ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags atheism , Atheism Plus , Free Thought Blogs

Reply
Old 29th November 2013, 05:19 PM   #161
Diogenes
Muse
 
Diogenes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 978
"...because they will fry my cyborg parts..."

So...was that a joke or are they a self-identified transhuman of some kind?
Diogenes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th November 2013, 08:21 PM   #162
Joe Random
Graduate Poster
 
Joe Random's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,795
Originally Posted by Diogenes View Post
"...because they will fry my cyborg parts..."

So...was that a joke or are they a self-identified transhuman of some kind?


Otherkin, expressing as a Terminator?
Joe Random is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th November 2013, 08:29 PM   #163
Empress
Piggish
 
Empress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Blandings Castle
Posts: 2,210
Originally Posted by Diogenes View Post
"...because they will fry my cyborg parts..."

So...was that a joke or are they a self-identified transhuman of some kind?
I've been trying to figure out the same thing.

I've helped my octogenarian mother who has had two hip replacements and two torn rotator cuffs that prohibits raising her arms, repeatedly through the TSA checkpoints, and all it means is pushing her through in her wheelchair and giving explanations to the TSA agent about her medical situation and then calmly walking through the scatterback machine myself and waiting for her on the other side.

The TSA agents have been ubiquitously understanding and professional when confronted with my mother's physical maladies, and we have always been quickly on our way in no time, complete with my mother's medically necessary fluids, such as insulin.

Perhaps if the Plussers grasped the simple fact that they are not special snowflakes, other people are not out to get them, and workers are simply trying to do their jobs as reasonably and simply as possible, they might find that getting along in life is a goal we can all work towards.

I've found that granting others the presumption that they are well-meaning, including airport workers even in a post-9/11 world, makes everyone work towards a common aim and get along as best we can. I personally don't like the high security and lack of privacy that modern airports demand, and as a result I have only flown a handful of times since 9/11. But if my mother chooses to do so, and I choose to help her through the checkpoint, then it is my decision to face the difficulties that a personal inspection requires, despite a personal history of physical and sexual abuse. It is not the agent's fault that I have problems with being touched, and when I am even minimally open and honest with them, I have found them to have been unfailingly sympathetic and understanding, not to mention professional.

I can't help but feel that the Plussers inevitably have problems in every walk of life simply because they demand special status without taking the personal responsibility to vocalize their difficulties and work towards a mutually-agreeable outcome. Is it possible that they are all so unlucky as to constantly come in contact with jackasses who are invariably looking for a stooge on whom they can work out their personal demons? Sure. But is is it more likely that they are repeatedly triggered and victimized simply because they are looking for reasons to be outraged and refuse to accept that other people tend to be well-meaning and want to do the best they can if only they were aware of unusual circumstances? I tend to suspect so.

Life if difficult. It only gets more so if we refuse to communicate with one another about our personal struggles and strivings. But the Plussers seem to want to be victimized and outraged. If that is what they like, and that is what they demand, I find it no surprise that that is what they constantly experience.
__________________
One prefers, of course, on all occasions to be stainless and above reproach, but, failing that, the next best thing is unquestionably to have got rid of the body.
― P.G. Wodehouse
Empress is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th November 2013, 03:52 AM   #164
Wildy
Adelaidean
 
Wildy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,944
Originally Posted by Stout View Post
I don't buy that unless Jen was very very very naive about SJ. Anybody with any SJ experience at all should know that SJ is incompatible with atheism and critical thinking. All we need to do is look at the concept of Islamophobia for evidence of this. I was surprised to see Ceepolk actually come out and say it, ( hands off the brown people's religions ) but Ceepolk was really a gift to those of us critical of SJ machinations.
I think she figured her personal form of social justice was similar to that of her readers.

Quote:
There's way too many assumptions that have to be made in order to function as an SJW. Just look at the ridiculous concept of "cultural appropriation".

Speaking of...check out this YouTube video if 10 000 Japanese singing Ode to Joy. Would this be considered cultural appropriation and therefore racist ? In Japan by Japanese SJWs maybe ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6s6YKlTpfw
Nope it's fine. It's only "cultural appropriation" when whitey does it.
__________________
Wildy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th November 2013, 12:23 PM   #165
qwints
Muse
 
qwints's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 697
Originally Posted by Wildy View Post
Nope it's fine. It's only "cultural appropriation" when whitey does it.
That's not the case. Take a look at this music video from South Korea. Can we agree that the use of Native American imagery there is offensive? Or consider Hitler chic in Thailand.

