptable as saying that someone should not expect to find a partner. Neither belongs in a rational discussion. However, I don’t think that saying fuck in any way makes either insult any more profane. When you mentioned profanity, I thought you were referring to swearing. I don’t see much disagreement here.

cautiouslycurious said...

CL,

You can disagree with Victor all you want. I personally haven’t read any of Angra’s writings aside from that thread so I’m not familiar with his general attitude. I was basically relying on Victor’s analysis. I even said that Victor was the one that said so, so I don’t know why you brought up my standards for who qualifies as a serious interlocutor since it was Victor’s I was citing. Anyway, for the purpose of the thread, Angra was trying to have a serious conversation and some people made that difficult.

“No it's that you are a fucking idiot who doesn't even know about Atheist philosophical terms(like materialism, Naturalism) yet you are wasting everyone's time with your ignorant blather and irrelevant anti-fundamentalist polemics.” November 28, 2012 12:22 PM Just curious, does “fucking idiot” count as a swearing insult? If not, how about “Get the fuck over it loser”?- November 28, 2012 10:19 AM I’m having trouble reconciling these comments with your picture of a reasonable, insult-free discussion.

Some commenters chiming in on Angra:
Matt-“Any impartial observer could tell that Angra has been civil, respectable, and patient in dealing with the peanut gallery who have stumbled over themselves to go about insulting him.”
Jeff-“Angra -- I have read the entire exchange in the combox. I'm disappointed (but not surprised) by the adversarial, abusive tone I've seen from some of the people who've responded to you. I think you did fine, both in terms of content and tone.”
Tony-“ Wow. Just got through reading most of Angra's comments. Angra, a truly awesome performance both in terms of content (I learned a great deal) and superhuman restraint.”

After being called out on this by the above people, the person issued an apology: “So my conscious tells me to concede the following. Using foul language directed at Angra when he did not do it too me was wrong. Insulting him was wrong. Attacking his honesty was wrong. Attacking his compotence was wrong. Comparing him to Paps was wrong. I over reacted & treated him very badly.”


Ozero,
“cc, you can still be an atheist without having to defend Myers.”
I don’t think I’m defending much of anything. I have a fairly apathetic attitude towards what people do on their own blogs so I have a “so what” attitude in response to Crude trying to demonize PZ for banning said person. Yeah, it’s his blog so he controls who can post there. There are many reasons to control that, either making it a safe environment for women (as supported by the above quote, Ctl+F Lexie), banning trolling, making sure one person doesn’t monopolize or derail threads, or maybe he just wants to mess with people. Said person basically violated almost every rule of blogging etiquette. I don’t see what the fuss is about, so I’m basically defending the right of the blog’s author to control access to his domain. I don’t see that as a controversial issue. However, it has sparked my interest in whether Crude is correct that disagreement gets the horde going so I will test that hypothesis on an appropriate (I don’t play devil’s advocate) fresh thread.

cautiouslycurious said...

In general,
No one has really addressed my original point, much less what it was related to. I wonder if anyone else can appreciate the irony of theists insisting I’m wrong about theists not jumping down atheists’ throats by jumping down my throat. I called it like I saw it. When the atheists have to spend more time correcting misinterpretations of their position than anything else, you know you have a problem with people getting overzealous. It’s even more ironic that Victor just posted about being patient and making sure that you understand someone’s position before engaging in it.

Take this thread as a recent example, I didn’t make a comparison between Victor and PZ, yet CL says “Here, our host is a cordial, gentle man who would never insult a fly. Over there, our host is a bigoted, loud-mouthed insecure jerk who say whatever he can for shock value and other nefarious purposes. For you to attempt to equate the two means you're either dishonest or not thinking very critically. I'll assume the latter.” It’s been suggested that I’m not thinking critically for something I haven’t even said. Note: this is about the same severity as what CL called an insult in the PZ thread he just posted and responded with “You seem very angry”.

I probably shouldn’t jump down that rabbit hole, but two comments, CL misinterpreted his comment pretty badly and to say that they brainwashed steven is ludicrous. If anyone is interested in how they did so, here’s the secret. They suggested they check out CL’s blog. Yep, that’s it. Here’s the reaction from steven, “In other news I went and read a bit of CL’s blog. My face met my palm. I apologize for opening my mouth without doing so first. Genuinely embarrassed.” It’s that easy to brainwash people nowadays, you just let them read criticisms of your position and they flock right to you! ::face palm::

Crude said...

But it was actually worse than what you stated, it’s someone saying that they don’t want said advice saying that it’s insulting and condescending and then you giving them the same advice they just said was insulting.

He was defending why certain statements that cash out as such advice are reasonable things to say in general, if not wise in certain contexts. And people still freaked out.

Also, on the one hand you're calling him a troll. On the other hand you're citing his agreement as if he was being reasonable.

Do you know how a conjunction works? Let’s go over this again.

Read what you say, man. You're bending over backwards to defend Myers and Myers' gang, along with the behavior in that thread. Go for it, but really, anyone can read that thread and realize that no, it doesn't reflect well on anyone at Myers' hangout.

