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Old 29th August 2012, 09:50 AM   #321
westprog
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
The almost universal fallacy in this thread is transposing the conditional. People here are claiming that the Atheism+ crowd is saying, "If you are not one of us, then you are a misogynist," whereas all the Atheist+ crowd is saying the converse: "If you are a misogynist, then you are not one of us."

Jay
That might be what they are saying some of the time. At other times, they are claiming that their precise approach is the only way to address issues of misogyny. They appear to deny that it's possible to oppose misogyny, and yet to want to take a different approach.

I'm not going by theory here- I'm looking at the response to people who express any form of doubt about Atheism+. They are immediately characterised as opposing its aims, and hence supporting racism and misogyny.
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Old 29th August 2012, 09:57 AM   #322
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Originally Posted by squealpiggy View Post
If the "almost universal" impression of Atheism+ is that it defines misogynists, racists, homophobes etc as "anyone not in the group" then perhaps those involved need to look at the message instead of blaming the recipient for not understanding.
Every response I've seen to anyone saying that they don't wish to be part of Atheism+ is to characterise that person as siding with bigotry. I don't claim that I've seen every such response, but that applies to all the ones I have seen.
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Old 29th August 2012, 10:35 AM   #323
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Originally Posted by Ocelot View Post
http://icbseverywhere.com/blog/2012/...-and-certaint/
If ever there were a ^This that needed ^Thissing then ^This is it. The more I read from Barbara Drescher the more I want to read more.
She seems to have nailed it all right. I have the feeling that there are probably posts and blogs out there attacking her for being centrist between rapists and victims. Still, the calm and reasonableness shines through.
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:00 AM   #324
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Something I didn't mention because I only found it now, is that he's changed the idea of kicking people out for logical fallacies. I guess he got rid of that after making his poisoning the well more blatant.
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Old 29th August 2012, 01:50 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by Wildy View Post
Something I didn't mention because I only found it now, is that he's changed the idea of kicking people out for logical fallacies. I guess he got rid of that after making his poisoning the well more blatant.
I was going to ask you for a link to the change, Wildy, and then found that you had considerately posted the changed text in your excellent blog. Hope you don't mind if I copy it here for the convenience of others:

Original:
Which means anyone who makes a fallacious argument and, when shown that they have, does not admit it, is not one of us, and is to be marginalized and kicked out, as not part of our movement, and not anyone we any longer wish to deal with.

It now reads (as of 30/8/12):
This means, first, that we believe in being logical and rational in forming beliefs and opinions. Which means anyone who makes a fallacious argument on any matter of real importance and, when shown that they have, does not admit it (when given the chance), is probably not one of us, and if they persist in doing that, is definitely not one of us, and is to be marginalized and disowned, as not part of our movement, and not anyone we any longer wish to deal with.

Whew. What a sentence. And what a bunch of weaselly piffle.
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Old 29th August 2012, 02:59 PM   #326
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Originally Posted by RebeccaBradley View Post
I was going to ask you for a link to the change, Wildy, and then found that you had considerately posted the changed text in your excellent blog. Hope you don't mind if I copy it here for the convenience of others:

Original:
Which means anyone who makes a fallacious argument and, when shown that they have, does not admit it, is not one of us, and is to be marginalized and kicked out, as not part of our movement, and not anyone we any longer wish to deal with.

It now reads (as of 30/8/12):
This means, first, that we believe in being logical and rational in forming beliefs and opinions. Which means anyone who makes a fallacious argument on any matter of real importance and, when shown that they have, does not admit it (when given the chance), is probably not one of us, and if they persist in doing that, is definitely not one of us, and is to be marginalized and disowned, as not part of our movement, and not anyone we any longer wish to deal with.

Whew. What a sentence. And what a bunch of weaselly piffle.
The thing is - you know, well in advance, how that's going to work out in practice. Does it mean that trained logicians will independently analyze statements to see if they are sound? Or does it mean that whatever the A+ consensus might be is deemed to have been proven?

I was just reading a quite reasonable statement from one of the A+ founders which seemed largely to focus on atheist organisations ensuring that they were being inclusive, and if necessary reviewing their procedures. That's the kind of face that they like to present, but the above contradicts it.
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Old 29th August 2012, 03:28 PM   #327
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Originally Posted by Wildy View Post
Something I didn't mention because I only found it now, is that he's changed the idea of kicking people out for logical fallacies. I guess he got rid of that after making his poisoning the well more blatant.
From your quote of their nonsense:

Quote:
To start us off, here are some issues I envision A+ addressing from a secular, skeptical perspective:

Racism
Sexism
Homophobia
Transphobia
Ableism
Classism
Ageism
Neurotypicalism
Animal welfare
Environmental issues
Political issues (Health care, crime, drug laws)
In order:

Classism? WTF does that even mean? Let me guess - "Ugh, rich people bad, me good. Give me money."