The basic principle I'd put forth is, using or mimicking something from another culture without understanding its context can be offensive. I also think there's an interesting discussion to be had over whether any traditions or symbols are worthy of respect.
__________________
“If you can get religion out,” Bill O’Reilly warned, “then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage.”
qwints is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th November 2013, 12:56 PM   #166
qwints
Muse
 
qwints's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 697
Originally Posted by Empress View Post
The TSA agents have been ubiquitously understanding and professional when confronted with my mother's physical maladies, and we have always been quickly on our way in no time, complete with my mother's medically necessary fluids, such as insulin.
I'm glad you've had good experiences, but there are too many stories and recordings of TSA agents not accommodating medical need or being abusive towards passengers to believe that everyone having a hard time in security was looking for trouble.
__________________
“If you can get religion out,” Bill O’Reilly warned, “then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage.”
qwints is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th November 2013, 01:14 PM   #167
Doubt
Philosopher
 
Doubt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,767
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
I'm glad you've had good experiences, but there are too many stories and recordings of TSA agents not accommodating medical need or being abusive towards passengers to believe that everyone having a hard time in security was looking for trouble.
I fly a lot. My computer bag gest searched a lot. To many different cables. Never had a problem with the TSA and never seen a problem.

But they are not well paid. They are not highly skilled or well educated. There are going to be people in that job who make problems. But it is not the norm. But there are plenty of people willing to making them a punching bag for their political agendas. In the case of the TSA, they have been victims of fabricated events over and beyond whatever they may have really done wrong:

https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/tsa-shooting/

And no, there is nothing there that is actually NSFW in the link.

Quote:
In a way, it was just a matter of time before something like this happened. 

For the past three years, a vicious PR campaign has demonized and dehumanized TSA screeners. Launched by the libertarian-right, this smear offensive sought to equate the TSA in the public mind with the worst people imaginable: Nazis, rapists, gropers, child molesters and sadistic enforcers of a police state.

*SNIP*

But while this anti-TSA campaign was created by the libertarian-right, it was enabled and strengthened by the left. Some of the most prominent progressive and leftie bloggers and journalists took an active part in the TSA media witch-hunt.

 They joined the right in labeling the TSA as America's enemy within, unaware that underneath the big-brother rhetoric and feigned right-wing concern about civil liberties, the anti-TSA campaign was really a union-busting operation with a specific set of political goals: to prevent the TSA from unionizing, to privatize airport security and to introduce Israeli-style racial profiling into the airport-screening process.
__________________
Doubt world tour locations:

Detroit, Mexico, Detroit, Mexico....
Repeat for all of 2017 except when on vacation.
Doubt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th November 2013, 01:23 PM   #168
Stout
Illuminator
 
Stout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,353
Uh oh..looks like we have research fail again on A+

The story and thread revolve around a 12 year old black girl attending Faith Christian Academy in Orlando Florida. The girl has a huge puffy hairstyle that doesn't conform to the school dress code and some of the other students were teasing her about her hairstyle so she went and complained to her mom. Mom goes to the school and claims her daughter is being bullied and the school, faced with an issue that they actually can control, states that the hairstyle has to go as they have a section in their dress code that relates specifically to hair.

So, the chemgeek picks up on the story and instead of spending a little time and effort to try and determine if/how multiracial this school is just pulls the idea that the teasing is being done by white kids straight out of her ass and slaps it up on the forum.

Nowhere in any article I read on this is the ethnicity of the kids (presumably girls) doing the teasing mentioned. Yet somehow the chemgeek just knows this.

FCA website.... photo from the site....another photo....school video.

The student population is looking pretty diverse to me. yet only the white kids are doing the teasing. uh uh.

Then it gets even better, an armouredcrumpet comes along and applies some sort of "301" type analysis based on the assumption made by thechemgeek.

Will they ever figure this out that the school, a private institution like A+ has it's own set of rules and if you want to flaunt them then they'll show you the door ? I didn't think so either.

A+ thread.
Stout is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th November 2013, 03:32 PM   #169
qwints
Muse
 
qwints's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 697
Originally Posted by Doubt View Post
But they are not well paid. They are not highly skilled or well educated. There are going to be people in that job who make problems. But it is not the norm.
I agree that the vast majority of interactions between passengers and TSA agents occur without incident. That doesn't mean that the passengers who are maltreated by the TSA created the problem, which is what Empress implied (saying it's more likely 'they are looking for reasons to be outraged'). Moreover, some people are much more likely to have problems with TSA agents than others because of their characteristics, not their actions.