I brought it up but I didn’t ascribe it to PZ.

You said he had an incentive due to monetary concerns. "Now that I think about it, there is a difference that I didn't initially notice. Due to the size of PZ blog and that he makes (a little) money off of it, he has an incentive to create an environment to garner as large an audience as possible." It seems more like you did ascribe it to him, retroactively realized how lousy a defense that is, and are walking it back.

Whatever you think aids in the apologetics, I suppose.

However, I don’t condone language such as “You’re a fucking idiot” or the lesser form “You’re an idiot.” I think this type of language is just as unacceptable as saying that someone should not expect to find a partner. Neither belongs in a rational discussion.

On that alone, you already pretty much admit that the bulk of what goes on at Myers' joint is deplorable from the perspective of rational discussion, including Myers' own contributions.

Crude said...

I wonder if anyone else can appreciate the irony of theists insisting I’m wrong about theists not jumping down atheists’ throats by jumping down my throat.

What we appreciate is the fact that you think your treatment in this thread is at all comparable to the treatment theists get over at Myers' blog, including by Myers himself. You're equivocating pretty badly, treating people disagreeing with you and pointing out the inadequacies of your arguments with 'jumping down your throat' - while trying to minimize quite a lot of the vile profanity, namecalling, insults, abuse, banning and more at PZ's as 'jumping down people's throats'. It's ineffective spin.

I didn’t make a comparison between Victor and PZ, yet CL says

What you did is make a comparison between the blogs both guys run, and say that they're pretty much the same in various ways. Believe it or not, that invites comparison between how both places are run by their respective owners. Or are you going to say that Reppert runs a better blog and is more civil, reasonable, tolerant of opposing viewpoints, etc than Myers? Because if you say that, you're pretty much clearing the field of all your defenses of Myers' blog, and conceding all the contested points.

cl said...

CC,

"Just curious, does “fucking idiot” count as a swearing insult? If not, how about “Get the fuck over it loser”?- November 28, 2012 10:19 AM I’m having trouble reconciling these comments with your picture of a reasonable, insult-free discussion."

Like I said, you disingenuous little gnu... Yachov is the exception, and not the rule. The comment you picked is by far the worst I've seen from him, but, the guy has been going through some serious trial right now so I'm willing to factor that in.

On the other hand, that type of commentary is par for the course at PZ. I can find many times that in the average thread.

Thus, your comparison is immature and inaccurate at best, blatantly dishonest at worst.

cl said...

Yachov,

I realize you're going through a bad one, or, just came through a bad one with good results (I'm happy), but this is why I criticized your approach that day: now these guys are using you as grounds for the lame claim that this place is like PZ's. Of course it's not true, but, why give 'em ammo?

cl said...

CC,

"No one has really addressed my original point, much less what it was related to."

Oh please. Here's your first comment:

"A bunch of atheists jumping down theists' throats, which is the same exact thing that occurs here in reverse, although on a smaller level due to a smaller audience. It's a stretch to call that leadership worship."

I discussed it. I showed that your claim is either inaccurate or dishonest. Pointing to Yachov as grounds for a claim that PZ's is "the same exact thing that occurs here in reverse"... that's just stupid, straight out.

"It’s even more ironic that Victor just posted about being patient and making sure that you understand someone’s position before engaging in it.

Take this thread as a recent example, I didn’t make a comparison between Victor and PZ, yet CL says “Here, our host is a cordial, gentle man who would never insult a fly. Over there, our host is a bigoted, loud-mouthed insecure jerk who say whatever he can for shock value and other nefarious purposes."


Did I say you made a comparison? No. Is there some rule of Blogger that I can't refute your claim by pointing out the differences on the whole? No. You said the "same exact thing" goes on here as there, but, you're flat out wrong on multiple levels: the commentariat, the host, etc. So I called you out and the best you've got is Yachov, which I already conceded was the sole exception around here.

" It’s been suggested that I’m not thinking critically for something I haven’t even said."

No, it's been suggested that you're not thinking critically because of what you said:

"A bunch of atheists jumping down theists' throats, which is the same exact thing that occurs here in reverse"

That is patently false. Get real.

Eric said...

"Eric,
Controversial topics where disagreement is, and therefore more back and forth comments, are where more comments occur. What a shocking discovery."

Wow! Let's be cautiously curious about this for a moment: How likely is it that the Pharyngula members condider questions about belief in god, arguments for god's existence, etc. to be *more controversial* than live scientific issues, about which scientists themselves are engaged in active debate?

Please.


Those folks think that god's existence is about as "controversial" as the existence of Santa Claus (literally!).