Neurotypicalism? Double WTF? Seriously?

Animal welfare. Again, let me guess - "Ugh, eating meat bad. Vegans good."

Environmental issues. That's pretty broad, but I'll assume it means "Ugh, giant corporations bad."

Political issues (Health care, crime, drug laws): Anyone want to guess where this one is going? "Ugh, conservatives bad. Liberals good. Give us money."

This things gets dumber by the day.
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Old 29th August 2012, 03:29 PM   #328
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I have a person in a facebook group that I'm a member of that supports atheism because it makes her feel safe. This concerns me.
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Old 29th August 2012, 03:41 PM   #329
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
The thing is - you know, well in advance, how that's going to work out in practice. Does it mean that trained logicians will independently analyze statements to see if they are sound? Or does it mean that whatever the A+ consensus might be is deemed to have been proven?

I was just reading a quite reasonable statement from one of the A+ founders which seemed largely to focus on atheist organisations ensuring that they were being inclusive, and if necessary reviewing their procedures. That's the kind of face that they like to present, but the above contradicts it.
They seem to be less likeable as days go on.

The phrase 'not anyone we any longer wish to deal with.' seems particularly counter productive if they wish to persuade anyone else of their worth.

From the coments here.
Quote:
Is everyone bored silly yet with all the stupid claims, misperceptions, and questions about atheism plus yet? By next week, I will have to consider anyone still going on about it intellectually dishonest.
So now it is intellectually dishonest to ask questions.

Its getting harder to understand what they hope to achieve, but easier to accept it isn't any club I want to be part of.
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Old 29th August 2012, 03:45 PM   #330
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So what's the over/under on A+?

I say dead by Xmas, if not sooner.
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Old 29th August 2012, 03:50 PM   #331
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
So what's the over/under on A+?

I say dead by Xmas, if not sooner.
I think it will run and run. Some people want a group where they can discuss things with people who share a common interest. Some people want secret handshakes and to know that there are other people not allowed in. There will probably be tears before bedtime, and one or two of the currently prominent supporters will end up leaving in a huff, but I'd see it prospering - not in the sense of changing society, but in the sense of making the members feel better. Everyone wants to be in the no-Homers - even Homer. And when you're pushing openness and exclusivity, that's a great combination.
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Old 29th August 2012, 03:50 PM   #332
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
So what's the over/under on A+?

I say dead by Xmas, if not sooner.
Longer than that, there are too many who feel they are superior to the rest of us lesser atheists.
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Old 29th August 2012, 03:52 PM   #333
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
Longer than that, there are too many who feel they are superior to the rest of us lesser atheists.
Even better - they feel superior because the other atheists look down on women and minorities and they don't. They're an anti-elitist elite. What could be better?
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Old 29th August 2012, 03:55 PM   #334
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Greater As have little As upon their back to bite'em
And little As have lesser As and so ad infinitum

Sorry, couldn't resist it, promise not to do it again.
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Old 29th August 2012, 03:56 PM   #335
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
I think it will run and run. Some people want a group where they can discuss things with people who share a common interest. Some people want secret handshakes and to know that there are other people not allowed in. There will probably be tears before bedtime, and one or two of the currently prominent supporters will end up leaving in a huff, but I'd see it prospering - not in the sense of changing society, but in the sense of making the members feel better. Everyone wants to be in the no-Homers - even Homer. And when you're pushing openness and exclusivity, that's a great combination.
I would give it a year. They will carry on for a while until one of them disagrees with the others. That one will get abused and mistreated. They will survive it the first time but start to fade. If it happens a second time they will blow up.
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Old 29th August 2012, 05:40 PM   #336
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I have been trying to follow this train wreck but I still can't answer these questions:

1. What does A+ wants to positively achieve? When I look at JREF, I see a lot of good stuff that make society better and hold accountable some of the less savory characters, but I don't see any benefit of this group of people (A+).

2. Is it not much more than an academic experiment by PZ Myers and Rebecca Watson as puppet masters to see how the rest of the Atheist community will react?

3. By questioning them now, am I becoming a douche-bag?

4. Is this a very good example of an echo chamber? Do they actually believe what they are writing?

5. What about all these conspiracy theories? One blogger mentioned that A+ wants or has created a list of unwelcome speakers (by their criteria) to force conference organizers to not invite them to speak. McCartyism anyone?
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Old 29th August 2012, 08:34 PM   #337
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Originally Posted by WillyWonka View Post
I have been trying to follow this train wreck but I still can't answer these questions:

1. What does A+ wants to positively achieve? When I look at JREF, I see a lot of good stuff that make society better and hold accountable some of the less savory characters, but I don't see any benefit of this group of people (A+).