The source you link is despicable in blaming critics of TSA procedures for violence and we can discuss that further in another thread if you wish.
__________________
“If you can get religion out,” Bill O’Reilly warned, “then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage.”
qwints is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th November 2013, 03:37 PM   #170
qwints
Muse
 
qwints's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 697
Originally Posted by Stout View Post
Uh oh..looks like we have research fail again on A+
You're talking about ischemgeek's reference to white classmates? You're correct, I can't find evidence that the students teasing her were white. Doesn't make the policy any less objectionable. I've got very little doubt the policy is legal, but that doesn't mean the school shouldn't be criticized for it.
__________________
“If you can get religion out,” Bill O’Reilly warned, “then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage.”
qwints is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th November 2013, 06:45 PM   #171
Kevin_Lowe
Guest
 
Kevin_Lowe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,221
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
You're talking about ischemgeek's reference to white classmates? You're correct, I can't find evidence that the students teasing her were white. Doesn't make the policy any less objectionable.
I'm not generally a fan of school grooming policies since they rarely seem to serve any legitimate pedagogical purpose.

However it seems that the important issue is the racism demonstrated by ischemgeek and the A+ community. (Yes, I know, they claim as part of their ideology that they cannot be racist. However discrimination based on race is still a social evil whether or not you accept their semantic game-playing).
Kevin_Lowe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th November 2013, 07:17 PM   #172
qwints
Muse
 
qwints's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 697
So the important issue is that ischemgeek called the people teasing the girl about her hair "white" when no article, including the one they cited, mentions the race of those people? It's a fair point, but I fail to see the significance.
__________________
“If you can get religion out,” Bill O’Reilly warned, “then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage.”
qwints is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th November 2013, 07:42 PM   #173
Stout
Illuminator
 
Stout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,353
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
You're talking about ischemgeek's reference to white classmates? You're correct, I can't find evidence that the students teasing her were white. Doesn't make the policy any less objectionable. I've got very little doubt the policy is legal, but that doesn't mean the school shouldn't be criticized for it.
Yet at A+ they go on about.
Quote:
I'd think it simply never occurred to them to consider anything other than white hair. Not least because they never considered anything other than white students.
Trying desperately to cram this into their highly biased view of how the world works. Out of curiosity, I wonder what would happen if I were a student and showed up looking like Ted Nugent.? Would they just let it pass because I'm an evil white guy or would they tell me to get a scrunchie?

Holy crap ! The chemgeek did it again. New thread about FastTailedGirls. A trigger warning for racism. Then in comes Alex quoting a tweet, a tweet that says that 40-60% of black girls are sexually assaulted before they turn 18.

I don't know why the tweeter left off the phrase "by black men" as that phrase appears in the few references to that stat that I managed to dig up. Maybe the tweeter was just assuming everybody knew that as the hashtag ( or whatever you call it ) is for black women only.

So where's the racism then ? Surely they're not "accidentally" missing all that stuff about black men. Could they be reading the word white when it really says black or is this thinly veiled racism against black men but using feminism as a cover ?
Stout is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th November 2013, 07:51 PM   #174
Stout
Illuminator
 
Stout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,353
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
So the important issue is that ischemgeek called the people teasing the girl about her hair "white" when no article, including the one they cited, mentions the race of those people? It's a fair point, but I fail to see the significance.
The significance is...they're making stuff up about people's motivations and wallowing in it in order to claim moral superiority.
Stout is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 12:48 AM   #175
Squeegee Beckenheim
Penultimate Amazing
 
Squeegee Beckenheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 21,590
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
So the important issue is that ischemgeek called the people teasing the girl about her hair "white" when no article, including the one they cited, mentions the race of those people? It's a fair point, but I fail to see the significance.
I'd say that institutionalised and normalised racism was a bigger issue than school uniform policies. Wouldn't you?
__________________
I don't trust atoms. They make up everything.
Squeegee Beckenheim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 09:12 AM   #176
Foolmewunz
Grammar Resistance Leader
TLA Dictator
 
Foolmewunz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pattaya, Thailand
Posts: 38,959
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
You're talking about ischemgeek's reference to white classmates? You're correct, I can't find evidence that the students teasing her were white. Doesn't make the policy any less objectionable. I've got very little doubt the policy is legal, but that doesn't mean the school shouldn't be criticized for it.
I found that thread depressingly predictable. It took me all of one minute to google-find the school and see that it's a rather racially diverse school. Kudos to you and ....crumpet for injecting a little bit of politics into the nonsense. The rules are made so that school authorities can be "authorities". It had nothing to do with her black hair being too ethnic for them. Have any of the whingers there (A+) ever met a nee-grow? From my experience, she's far more likely to have been teased by the other black students. I don't think Li'l Miss Christian Goodie Two Shoes is going after a Sistah. That'd take a lot of familiarity.