Heck, I remember once commenting on a thread there concerning Bertrand Russells's claims about the afterlife in an interview you can find on Youtube. In the beginning of the interview, Russell said that we should believe what's true, reject what's false, and withold judgment when we can't find out what's true or false, but at the end of the interview, when asked whether there's an afterlife, Russell said, "No, none whatever." I pointed out the (obvious) fact that Russell had contradicted himself, since neither he nor anyone else is in a position to *know* whether there's an afterlife; hence, per his dictum, he should have withheld judgment on the issue. How did the Pharyngulites respond to this rather uncontroversial remark on my part? Why, the raked me over the coals for suggesting that we don't know whether there's an afterlife, for we *do* know! We know with certainty, and hence Russell did not contradict himself. Honestly.

So what exactly is controversial to these folks about the existence of god, the possibility of an afterlife, the teaching of creationism in schools, etc.? Indeed, to speak to the issue I initially raised, what is more controversial about these issues than live scientific issues?

Again, please -- the notion that religious discussion is 'controversial' to these folks is absurd, so it most certainly doesn't explain their ferocious committment to it, and their rather obvious lacksadaisical attitude towards posts with real scientific content, which is what they claim to love first and foremost.

cl said...

Eric,

"Heck, I remember once commenting on a thread there concerning Bertrand Russells's claims about the afterlife in an interview you can find on Youtube. In the beginning of the interview, Russell said that we should believe what's true, reject what's false, and withold judgment when we can't find out what's true or false, but at the end of the interview, when asked whether there's an afterlife, Russell said, "No, none whatever." I pointed out the (obvious) fact that Russell had contradicted himself, since neither he nor anyone else is in a position to *know* whether there's an afterlife; hence, per his dictum, he should have withheld judgment on the issue. How did the Pharyngulites respond to this rather uncontroversial remark on my part? Why, the raked me over the coals for suggesting that we don't know whether there's an afterlife, for we *do* know! We know with certainty, and hence Russell did not contradict himself. Honestly. "

Bravo. Another perfect example of evidence directly in accord with mine. Of course, so far, "cautiouslycurious" had provided zero evidence for his/her claim, save for a single citation from Yachov, whom I admitted was the sole exception from the outset.

ozero91 said...

cl,

"I don't think it would. I think it would be an incoherent, meaningless proposition. The very concept of "prior to t=0" is an absurdity (note that here, as in the argument I linked to, I'm defining "time" synonymously with Aristotle's kinesis: a transition from potency to act)."

Yeah, you're prolly right about this one.

“That one strikes me as a tautology: it's just saying time exists if time exists. On my view, time exists if and only if kinesis is taking place. That might just be a different way of saying the same thing you're saying, maybe I'm just splitting hairs.”

I’m not familiar with the logic of propositions, but is there anything logically incoherent about a tautology? It doesn’t strike me as an “impossible” proposition like “A married bachelor.” “Bob is Bob” might be a tautology, but isn’t it true?

Let’s try again, with your example. Isn’t “Time exists if and only if change exists” true in both temporal and non-temporal states? If it is, then God propositional knowledge does not need to change between non-temporal states and t=0.

cl said...

ozero91,

"I’m not familiar with the logic of propositions, but is there anything logically incoherent about a tautology? It doesn’t strike me as an “impossible” proposition like “A married bachelor.” “Bob is Bob” might be a tautology, but isn’t it true?"

Tautologies are neither incoherent nor impossible, they're trivial. The tautology "Bob is Bob" is true, it's just not very useful in terms of advancing arguments or distinctions.

" Isn’t “Time exists if and only if change exists” true in both temporal and non-temporal states? If it is, then God propositional knowledge does not need to change between non-temporal states and t=0."

I'd say yes, the proposition is true whether or not time exists, and I would agree with you that the transition from ~T -> T need not entail "change" in God vis-a-vis Angra's objection in the thread I linked to (if indeed that's what you're getting at).

ozero91 said...

"I'd say yes, the proposition is true whether or not time exists, and I would agree with you that the transition from ~T -> T need not entail "change" in God vis-a-vis Angra's objection in the thread I linked to (if indeed that's what you're getting at)."

Yeah, that's what I was working towards. Also, in terms of the "change" from being timeless to temporal, maybe it's a trivial change, like a "Cambridge change." For example, say we have a wife and a husband, and the husband gets vaporized by a death-ray. The woman "changes" from being a "wife" to being a "widow." But the woman herself did not undergo a physical change in this scenario, her relationship changed. Maybe something similar can be said about God and his relationship to time or change.

cautiouslycurious said...

CL,
“Like I said, you disingenuous little gnu... Yachov is the exception, and not the rule.”
You didn’t say Yachov is the exception, you merely said that there was one, and now you’re calling me disingenuous for failing to read your mind, so add yourself to the list.

“Did I say you made a comparison? No. Is there some rule of Blogger that I can't refute your claim by pointing out the differences on the whole? No. You said the "same exact thing" goes on here as there, but, you're flat out wrong on multiple levels: the commentariat, the host, etc. So I called you out and the best you've got is Yachov, which I already conceded was the sole exception around here.”

My claim was that “theists will jump down atheists’ throats.” This doesn’t involve the host so your charge is simply irrelevant. Like I said to Crude, quote-mining is not the same as responding to a quote.