2. Is it not much more than an academic experiment by PZ Myers and Rebecca Watson as puppet masters to see how the rest of the Atheist community will react?

3. By questioning them now, am I becoming a douche-bag?

4. Is this a very good example of an echo chamber? Do they actually believe what they are writing?

5. What about all these conspiracy theories? One blogger mentioned that A+ wants or has created a list of unwelcome speakers (by their criteria) to force conference organizers to not invite them to speak. McCartyism anyone?
1: I have no idea

2: I'm not sure Rebecca is all that involved. I don't really read Skepchick much anymore since it has veered so much away from skepticism and into feminism, but I get the sense that this isn't her thing.

3: Yes. By default.

4: Yes and yes. Which is why it is ultimately doomed to fail.

5: I know nothing about this. I doubt they have the power.

ETA: 5A: In fact, I know they don't. Invertebrates like JT might cave and have a meaningless (and largely unenforceable) "harassment policy" at Skepticon, but unless and until TAM does, they are impotent.
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Old 29th August 2012, 09:01 PM   #338
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Originally Posted by WillyWonka View Post
1. What does A+ wants to positively achieve?
World domination.

Quote:
2. Is it not much more than an academic experiment by PZ Myers and Rebecca Watson as puppet masters to see how the rest of the Atheist community will react?
No, they really believe this crap.

Quote:
3. By questioning them now, am I becoming a douche-bag?
Yes.

Quote:
4. Is this a very good example of an echo chamber? Do they actually believe what they are writing?
See answer to question 2.

Quote:
5. What about all these conspiracy theories? One blogger mentioned that A+ wants or has created a list of unwelcome speakers (by their criteria) to force conference organizers to not invite them to speak. McCartyism anyone?
Officially denied by PZ Myers in a post entitled There Is No Blacklist where he ironically announces, "I will not participate in any conference in which Abbie Smith is a speaker."
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Old 29th August 2012, 09:55 PM   #339
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
ETA: 5A: In fact, I know they don't. Invertebrates like JT might cave and have a meaningless (and largely unenforceable) "harassment policy" at Skepticon, but unless and until TAM does, they are impotent.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. Are you opposed to skeptical conferences having sexual harassment policies?

Jay
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Old 29th August 2012, 10:17 PM   #340
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by that. Are you opposed to skeptical conferences having sexual harassment policies?

Jay
I never really understood the controversy over sexual harassment policies. They are kinda part of any gathering of more then 1 gender nowadays.

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Old 29th August 2012, 10:31 PM   #341
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If you're interested there is a transcript of the recent discussion between PZ, McReight, Watson, Brownian and a couple of others.

https://a-plus-scribe.com/doku.php?i...ug_26_pz_myers

I still check Pharyngula regularly, I just avoid posts about politics and gender.
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Old 29th August 2012, 10:36 PM   #342
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Originally Posted by lopeyschools View Post
I never really understood the controversy over sexual harassment policies. They are kinda part of any gathering of more then 1 gender nowadays.

Probably because you are a reasonable person, and, as a reasonable person, you assume almost everyone else is, especially those who claim to be rational people—you know, like skeptics do.

Now, perform a thought experiment. Put yourself in the position of someone who thinks it's perfectly ok to engage in sexual harassment. How would such a person react to the imposition of a sexual harassment policy? Further, imagine that within the skeptic/atheist movement there existed a substantial, but vocal, minority of such people. Does that help explain the "controversy"?

Jay
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Old 29th August 2012, 10:49 PM   #343
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
Probably because you are a reasonable person, and, as a reasonable person, you assume almost everyone else is, especially those who claim to be rational people—you know, like skeptics do.

Now, perform a thought experiment. Put yourself in the position of someone who thinks it's perfectly ok to engage in sexual harassment. How would such a person react to the imposition of a sexual harassment policy? Further, imagine that within the skeptic/atheist movement there existed a substantial, but vocal, minority of such people. Does that help explain the "controversy"?

Jay
Do you have links to people objecting to to harassment policies because they claimed that it was "perfectly okay to engage in sexual harassment?"
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Old 29th August 2012, 10:55 PM   #344
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Originally Posted by dasmiller View Post
Do you have links to people objecting to to harassment policies because they claimed that it was "perfectly okay to engage in sexual harassment?"
No. Do you have links to people giving rational reasons for objecting to sexual policies?