But hey, at least they didn't ask her if they could touch it!

And a bunch of Atheists complaining about "fair treatment" at Bible-Thumping Prep of Orlando? I dare say that if someone posted a similar thread here, four of the first ten posts would have been "Who cares? Let them eat their own, damned Jeebus fans!"
__________________
Ha! Foolmewunz has just been added to the list of people who aren't complete idiots. Hokulele

It's not that liberals have become less tolerant. It's that conservatives have become more intolerable.
Foolmewunz is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 09:12 AM   #177
qwints
Muse
 
qwints's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 697
The 40-60% number seems to come from two studies, a June 2001 study which consisted of a national survey (N=1821) and found 22% of respondents had experienced sexual abuse as a child, but was quoted in later articles as showing 40%, possibly a reference to its finding that 43% of black women experienced verbal or emotional abuse as a child. The best I can find for the 60% number is that it's from a "ongoing survey" with a N somewhere between 300 and 700. Unlike the first study, the 60% number does seem to be black girls who have been abused by black men. I can't find either study online.

I think the tweets and post ischemgeek linked are worth reading, even if the numbers seem suspect.

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
institutionalised and normalised racism
Care to explain your use of the term? Because it sounds absurd to me.
__________________
“If you can get religion out,” Bill O’Reilly warned, “then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage.”
qwints is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 10:26 AM   #178
Stout
Illuminator
 
Stout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,353
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
The 40-60% number seems to come from two studies, a June 2001 study which consisted of a national survey (N=1821) and found 22% of respondents had experienced sexual abuse as a child, but was quoted in later articles as showing 40%, possibly a reference to its finding that 43% of black women experienced verbal or emotional abuse as a child. The best I can find for the 60% number is that it's from a "ongoing survey" with a N somewhere between 300 and 700. Unlike the first study, the 60% number does seem to be black girls who have been abused by black men. I can't find either study online.

I think the tweets and post ischemgeek linked are worth reading, even if the numbers seem suspect.
Cheers qwints, I didn't find the first study, nor did I find the second study ( the n=300+ one ) even when I searched the site that claimed to have done it.

Yes, the links are worth reading but they have nothing to do with racism. Sexism, yes, but not racism as this is an issue that's confined to the black community and it makes the trigger warning for racism very poorly thought out. Or malicious, could go either way as A+ has already twisted one issue around race when there's nothing to indicate that race played any part in it.
Stout is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 03:21 PM   #179
Diogenes
Muse
 
Diogenes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 978
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
I'm glad you've had good experiences, but there are too many stories and recordings of TSA agents not accommodating medical need or being abusive towards passengers to believe that everyone having a hard time in security was looking for trouble.
That's interesting because that wasn't what Empress wrote and you left yourself the clever little "everyone" out.
Diogenes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 06:02 PM   #180
GDon
Muse
 
GDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 890
TSA abuse in Japan on Youtube (almost NSFW):
www youtube com watch?v=at7AtyyTnaA
GDon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 06:20 PM   #181
Foolmewunz
Grammar Resistance Leader
TLA Dictator
 
Foolmewunz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pattaya, Thailand
Posts: 38,959
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
TSA abuse in Japan on Youtube (almost NSFW):
www youtube com watch?v=at7AtyyTnaA
Well, it's a stupid sketch show. I don't think I'd get any more worked up about that than your average Benny Hill sketch.
__________________
Ha! Foolmewunz has just been added to the list of people who aren't complete idiots. Hokulele

It's not that liberals have become less tolerant. It's that conservatives have become more intolerable.
Foolmewunz is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 06:32 PM   #182
qwints
Muse
 
qwints's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 697
Empress has no information, as far as I know, about the veracity of that poster's story besides their own personal experience with TSA. That does not seem to be sufficient information, given other reports/recordings of TSA misconduct, to warrant this statement:

Originally Posted by Empress View Post
But is is it more likely that [the Plussers] are repeatedly triggered and victimized simply because they are looking for reasons to be outraged and refuse to accept that other people tend to be well-meaning and want to do the best they can if only they were aware of unusual circumstances? I tend to suspect so.
That's my point, and I stand by it.
__________________
“If you can get religion out,” Bill O’Reilly warned, “then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage.”
qwints is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 06:43 PM   #183
Foolmewunz
Grammar Resistance Leader
TLA Dictator
 
Foolmewunz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pattaya, Thailand
Posts: 38,959
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
Empress has no information, as far as I know, about the veracity of that poster's story besides their own personal experience with TSA. That does not seem to be sufficient information, given other reports/recordings of TSA misconduct, to warrant this statement:



That's my point, and I stand by it.
But personal experience trumps data every time. Why are you trying to erase Empress?
__________________
Ha! Foolmewunz has just been added to the list of people who aren't complete idiots. Hokulele

It's not that liberals have become less tolerant. It's that conservatives have become more intolerable.
Foolmewunz is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 06:45 PM   #184
The Central Scrutinizer
Penultimate Amazing
 
The Central Scrutinizer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 52,935
Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I think it was Scrut who said early on that A+ would probably destroy itself before the end of the year.