Eric,
“Wow! Let's be cautiously curious about this for a moment: How likely is it that the Pharyngula members condider questions about belief in god, arguments for god's existence, etc. to be *more controversial* than live scientific issues, about which scientists themselves are engaged in active debate?”

“Controversy is a state of prolonged public dispute or debate, usually concerning a matter of conflicting opinion or point of view.”-Wikipedia

Whether something is controversial depends on the general acceptance of it or it may simply denote a dispute. The individual confidence levels of a certain demographic is irrelevant.

Eric said...

"Whether something is controversial depends on the general acceptance of it or it may simply denote a dispute. The individual confidence levels of a certain demographic is irrelevant."

Are you serious? *Of course it's relevant* IF it's your posited explanation of activity *within* that demographic!

You said that the Pharyngulites, who claim to love science, comment on religious threads with more frequency than science threads *because* religious issues are controversial, and controversial issues generate discussion. As I (and others) have pointed out, the Pharyngulites don't consider these issues to be controversial at all, so your explanation holds no water (if we take them at their word).

cl said...

CC,

No, here was your full reply to Syllabus' question, "And the combox over at Pharyngula consists of... what, exactly?" :

"A bunch of atheists jumping down theists' throats, which is the same exact thing that occurs here in reverse, although on a smaller level due to a smaller audience."

Funny you accuse me of quote mining yet only cited part of your claim. Anyways, don't bother with the semantic distractions, because you're just flat-out wrong. If an atheist comes here and asks for evidence for a claim Victor made, you won't find multiple people deriding said atheist.

Though there is the occasional exception, theists here oblige and are polite unless given probable cause. Politeness and intelligent discourse are the exceptions at PZ's. The two blogs are total opposites.

cl said...

ozero91,

"The woman "changes" from being a "wife" to being a "widow." But the woman herself did not undergo a physical change in this scenario, her relationship changed. Maybe something similar can be said about God and his relationship to time or change."

I think that's precisely correct. I explained that to Angra, but, he never provided a rebuttal or a concession. That's why I don't consider him a serious interlocutor (aside from the other bad practices I listed above). When God "changes" from timeless to temporal, it is not a transition from potency to act. It is not a change in God's nature.

Angra just either couldn't admit that he'd been served, or, couldn't grasp the distinction between the general meaning of "change" and the specific meaning (ala kinesis).

Eric said...

"Though there is the occasional exception, theists here oblige and are polite unless given probable cause. Politeness and intelligent discourse are the exceptions at PZ's. The two blogs are total opposites."

I couldn't agree more. At Pharyngula, the presumption is, if you're a theist, you're not only wrong, you're a complete idiot, and you're probably a rotten person, too. Here, there is no such presumption: You're an idiot or a rotten person only if you show yourself to be one. I challenge anyone to show me a case where an atheist politely contributed a genuinely intelligent remark on this blog and was met with the sort of vitriol that a polite and intelligent comment by a theist will undoubtedly get on Pharyngula.

B. Prokop said...

Regarding the case of "woman" changing to "widow", here's another.

A policeman enters the room and tells you, "You're under arrest!" Now you haven't moved a muscle, but you have changed from a free man to one under arrest.

This, by the way, is a good example of the power of speech to change a fundamental characteristic of on object. It is one way to illustrate how the words spoken by a priest "This is my body" can indeed change the Eucharistic bread onto the Body of Christ.

Syllabus said...

One second.

which is the same exact thing that occurs here in reverse,

Exactly the same thing here? Do polite comments get met with vitriol and hateful spewing forth of all sorts of vile stuff? Does Victor steal an argon laser and deface it in obscene ways? Does anyone here insult people right off the bat for having a certain worldview, if they haven't first made asses out of themselves and aren't obvious trolls? Does Pharyngula have discussions about abstract concepts of biology or physics with the frequency that abstract concepts of philosophy are discussed here?

What I'm saying is that the situations are, to put it mildly, dis-analogous.

BenYachov said...

>I realize you're going through a bad one, or, just came through a bad one with good results (I'm happy), but this is why I criticized your approach that day: now these guys are using you as grounds for the lame claim that this place is like PZ's. Of course it's not true, but, why give 'em ammo?

I have no sympathy for cc or whiny Gnu hypocrites like him who defend bigots and savages like the jerks over at Myers blog (& other public Gnus) but cry like little children when the same hostility is visited on them.

If cc is upset because I told him to f-off in the past and he wants to use that as an excuse to justify his willful continuous ignorance of Philosophy & attack all theists then that is his loss and he harms nobody but himself.

He will never mount an intelligent argument for Atheism and will only be only suited to argue with Young Earth Creationists with an overly anthropomorphic view of the deity.

Nothing more.

I felt bad how I unjustly layed into Angra but seeing him mount a counter argument/attack that was built on reason alone by definition earned from me mad respects & justly rebuked me. I apologized to him and I meant it.

I doubt very much any of the jerks over at Myers blog have ever apologized to anybody.