Jay
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:05 PM   #345
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I missed this tweet:
Quote:
Finally had time 2 read Richard Carrier's #atheismplus piece. His language was unnecessarily harsh, divisive & ableist. Doesn't represent A+

-Jennifer McCreight
That puts me more at ease. There's still PZ's statements that bother me.
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:08 PM   #346
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by that. Are you opposed to skeptical conferences having sexual harassment policies?

Jay
Why would you think that? Seems to me you're exhibiting a textbook example of what the A+ advocates are doing.
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:14 PM   #347
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
No.
I thought that you were attributing the controversy to "a substantial, but vocal, minority of such people" who think that "it's perfectly okay to engage in sexual harassment' within the skeptic/atheist community. Did I misinterpret?

Quote:
Do you have links to people giving rational reasons for objecting to sexual policies
As I understand the process, I don't think I'm obligated to find citations to support an assertion that I haven't made yet.
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:14 PM   #348
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Why would you think that? Seems to me you're exhibiting a textbook example of what the A+ advocates are doing.
I'm not "thinking" anything. I'm expressing doubt and asking for clarification. Seems to me you're exhibiting a textbook example of what the A+ denigrators are doing.
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:16 PM   #349
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They are building a religion, complete with dogma. I wonder how long before PC Myers or another pseudo-celebrity announces the commandments. I hope this doesn't get any traction as I am certain if it does I will have to waste most of any conversation about atheism or skepticism distancing myself from "Atheism+™".

After spending some time browsing their forum, it is pretty clear that this is intended to be to atheism and skepticism what SRS is to reddit.

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Old 29th August 2012, 11:19 PM   #350
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Originally Posted by dasmiller View Post
I thought that you were attributing the controversy to "a substantial, but vocal, minority of such people" who think that "it's perfectly okay to engage in sexual harassment' within the skeptic/atheist community. Did I misinterpret?



As I understand the process, I don't think I'm obligated to find citations to support an assertion that I haven't made yet.
As I understand "the process," arguments aren't decided by the existence of "links."

Jay
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:21 PM   #351
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
Probably because you are a reasonable person, and, as a reasonable person, you assume almost everyone else is, especially those who claim to be rational people—you know, like skeptics do.

Now, perform a thought experiment. Put yourself in the position of someone who thinks it's perfectly ok to engage in sexual harassment. How would such a person react to the imposition of a sexual harassment policy? Further, imagine that within the skeptic/atheist movement there existed a substantial, but vocal, minority of such people. Does that help explain the "controversy"?

Jay
That people should be protected from sexual harassment is almost universally agreed. However, what constitutes sexual harassment is another matter. How do you produce a set of policies that ensure that nobody is made to feel uncomfortable or threatened, while allowing unattached adults to freely interact? As Barbara Drescher pointed out in the post cited above, there are many different points of view on this subject, and they don't divide neatly down the middle into right-thinking people and misogynists. There are undoubtedly people involved who do think that harassing women is just fine, but there are many others who have genuine reservations about some given proposals.

I do not have a rosy-eyed view of any form of conference/convention being automatically a safe place because the people involved are largely decent types. The husband of one well-known science fiction writer used science fiction conventions as cover for abusing children. However, I don't consider that there's automatically a simple answer that will answer for all cases.

Even taking Elevatorgate, for example. How is there to be a policy which will prevent such things occurring again, without punishing couples who get together quite happily? Saying that it's difficult to resolve these issues doesn't make everyone who doesn't follow one particular line a pro-rape misogynist.
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:24 PM   #352
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
I'm not "thinking" anything. I'm expressing doubt and asking for clarification.
In which case, why did you not ask, "What was wrong with the policy at Skepticon?" rather than "Are you opposed to skeptical conferences having sexual harassment policies?" ?
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:29 PM   #353
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Originally Posted by ShadowSot View Post
I missed this tweet:

That puts me more at ease. There's still PZ's statements that bother me.
I've noticed that Jennifer McReight seems to be vastly more reasonable than many of the other people under the same banner. I read a post of hers (IIRC - there are so many and I'm new to this scene) where she sensibly agreed that not all atheist organisations should devote themselves to other causes, but that they should ensure that unwelcoming and harassing behaviour that excludes certain people is avoided. If A+ had followed that path from the start, then it wouldn't be getting this kind of attention. I get the impression that jt512, for example, thinks of A+ in these terms. If it could be trimmed back to this there would be little to offend.
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:32 PM   #354
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by that. Are you opposed to skeptical conferences having sexual harassment policies?