Give that man a million dollars!
Yep, it was inevitable. Stupidity eventually collapses under its own weight.
__________________
If I see somebody with a gun on a plane? I'll kill him.

Lupus is Lupus tor central scrutineezer
The Central Scrutinizer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 06:51 PM   #185
Skiltch
Scholar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 99
Originally Posted by recursive prophet View Post
Somebody here should write A+'s requiem. Try and make it constructive and charitable, if possible.
Sure, I'll take a crack at it.

There's nothing wrong, in principle, about forming a group that cares both about skepticism and social justice, or a group that tries to apply skeptical principles to social justice issues. But the failure of A+ reveals several important concepts that any such group has to keep in mind:

Skepticism matters. Claims that members of the group, whether they be proposed solutions or possible issues to target, should be evaluated skeptically. This is true even when the person making that claim has an oppression or the person challenging the claim has a privilege. Without skepticism, not only will the organization be ineffective as it targets non-issues and expends resources on useless solutions, but actual skeptics will leave.

Social justice matters. The group's actions should be geared towards fighting for social justice. The group should therefore have strategies to gather resources -- which can include money, objects, information, and volunteers -- and apply them to various problems in order to help people. If all the group does is talk about problems without ever doing anything, actual activists will be much less likely to join, and the group won't accomplish anything anyway.

Tone matters. Treating people horribly because of relatively minor transgressions drives people away, reducing the ability of the group to accomplish their goals. While the occasional terrible person might actually need to be castigated, if people who commit minor offenses are treated with the same respect and dignity that the A+ leaders wish to be treated with, they are much more likely to remain in the group, or join it, and help, than if they were treated with name-calling and hostility. If the members of the group appear to care more about their right to express their unbridled rage than about actual advocacy, the group's effectiveness and size will diminish.

Honesty matters. The group, and especially its leaders, must be honest to a fault about group activities. If they're found to be lying about things as trivial as forum moderation rules or the existence of secret boards for 'elite' members, that raises the question of what else they are lying about. People are less likely to contribute to, or take seriously, a group whose claims are not credible because its leaders are known to be disingenuous.

Leadership matters. The group should be led by people who know how to lead and have sufficient resources (or 'spoons') to do so, not necessarily by people with an axe to grind or by people who are more oppressed than anyone else in the group. If all the people at the top do is vent, then the group won't get anything done besides internal chatter.

Differences matter. Some skeptics will prefer to continue to focus on skeptical activism, and even some members of the group will have different priorities than whichever problems the group chooses to tackle. This should be recognized as fine. Trying to 'rank' oppressions, like the argument that 'there's so much racism that we shouldn't even look at religious oppression or skepticism until that's dealt with', is ridiculous and just drives away people that agree with the group on just about everything but are simply directing some of their resources elsewhere at the moment.

And lastly, intent... doesn't matter, but not in the way they think. If you want to participate in a social justice group, it doesn't matter how much good you intend to do. It doesn't matter how angry you really are at the injustices of the world, or how you have a great reason for not being able to do anything. It's not about you. It's about the cause, and the group's efforts should be wholly devoted to that cause. It might make a group member happy to scream on the forum at some other member who they think crossed them, and they probably don't intend any harm to the cause by doing that, but if it doesn't help the cause, it should be discouraged or prohibited. Because the purpose is supposed to be social justice, and that's far more important than letting someone feel smug because they unleashed a torrent of profanity on some newbie who doesn't know yet that the word 'moron' is considered ableist.
Skiltch is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 07:46 PM   #186
qwints
Muse
 
qwints's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 697
Originally Posted by Skiltch View Post
If you want to participate in a social justice group, it doesn't matter how much good you intend to do. It doesn't matter how angry you really are at the injustices of the world, or how you have a great reason for not being able to do anything. It's not about you.
Strongly, strongly agreed.
__________________
“If you can get religion out,” Bill O’Reilly warned, “then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage.”
qwints is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 08:01 PM   #187
dasmiller
Just the right amount of cowbell
 
dasmiller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Well past Hither, looking for Yon
Posts: 5,920
Originally Posted by Skiltch View Post
Sure, I'll take a crack at it. <snip>
I was going to say "good post, particularly the last paragraph," but qwints beat me to it.
__________________
"In times of war, we need warriors. But this isn't a war." - Phil Plaitt