They are savages. That is they howl with delight when they punch someone in the face but howl in indignant outrage when someone turns around & hits them back.

I respect rational Atheists who use rational argument.

I don't respect Gnus & I never will.

If cc wants to get upset because I was mean to him he should just get over it.

As I recall Godriguez was mad at him for ignoring his arguments & simply repeating himself. Though being a class act Godriguez never lowered himself to my level.

That looked humiliating enough so I like a dick poured gas on the fire.

Perhaps I should cool if from now on? Yeh I guess I should.

But give me a break don't piss on my leg then tell me it's raining.

Kay?

BTW Thank you guys for the concern you have expressed for my Father. He will be layed up for about 6 weeks. There doesn't seem to be anymore cancer in him. For that I am grateful.

cautiouslycurious said...

Crude,

“What you did is make a comparison between the blogs both guys run, and say that they're pretty much the same in various ways. Believe it or not, that invites comparison between how both places are run by their respective owners. Or are you going to say that Reppert runs a better blog and is more civil, reasonable, tolerant of opposing viewpoints, etc than Myers?”

I described the audience, not the hosts. If it weren’t for the number of commenters, and hence my comment getting lost in a sea of comments, I would think that I could have a better conversation over at Pharyngula, even on points of conflict. Granted I don’t act like CL, so personal mileage may vary. I am curious as to whether this is the case, so I will begin to comment over there to test your hypothesis and find out for myself. Also, I’m not sure why you infer it how the blog is run rather than the genre of the posts? Do you have any evidence that it is due to management rather than the product?

Eric,
Believe it or not, theists also post on Pharyngula. For whatever reason, they tend to post on religious posts, not science posts. Believe it or not, but science posts aren’t that disputed by “science-loving Pharyngulites.” Believe it or not, but religion posts are disputed by Pharyngulites. So, yes, the science posts aren’t controversial and the other posts tend to be (picture posts also tend to be uncontroversial).

I’ve sampled a couple posts and have found a couple ways they achieve so many comments. One, a theist arrives and disputes the content, which begins a back and forth. Two, PZ posts something that is controversial to atheists and other atheists say why they also disagree with it. Three, the conversation derails into a secular conversation about a controversial topic. So, yes, dialogue is caused by controversial topics and there is not much to dispute with peer-reviewed research.

CL,

The funny part is that you probably don’t think that they have probable cause to think that you are a troll. You gained a reputation as a troll at Common Sense Atheism and it’s wouldn’t be surprising to me if the commenters at Pharyngula don’t also know about your behavior as well. If you want to have intelligent discourse, then you need to act the part and repair the damage to your reputation.

Syllabus,
“Exactly the same thing here?”

After being quote mined by Crude and CL, it’s getting tiresome.

“Do polite comments get met with vitriol and hateful spewing forth of all sorts of vile stuff?”

How about vilifying a group of people such as “They are savages. That is they howl with delight when they punch someone in the face but howl in indignant outrage when someone turns around & hits them back”? Does that qualify as hateful spewing?

“Does Pharyngula have discussions about abstract concepts of biology or physics with the frequency that abstract concepts of philosophy are discussed here?”

No, he covers a wider range of topics. As such, a larger percentage of the conversation taken on things like politics, gender issues, etc. I don’t see a flaw in this.

“Does anyone here insult people right off the bat for having a certain worldview, if they haven't first made asses out of themselves and aren't obvious trolls?”

Any evidence this happens at Pharyngula?


“Does Victor steal an argon laser and deface it in obscene ways?”

I suppose this is supposed to be analogous to the cracker incident? Are you even aware of the events surrounding the cracker incident? When scientists start calling for the imprisonment of theists, then we’ll have a comparable situation for Victor to protest.


Ben,
I’m not upset, but I’m not blind to your comments. I merely pointed out that people will have harsh reactions to atheists on this forum and you are Exhibit A. You overreacted to my comments from the start, it never ceased, and you continue to misrepresent my position.

Eric said...

"Eric,
Believe it or not, theists also post on Pharyngula."

Um, yeah, I said that *I* had posted there, hadn't I? I recounted what happens to theists when they post there, didn't I? But then why say, "Believe it or not, theists also post on Pharyngula"?

Thanks for at least alerting me early in this discussion that I'm wasting my time.

Tony Hoffman said...

I've perused this comment thread. CC, I admire your patience.

I enjoy many of the topics here, and sometimes I enjoy the comments. But I would ask the theists on this thread (and the the assortment of others not here but who comment with some regularity) to compare their approach with Victor's -- he is the host, and I believe that most (all?) of you respect his manner. I disagree with Victor on some topics (the ones I comment on, usually), agree with him on others (where I do not comment because it would be superfluous), but I will credit him with usually responding in a way that doesn't invite devolution as this comment thread, and so many others, too often do.

ozero91 said...

"I've perused this comment thread. CC, I admire your patience."

Did you read Marshall's summary of the event regarding Myers?

cautiouslycurious said...