Jay
For the record:

... a meaningless (and largely unenforceable) "harassment policy..." =/= "... sexual harassment policies"

Do you understand why?
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:33 PM   #355
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
As I understand "the process," arguments aren't decided by the existence of "links."

Jay
True, but arguments are often decided by evidence.

If you were not attributing the controversy to "a substantial, but vocal, minority of such people" who think that "it's perfectly okay to engage in sexual harassment' within the skeptic/atheist community, then I misinterpreted your post and I apologize.

If you were attributing the contoversy to that, then I don't think you should expect us to accept it without some evidence, and I thought that links would be the easist way to provide such.
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:36 PM   #356
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
As I understand "the process," arguments aren't decided by the existence of "links."

Jay
Actually, if you make an assertion that someone said something, it's nothing more than hearsay, which no one is obligated to respond to, until you post a link to where they actually said it.

It has to do with honesty in discussion.
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Old 30th August 2012, 04:05 AM   #357
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Originally Posted by Doubt View Post
I would give it a year. They will carry on for a while until one of them disagrees with the others. That one will get abused and mistreated. They will survive it the first time but start to fade. If it happens a second time they will blow up.
Yep too many leaders, if they only had one they could prosper like the objectivists.
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Old 30th August 2012, 05:09 AM   #358
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
Classism? WTF does that even mean? Let me guess - "Ugh, rich people bad, me good. Give me money."
Quite possibly.

Quote:
Neurotypicalism? Double WTF? Seriously?
Yeah, I really don't understand the point of this one. Unless Atheism+ is against neurodiversity, which would be funny.

Quote:
Animal welfare. Again, let me guess - "Ugh, eating meat bad. Vegans good."
I don't think so, otherwise McCreight would be kicked out.

Quote:
Environmental issues. That's pretty broad, but I'll assume it means "Ugh, giant corporations bad."
Or "factory farming is evil, organic farming is good" even though most of the organic farming is done by the giant corporations.

Quote:
Political issues (Health care, crime, drug laws): Anyone want to guess where this one is going? "Ugh, conservatives bad. Liberals good. Give us money."
I don't know about the money part but the first bit is most likely right.

Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
So what's the over/under on A+?

I say dead by Xmas, if not sooner.
I think with the echo-chamber thing that FtB has it'll last longer than that. I would say that the best metric would be to see how long the website lasts.
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Old 30th August 2012, 06:35 AM   #359
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Originally Posted by ShadowSot View Post
I have a person in a facebook group that I'm a member of that supports atheism because it makes her feel safe. This concerns me.
Did you mean atheism + ?
Otherwise, can you explain what it is that concerns you?
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Old 30th August 2012, 06:39 AM   #360
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
Probably because you are a reasonable person, and, as a reasonable person, you assume almost everyone else is, especially those who claim to be rational people—you know, like skeptics do.

Now, perform a thought experiment. Put yourself in the position of someone who thinks it's perfectly ok to engage in sexual harassment. How would such a person react to the imposition of a sexual harassment policy? Further, imagine that within the skeptic/atheist movement there existed a substantial, but vocal, minority of such people. Does that help explain the "controversy"?

It helps explain that the "controversy" is based on a logical fallacy.

Skeptics do not accept arguments that contain the affirming the consequent fallacy. You've just argued, essentially:

- If a substantial number of people within the skeptical community think it's perfectly OK to engage in sexual harassment, they would oppose the imposition of a sexual harassment policy.

- Some people opposed the imposition of certain proposed sexual harassment policies.

- Therefore there exists a substantial number of people within the skeptical community think it's perfectly OK to engage in sexual harassment.

... and from there it's not far to "and we must expose them and reject them and punish anyone who associates with them by denying them our own enlightened presence..."

The atheists can do what they want, but if they're still going to claim to be skeptics while branding people as misogynists based on that exact fallacious logic -- "a misognyist would object to X, you object to X, therefore you are a misogynist" -- then actual skeptics are going to keep pointing out the error and keep their distance.

And this question will continue to go unanswered:

Originally Posted by Myriad
What is your justification, rationalization, explanation, or excuse for PZM's responding to this:

Quote:
My whole point is that not everyone dismissed as a “misogynist” or “hate and rage filled asshole” by the Atheism+ crowd is actually anything of the kind. Sometimes that kind of response is aimed at people who simply have a reasonable disagreement with them, rather than the genuine trolls who are sending threats and abuse.

...by telling the questioner that he personally ("and that's you, Guy") thinks women should be raped into submission?

In what way can that possibly be considered acceptable rational discourse? Is PZM claiming mind reading powers to know that the questioner thinks women should be raped into submission? Can he cite the questioner somewhere stating that women should be raped into submission?

Respectfully,
Myriad
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