Last edited by dasmiller; 1st December 2013 at 08:09 PM.
dasmiller is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st December 2013, 11:43 PM   #188
Kevin_Lowe
Guest
 
Kevin_Lowe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,221
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
So the important issue is that ischemgeek called the people teasing the girl about her hair "white" when no article, including the one they cited, mentions the race of those people? It's a fair point, but I fail to see the significance.
You don't see the significance of a supposed leader in a group supposedly advocating for social justice being racist?
Kevin_Lowe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd December 2013, 03:22 AM   #189
Squeegee Beckenheim
Penultimate Amazing
 
Squeegee Beckenheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 21,590
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
Care to explain your use of the term? Because it sounds absurd to me.
Assuming that the teasing must have come from white people because the victim was black is racist. The culture of the board not only allows, but encourages that sort of racism.
__________________
I don't trust atoms. They make up everything.
Squeegee Beckenheim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd December 2013, 05:33 AM   #190
Wildy
Adelaidean
 
Wildy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,944
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
That's not the case. Take a look at this music video from South Korea. Can we agree that the use of Native American imagery there is offensive? Or consider Hitler chic in Thailand.

The basic principle I'd put forth is, using or mimicking something from another culture without understanding its context can be offensive. I also think there's an interesting discussion to be had over whether any traditions or symbols are worthy of respect.
That depends on the kind of SJW you're talking to. Some are perfectly reasonable and would see how what you're seeing there is racism. However for some none of that would be considered racism because the people doing it aren't white because "power + privilege".

Just remember the one A+er (Setar? Ceepolk? It started with a "se" sound.) who said that you can't criticise Islam because brown people.
__________________
Wildy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd December 2013, 05:36 AM   #191
Brainache
Nasty Brutish and Tall
 
Brainache's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canberra
Posts: 17,030
Originally Posted by Wildy View Post
That depends on the kind of SJW you're talking to. Some are perfectly reasonable and would see how what you're seeing there is racism. However for some none of that would be considered racism because the people doing it aren't white because "power + privilege".

Just remember the one A+er (Setar? Ceepolk? It started with a "se" sound.) who said that you can't criticise Islam because brown people.
That always makes me chuckle. As if Jesus was Scandinavian or something.
Brainache is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd December 2013, 06:54 AM   #192
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,546
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
That's not the case. Take a look at this music video from South Korea. Can we agree that the use of Native American imagery there is offensive? Or consider Hitler chic in Thailand.
Originally Posted by Wildy View Post
That depends on the kind of SJW you're talking to. Some are perfectly reasonable and would see how what you're seeing there is racism. However for some none of that would be considered racism because the people doing it aren't white because "power + privilege".

Just remember the one A+er (Setar? Ceepolk? It started with a "se" sound.) who said that you can't criticise Islam because brown people.
That was ceepolk (see my sig). If they are consistent, then Koreans and Thais should be immune to criticism from descendants of White Europeans. I heard PZ chided Japan for "rape culture" as expressed in their fiction (Japan has one of the world's lowest rates of rape BTW). No, PZ, lay off the non-whites.

BTW My working assumption on Christianity is it was concocted in the 3rd century by the Roman Empire (by White Europeans) to hoax the Jews into obedience. That would make Christianity a white people's religion invented for, and still used for, bullying non-whites (South Korea, Philippines, parts of Africa, Latin America, etc.). Notice the current Pope, celebrate for being from Latin America, is actually a White Spaniard in heritage.

Last edited by Mr. Scott; 2nd December 2013 at 07:01 AM. Reason: More articulate
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd December 2013, 07:53 AM   #193
Squeegee Beckenheim
Penultimate Amazing
 
Squeegee Beckenheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 21,590
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
That was ceepolk (see my sig). If they are consistent, then Koreans and Thais should be immune to criticism from descendants of White Europeans. I heard PZ chided Japan for "rape culture" as expressed in their fiction (Japan has one of the world's lowest rates of rape BTW).
As that link itself says, you can't really trust those figures. It's entirely credible that the reported rape figures are low per capita, yet the actual rape figures are high per capita.
__________________
I don't trust atoms. They make up everything.
Squeegee Beckenheim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd December 2013, 08:01 AM   #194
qwints
Muse
 
qwints's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 697
Mr. Scott, you're correct that ceepolk and PZ don't agree. Why is that significant?