Eric,

“Um, yeah, I said that *I* had posted there, hadn't I? I recounted what happens to theists when they post there, didn't I? But then why say, "Believe it or not, theists also post on Pharyngula"?”

Because you said this:
“Those folks think that god's existence is about as "controversial" as the existence of Santa Claus (literally!).” And “As I (and others) have pointed out, the Pharyngulites don't consider these issues to be controversial at all, so your explanation holds no water (if we take them at their word).”

Nothing I’ve said has relied on Pharyngula members thinking their religious positions are ‘controversial’ or more ‘controversial’; they don’t need to consider it ‘controversial’ for it to be controversial. The theists consider it controversial so when they speak up to defend whatever PZ is criticizing, it gets a flood of comments because then you have disagreement. Theists don’t try to dispute the science topics so this phenomenon doesn’t occur there. I think the core issue is that you are equivocating on the word “controversial”. I thought posting the definition would correct that misunderstanding, but I’ll have to be more explicit next time. However, it deserves saying because the theists are part of the reason why the religion topics are controversial and you keep ignoring that aspect of the argument. If this doesn’t correct your misunderstanding, then I also think it’s a waste of time to proceed. Have a nice day.

*Controversial denotes a dispute, ‘controversial’ denotes a confidence level.

cautiouslycurious said...

Ozero,


"Did you read Marshall's summary of the event regarding Myers?"

Are you talking about the eucharist? If so, I'll have to take a look.

Slight correction to previous post: Nothing I’ve said has relied on Pharyngula members thinking their religious positions are ‘controversial’; they don’t need to consider it ‘controversial’ for it to be controversial.

ozero91 said...

"Are you talking about the eucharist? If so, I'll have to take a look."

Nah not that, I was talking to Tony.

Tony Hoffman said...

Ozero: "Did you read Marshall's summary of the event regarding Myers??

No, I did not. What in that makes you think I should modify my statement that I admire CC's patience?

Crude said...

No, I did not. What in that makes you think I should modify my statement that I admire CC's patience?

So, you admire CC's patience in putting up with replies here, the strongest of which suggest he's being willfully obstinate.

But you haven't actually read the thread he's comparing things to here. You're just sure he's being reasonable and the theists are not, and you chastize the theists in this thread for their responses to him?

Did I get that right?

ozero91 said...

"No, I did not. What in that makes you think I should modify my statement that I admire CC's patience?"

It's not about that, I was wondering if you did read it so I could I ask you for your opinion on the environment of this blog versus the environment of Myers' blog.

BenYachov said...

cc

> You overreacted to my comments from the start, it never ceased, and you continue to misrepresent my position.

Am I?

>I suppose this is supposed to be analogous to the cracker incident? Are you even aware of the events surrounding the cracker incident?

I am aware of those events.

Calling the Holy Eucharist a "cracker"? You have Myers a thief and hateful bigot who decided to attack all Catholics because another liar & thief stole a Eucharist and held it hostage to protest student funding of religious services and claimed he was "attacked" because a young lady half his size complained he showed up to Mass & put the Communion host in his pocket!

This civilized Atheist called for firing PZ Myers. He was spot on.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/07/11/549959/-The-case-for-firing-PZ-Myers

If you are here to defend that nonsense then we can be nothing but enemies.

Then there is this guy.

Tony writes:
>But I would ask the theists on this thread (and the the assortment of others not here but who comment with some regularity) to compare their approach with Victor's --

Tony I would take your plea here more seriously but I seem to remember you where quite silent when PhysicsDave was trolling here a while back calling Dr. Feser vicious names and attacking moi even though I didn't respond in kind with any foul language.

Indeed you ignored his abuse of me & others and told me I should yield to his dumb statements because he was a PhD in Physics. Never mind the subject was philosophy.

The heck with you gnu hypocrites.

BenYachov said...

>How about vilifying a group of people such as “They are savages. That is they howl with delight when they punch someone in the face but howl in indignant outrage when someone turns around & hits them back”? Does that qualify as hateful spewing?

That is how the people over at Pharyngula behave to this day.

I went there when PZ was threatening theft of a Eucharist. I wasn't as jaded as I am now. I thought I could talk some sense into them. It was like trying to defend the rights of blacks on a KKK forum.

>No, he covers a wider range of topics. As such, a larger percentage of the conversation taken on things like politics, gender issues, etc. I don’t see a flaw in this.

That is they see their Atheism as nothing more than base politics.

>Any evidence this happens at Pharyngula?

This is as intelligent as asking "Is there any evidence of racial slurs at Klan rallies?"

Gnus are Savages. They see their Atheism as nothing more then an extension of far left politics. They are not Atheist philosophers and they as a rule know precious little science. At best they know enough polemics to argue with a Young Earth creationist.

Nothing more.

Those are the facts. If you don't like it too bad.

Tony Hoffman said...

Eric: "It's not about that, I was wondering if you did read it so I could I ask you for your opinion on the environment of this blog versus the environment of Myers' blog."

I am going over some of it now. Some of the comments are vicious and spiteful (despite my criticisms here I have been the butt of political correctness on many occasions and I have little patience for it), so to the extent that it's accurate as presented I find much of it reprehensible.

I don't really visit PZ's blog. I am sure, with the volume of commenters he gets there, that sometimes the threads take on a mob mentality. I don't mean to imply, and haven't meant to imply, that theists are any more prone to a mob mentality, etc. than atheists, etc. (They may be, or the reverse, I just don't have an opinion on that, let alone something more.) I just tend to comment on theist blogs, and I can't help but notice the degeneration around here, and point out the disparity when it is both evident and frequent..

ozero91 said...

Open question: Aside from profession, what is the difference between someone like Nagel and someone like Myers?

Tony Hoffman said...

Also, Ben, I find your comment persona to be despicable in most instances, but I would be remiss in not acknowledging that you are certainly more than you present here, and that I am happy that your father is on the mend.

Cheers to all.

Crude said...

I just tend to comment on theist blogs, and I can't help but notice the degeneration around here, and point out the disparity when it is both evident and frequent..

So, would you say the 'degeneration' around here is equivalent to the degeneration on PZ Myers' blog?

By the way - what do you think of Myers' performance in that very thread?

BenYachov said...


>Ben, I find your comment persona to be despicable in most instances,

In my dealings with you I don't think much of you either as a person. So there you have it.

>but I would be remiss in not acknowledging that you are certainly more than you present here, and that I am happy that your father is on the mend.

Thank you very much. Now go learn some philosophy other then warmed over Positivism, empiricism and Skepticism.

cl said...

CC,

"The funny part is that you probably don’t think that they have probable cause to think that you are a troll. You gained a reputation as a troll at Common Sense Atheism and it’s wouldn’t be surprising to me if the commenters at Pharyngula don’t also know about your behavior as well. If you want to have intelligent discourse, then you need to act the part and repair the damage to your reputation."

No, the funny parts are these:

1) you whine about quote mining yet quote mined yourself by only quoting half of your original claim while trying to distance yourself from the blatantly false part;

2) your remarks about CSA are cherrypicked, as in actuality I received far more praise from atheists and theists than accusations of "troll";

3) that certain atheists whine about "trolls" and label people such shows that *THEY* are the ones uninterested in intelligent discourse.

So, nice attempt at diversion, but you ought to man up and retract your false claim. Don't worry though, we all know you won't.

"Any evidence this happens at Pharyngula?"

Yes, I provided direct evidence, and you've ignored it in favor of irrelevant discussions about CSA and other things. Again, though, we're all familiar with your MO here, as it's just a step above Paps'.

cautiouslycurious said...

Ben,
“That is how the people over at Pharyngula behave to this day.”

You’ve seemed to miss the point. I’m not saying that they don’t. I just said that it also happens here, and you’ve just conceded it. Thank you. It seems you have a personal vendetta against people you label as ‘gnus’. I don’t think anything I say will change that so have a nice day.

CL,
“1) you whine about quote mining yet quote mined yourself by only quoting half of your original claim while trying to distance yourself from the blatantly false part;”

Quote the full, then the meaning is restored and you can misinterpret it to your heart’s desire. I've already corrected you once so I don't think a second time will help.

“2) your remarks about CSA are cherrypicked, as in actuality I received far more praise from atheists and theists than accusations of "troll";”

So, did you have a reputation for being a troll? Let’s see…you’ve been called a troll by at least ten people, including the host.

“We were doing such a good job of ignoring cl, but then some of you had to go and feed the troll…”-Ajay

“Don’t feed the troll, he’s fat enough.”-epistememe

“No, I have to agree with ajay here. I don’t know if y’all are new, but even Luke ignores cl and he’s nice to everybody.”-Bob

“@cl Weak. I’m pretty sure he’s allowed to pontificate on whatever he pleases, without taking orders from attention-hungry trolls.”-Endangered Cults

“And I think we have CL’s motive for comment trolling a blog with decent traffic.”-drj

“Cl’s a troll because once given an answer Cl ignores it and then re-asks the same questions incessantly.”-Hermes

“You’re getting called a troll because you’re acting like a jackass.”-Chris Hallquist

“Why do you insist on feeding that troll cl?”-Ralph

“I should start a website dedicated to CL, I’ve been following him for quite some time and he’s one of the most effective christain trolls out there.”- Eneasz

“I shouldn’t feed my trolls, I know, but here’s a quick response to cl’s article about my speech”-Lukeprog

“3) that certain atheists whine about "trolls" and label people such shows that *THEY* are the ones uninterested in intelligent discourse.”

That certain theists whine about "gnus" and label people such shows that *THEY* are the ones uninterested in intelligent discourse. Being a gnu here is probable cause for forgoing politeness. Being a troll elsewhere is probable cause for forgoing politeness. You may feel that your title of being a troll is undeserving and it’s just because you disagreed or asked difficult questions, but I’ve disagreed with Luke and Alonzo about desirism, I’ve asked similar questions, yet I didn’t get called a troll. Other people have disagreed with Luke on any number of other issues and didn’t get called a troll. They are interested in intelligent discourse; they just choose to not have one with you since you’ve shown yourself to be incapable of having one.

cautiouslycurious said...