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Assuming that the teasing must have come from white people because the victim was black is racist. The culture of the board not only allows, but encourages that sort of racism.
Is this a fair re-statement of your position?

Attributing race without an explicit statement from a source about race is racist. (While prejudiced as opposed to institutional racism?)*, it still represents a character flaw in the speaker. Failure to condemn such a character flaw, when combined with falsely labeling others as having that same character flaw condemns the place where it happened.

*Not sure about this, and I just want to make sure we're using the same definition of racism and you're not using the critical-race theory definition used at atheismplus.

First, I acknowledge that I can't find support for ischemgeek's describing the bullies as white. It's reasonable to assert that this was their assumption. It's fair to describe that as a racist (prejudiced) assumption. Given my personal experience and other accounts combined with the demographics at that school, it's possible that only some or none of the bullies were white.

Thinking about this, there does seem to be a significant issue - the use of white as a default. Assuming an unknown person is white (or straight, male, etc...) is, indeed, problematic and is part of the erasure of minorities from culture we see in a lot of areas.

On the other hand, I think y'all are advocating a different point - assuming someone who has done something negative has a certain characteristic means that the assumer believes all or most people with that characteristic tend to do that negative thing. In other words, if I assume a criminal is black, I believe all blacks are criminals. If I assume a racist bully is white, I believe all whites are racist bullies.

I don't, however, buy that argument by analogy. First, prejudice about whites and blacks really are fundamentally different in the US and many other societies. "White people can't jump" is a different kind of stereotype from "black people are stupid", even though both can cause stereotype threat because of the larger social context. Stopping a conversation about one to talk about the other is a common problem that tends to distract from the discussion by and of marginalized groups. Second, making a problematic assumption doesn't make you a bad person or disqualify you from the atheismplus forums. I've made that and said ill-considered/bigoted things, and I'm still there.
__________________
“If you can get religion out,” Bill O’Reilly warned, “then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage.”
qwints is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd December 2013, 08:16 AM   #195
adamwho
Scholar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 90
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamwho View Post
The cautionary tale isn't about promoting feminism and social justice, it is about pretending that they are equivalent to atheism and skepticism. It is about group think and us-against-them attitudes. It is about thought policing and dogma.
I'm not sure if that was the problem, though. They're not the only segment of skepticism to draw an equivalence between skepticism and specific social causes.

***
No: I think the problem was that they unwittingly failed the site curation balance between letting people convey their thoughts versus tempering uncivil or mentally unstable activity.
Certainly their behaviors were the biggest problem but there are still some blind-spots in the skeptic community, especially on political issues. It turns out that people are awesome skeptics when they generally dislike the claims being made.... not so much when they claims align with their political beliefs.
__________________
We should be most critical of ideas we like because we are sufficiently critical of those we don't - Penn
adamwho is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd December 2013, 08:43 AM   #196
Squeegee Beckenheim
Penultimate Amazing
 
Squeegee Beckenheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 21,590
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
Is this a fair re-statement of your position?
You don't need to re-state my position, as there's nothing unclear about what I said.

The rest of your post seems to be you having an argument with yourself.
__________________
I don't trust atoms. They make up everything.
Squeegee Beckenheim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd December 2013, 09:56 AM   #197
qwints
Muse
 
qwints's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 697
Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
You don't need to re-state my position, as there's nothing unclear about what I said.

The rest of your post seems to be you having an argument with yourself.
I'm going to keep restating things and asking you to correct any errors in my restatement. It's not a rhetorical trick, it's an attempt to communicate. Your statement wasn't clear to me. I wasn't clear on

1) What did you mean by "racist"?
2) Does the fact that the girl was black matter to the problem with the assumption or not?
3) Why do you say the board allows/encourages racism?
4) Why do you think that's a bad thing?

Based on your previous posts, I think I know what you mean, but I'd like to make sure I understand you.

here's the tl;dr on the rest of that post. Complaining about prejudice against whites in a post condemning a school for being racist against a black girl is a bad thing to do. That said, the assumption was indeed problematic
__________________
“If you can get religion out,” Bill O’Reilly warned, “then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage.”
qwints is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd December 2013, 10:17 AM   #198
Myriad
Hyperthetical
 
Myriad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: A pocket paradise between the sewage treatment plant and the railroad
Posts: 14,061
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
here's the tl;dr on the rest of that post. Complaining about prejudice against whites in a post condemning a school for being racist against a black girl is a bad thing to do. That said, the assumption was indeed problematic

I question the underlying principle being applied here. Is it that complaining about (or, in general, attending to) a lesser matter is bad, when a more important matter has also been raised?

For example (purely hypothetical): someone defaces public buildings by spray-painting anti-rape graffiti on walls. Is opposing or condemning the graffiti inappropriate because rape is a vastly more important issue?

Another: a man on a subway platform is running around, shoving passengers and screaming at the top of his lungs about the evil Nestlé corporation causing world hunger. Can the transit cops arrest him, or must they solve world hunger (or at least, the shortcomings of the city's public mental health care system) first?

A third, much less hypothetical: A man is accused of sexual harassment on what appears to be inadequate evidence. Is discussing the inadequacy of the evidence in the case a bad thing, because there's so much sexual harassment that actually does occur?

This principle seems to be a fundamental point of division.

Respectfully,
Myriad
__________________
A zřmbie once bit my sister...
Myriad is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd December 2013, 10:26 AM   #199
jhunter1163
beer-swilling semiliterate
 
jhunter1163's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Connecticut, or King Arthur's Court. Hard to tell sometimes.
Posts: 25,066
Originally Posted by Empress View Post
I've been trying to figure out the same thing.

I've helped my octogenarian mother who has had two hip replacements and two torn rotator cuffs that prohibits raising her arms, repeatedly through the TSA checkpoints, and all it means is pushing her through in her wheelchair and giving explanations to the TSA agent about her medical situation and then calmly walking through the scatterback machine myself and waiting for her on the other side.

The TSA agents have been ubiquitously understanding and professional when confronted with my mother's physical maladies, and we have always been quickly on our way in no time, complete with my mother's medically necessary fluids, such as insulin.

Perhaps if the Plussers grasped the simple fact that they are not special snowflakes, other people are not out to get them, and workers are simply trying to do their jobs as reasonably and simply as possible, they might find that getting along in life is a goal we can all work towards.

I've found that granting others the presumption that they are well-meaning, including airport workers even in a post-9/11 world, makes everyone work towards a common aim and get along as best we can. I personally don't like the high security and lack of privacy that modern airports demand, and as a result I have only flown a handful of times since 9/11. But if my mother chooses to do so, and I choose to help her through the checkpoint, then it is my decision to face the difficulties that a personal inspection requires, despite a personal history of physical and sexual abuse. It is not the agent's fault that I have problems with being touched, and when I am even minimally open and honest with them, I have found them to have been unfailingly sympathetic and understanding, not to mention professional.

I can't help but feel that the Plussers inevitably have problems in every walk of life simply because they demand special status without taking the personal responsibility to vocalize their difficulties and work towards a mutually-agreeable outcome. Is it possible that they are all so unlucky as to constantly come in contact with jackasses who are invariably looking for a stooge on whom they can work out their personal demons? Sure. But is is it more likely that they are repeatedly triggered and victimized simply because they are looking for reasons to be outraged and refuse to accept that other people tend to be well-meaning and want to do the best they can if only they were aware of unusual circumstances? I tend to suspect so.

Life if difficult. It only gets more so if we refuse to communicate with one another about our personal struggles and strivings. But the Plussers seem to want to be victimized and outraged. If that is what they like, and that is what they demand, I find it no surprise that that is what they constantly experience.
I've only just now seen this post, which is a shame; I would have nominated it but it isn't eligible this month, damn it all. Still, it's a brilliant post.
jhunter1163 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd December 2013, 10:32 AM   #200
Squeegee Beckenheim
Penultimate Amazing
 
Squeegee Beckenheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 21,590
Originally Posted by qwints View Post
1) What did you mean by "racist"?
She judged people's actions not by the actions themselves, or by information about the event, but by imagining them to have a certain skin colour, and then imagining their motives based on nothing but that skin colour.

Quote:
2) Does the fact that the girl was black matter to the problem with the assumption or not?
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this sentence, but replace any race thus far discussed with any other race and my opinion would be the same.

Quote:
3) Why do you say the board allows/encourages racism?
Because it allows and encourages racism.

Quote:
4) Why do you think that's a bad thing?
Did you really just ask me why I think encouraging racism is bad?

Quote:
Complaining about prejudice against whites in a post condemning a school for being racist against a black girl is a bad thing to do.
A) I didn't. B) Even if I had, why would it be a bad thing to do, if the post condemning the white people was factually incorrect and nobody had been racist against a black girl? Is it your contention that any stated prejudice against a black person - whether true or not - trumps any other kind of racial prejudice? I can understand not hijacking a topic about a certain type of racial prejudice with talk of a different type of prejudice, particularly if it's talk of prejudice against a group which are usually in the positions of power, but commenting on an erroneous post in a completely different venue is "a bad thing to do"?
__________________
I don't trust atoms. They make up everything.
Squeegee Beckenheim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:49 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.