CL (cont.),
“Yes, I provided direct evidence, and you've ignored it in favor of irrelevant discussions about CSA and other things. Again, though, we're all familiar with your MO here, as it's just a step above Paps'.”

If that is the standard of evidence, then the same thing happens here as well as per point three above. It calls into question whether commenters have probable cause based on your past history to take your inquiries seriously or to treat you like a troll. I’ve suggested that they did, therefore making it unnecessary to be polite and therefore make your ‘evidence’ moot. You haven’t dealt with my points yet* and unless you do it in the next response, consider this my last response to you on this subject; until you are able to have a productive conversation, go troll someone else.

*If you’d like a rundown. 1) Continued with your misinterpretation after being corrected. 2) You didn’t even dispute what I said; you earned a reputation as a troll and hence are treated like one. 3) Simply an empty accusation that others have learned is false by testing it themselves by disagreeing without being an arrogant jerk.

BenYachov said...

>You’ve seemed to miss the point. I’m not saying that they don’t. I just said that it also happens here, and you’ve just conceded it.

Not at all since I really do like rational Atheists who try to make philosophical cases against belief in the existence of God and for their particular brand of Naturalism. The Myers crowd are without exception a bunch of uneducated fanatics who hate all Theists everywhere. Also they wouldn't know philosophy much less Atheist philosophy if it bit them on the balls.

>Thank you. It seems you have a personal vendetta against people you label as ‘gnus’. I don’t think anything I say will change that so have a nice day.

The people I label as Gnus more often then not deserve it.

You for example are content to whine about how you are allegedly treated(so far I alone am the only person who has used foul language at you the rest have justly criticized your apparent ignorance) yet you refuse to learn any rational philosophical polemics against Theism or positive defenses for your unknown brand of naturalism.

You are thus far only fit to argue with the YEC crowd. In fact you are like YEC who wanders into an Evolutionary discussion board with a handful of ICR tracts & a 6th grader's understanding of biology and expect to be taken seriously.

What pisses me off the most is your refusal to go beyond your current level of willed ignorance.

cl said...

CC,

"Quote the full, then the meaning is restored and you can misinterpret it to your heart’s desire."

There was no misinterpreting. If you didn't mean exactly what you said, then you misspoke.

"your remarks about CSA are cherrypicked, as in actuality I received far more praise from atheists and theists than accusations of "troll";”"

…and like I said, your remarks are cherrypicked, as I can match you in compliments from both atheists and theists on CSA. It was the same situation at Daylight Atheism: the plain fact is that Gnus really don't like persistent, tough challenging of their positions. I don't deny that many people whine troll. It should be expected when you challenge them.

"Being a gnu here is probable cause for forgoing politeness."

That's because Gnus generally aren't polite. I usually don't even talk to them; that I'm talking to you now is an exception not a norm.

"…I’ve disagreed with Luke and Alonzo about desirism, I’ve asked similar questions, yet I didn’t get called a troll."

That's because you're an atheist and you don't strongly call them out for pure hypocrisy, such as saying we should only stick to claims that can be sustained by empirical knowledge, but then promoting desirism, or turning around and saying snidely that God doesn't exist. That's the difference: you asked questions, I held their asses to the flame and pointing out the many contradictions between what they say and what they do. Asking questions doesn't entail strong cognitive dissonance. Calling them out for hypocrisy and contradiction does.

"Other people have disagreed with Luke on any number of other issues and didn’t get called a troll."

Again, disagreeing is different than holding asses to flame, and again, you're cherrypicking. Many others besides me who did the same thing were also labelled as trolls at one point or another: notably, JS Allen, Richard Wein… I can't remember all the others at the moment.

"They are interested in intelligent discourse; they just choose to not have one with you since you’ve shown yourself to be incapable of having one."

Right, that's why I've had intelligent discourse with atheists and theists online for 6 years now. Funny how you cherrypick and ignore all positive feedback from atheist bloggers on my site. Actually it's not funny, it's sad, for it shows that you're not interested in an honest representation of the facts.

"You haven’t dealt with my points yet*"

False. I dealt with them and so did others. We pointed out that it is NOT "the same exact thing" in lesser scale as you alleged. Unfortunately you're not honest enough to retract the claim.

"consider this my last response to you on this subject;"

Thanks! Total load off. You're immune to correction anyways, this thread is another perfect example. Anyone can see the many attempts made to get you to understand. You deny them all.

Zach said...

Boo hoo PZ Myers got a wafer from someone. Get over it, already, true secure Catholics are not threatened. Go ahead, desecrate 100 wafers. That does not threaten my faith, even if you mock it and effectively lie to get your way. It shows the moral laxity among the secular. Why should this threaten me directly? Jeez bunch of limp-wristed tree huggers can't stop whining. Go to Palestine and whine about this, maybe. But this? LOL