Watch Me Debate Justin Vacula, Streaming Live May 31 (8:30pm-9:30pm EDT)

Edit: The debate has now happened. Here it is:

Original post from before the debate:

Friday, May 31, from 8:30pm-9:30pm EDT, you can tune into my YouTube page and see Justin Vacula and I hash out our conflicting views about controversies in the atheist/secularist movement related to feminism. If you don’t see the video right away, just hit refresh periodically and it should show up.

I will post the video here. Feel free to write me with your confidential suggestions for what you would like me to raise in the discussion. You may also write in with any questions you would not mind being read verbatim to Justin. Specify what is meant for my eyes only or what you wouldn’t mind being read on air. I don’t know if we will actually get to such questions. We have a ton to cover as things are. But it can’t hurt to see them.

I will post the video in a new post after the Google Hangout ends on Friday night. I won’t be posting any original writing this weekend. I am working on ideas so densely interwoven that I would like to write freely and then figure out how to present the material in manageable posts. Just putting up short posts is proving impossible. I need to write it all out and figure out what the coherent short posts to put up are. Hopefully soon though I will be able to publish a nice series of reflections with some potential to help constructively advance discussions about controversial issues in the community.

In the meantime, on Saturday, don’t forget the International Day of Doubt. And there is still time to sign up for my interactive online philosophy classes which start next week.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • http://skepticink.com/justinvacula/ Justin Vacula

    Thanks for agreeing to this. I look forward to Friday and future discussion not only with you, but also with other interested parties.

  • Jpor

    Why? Do you realize that you are giving him a platform he does not deserve? He has already proven himself to be a complete….Oh well I won’t be listening.

    • omelek

      What exactly is it that threatens you so much about open debate and discussion.
      Do you not like having your ideas challenged and discussed in an open forum?
      Don’t you think it’s unhealthy to fear disagreement?
      Or worse, to not even accept the validity of disagreement, and instead dismiss it as trolling or harassment?

    • Jpor

      First off I am not part of the New Atheist+ crowd (which does not exist anyway) I am old school atheists.
      Second, I have heard every argument he has come up with and NONE of them are valid.
      He is nothing more than a trouble maker, not a debater.

    • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

      “He is nothing more than a trouble maker, not a debater.”

      We will be discussing this proposition in particular. Please be patient.

    • Edward Gemmer

      What does that even mean – none of them are valid? None of them? I am skeptical of this claim.

    • http://twitter.com/AleisterHermit A Hermit

      There comes a point where debate and discussion are futile. I’ve wasted a lot of time arguing with Holocaust deniers, for example. There may be some value in tearing apart their nonsense for one’s own amusement and possibly for the edification of anyone reading the exchange, but you’re never going to change the minds of the self styled “historical revisionists.” They too see themselves as BraveHeros™ fighting against the totalitarian forces of political correctness.

      And it’s not like Vacula is actually challenging anyone’s ideas in any substantial way. He and his supporters are waging a very personal vendetta against a few individuals; they prefer to comment on personalities and physical appearance more than they talk about anyone’s ideas.

    • omelek

      To be honest, I haven’t really read much of what Vacula has written.
      But I hardly think that the issue of how we should deal with organizing conferences is all decided and over!
      And even if Justin Vacula is an unrepentant troll, it can still be a good jumping off point.

      Even if he is wrong, he’s not very wrong.
      He’s not so wrong that it’s not worth talking about.

      And this is a concern for me.
      Apparently, some of these new harassment policies being proposed will try to regulate what consenting adults do in their private hotel rooms, or have people kicked out simply for being awkward.

    • http://twitter.com/AleisterHermit A Hermit

      even if Justin Vacula is an unrepentant troll, it can still be a good jumping off point.

      Only to the extent that it exposes the shallowness of his behaviour lately.

      Apparently, some of these new harassment policies being proposed will
      try to regulate what consenting adults do in their private hotel rooms,
      or have people kicked out simply for being awkward.

      This is nonsense.

    • omelek

      I love disagreement, personally.
      It’s a chance to analyze your ideas and tease out their essential elements.
      I’ve been wrong about many things, and while it’s difficult sometimes, I am glad to get closer to the truth.

      I don’t shield my beliefs.

      Sadly, many of the newer Atheism+ crowd don’t know who Carl Sagan is, but, he had a great quote about this:

      “In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.”
      ― Carl Sagan

    • AshleyWB

      “Sadly, many of the newer Atheism+ crowd don’t know who Carl Sagan is,”

      My impression is that Sagan is extremely well known among atheists in general, including the “newer Atheism+ crowd”.

      Disagreement is fine and useful when it happens between honest and informed parties, and when communication is two-way. This is somewhat more common in science than other fields, since nature ultimately provides a hard reality check that is difficult for honest people to deny.

      But when one or both parties is merely interested in disruption, it serves no purpose. For instance, dialogue with MRAs is almost completely useless, because they are degenerates with no interest in honest inquiry.

    • omelek

      I think there’s some really interesting discussion to be had about different subcultures of the atheist community.

      I’m an engineering student, but, fans of Atheism+ tend to come from the social sciences, the arts, or liberal studies backgrounds, so I think that affects their worldview.

      I think that it’s a good thing to have more diversity of worldview, and I welcome new blood.

      Also believe it or not, I have several friends from my university that went to Women in Secularism II, are self described feminists, and have absolutely no idea who Carl Sagan is.

      Hopefully we can have some good discussion.

    • ool0n

      What! How about you actually do the tiniest bit of research first.
      http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2803

      Majority there are the so-called hard sciences, although far from all the members. So forgive me if your anec-data about the #wiscfi feminists not knowing who Sagan is dismissed as so much bull.

    • 3lemenope

      That link doesn’t exactly present evidence of the proposition you’re defending either. The question up top the thread was, paraphrased, what is your major OR what are fields of science that pique your interest. Most of the responses didn’t clarify whether folks were in those majors or just interested in the topic. That would be bad enough, but it is also a self-selected sample behind a walled garden, and so there are lots of reasons to doubt its representativeness.

    • AshleyWB

      It certainly is not definitive, but I hope you see that omelek’s claim that ” fans of Atheism+ tend to come from the social sciences, the arts, or liberal studies backgrounds” is completely unsubstantiated.

    • omelek

      I meant to present that not as a claim of fact, but as my personal experience.
      Sorry for any confusion.
      Of course that claim is far too general to make.
      And please understand that I am not insulting people who work in the social sciences.
      I’m glad that a wider range of people are getting involved.

    • ool0n

      I’m not asserting the opposite by rejecting his claim, much in the way I’m not a gnostic atheist by saying I don’t believe in any gods.

      He made the claim, any evidence in contradiction to it, however weak, needs to be explained by him. Not me.

    • 3lemenope

      OK, I was confused then by “Majority there are the so-called hard sciences, although far from all the members.” Which seemed to be a claim about the composition, at the very least, of the site commentators at atheismplus.com.

      If you aren’t making a positive claim about composition, then you are quite right. I will say, though, given the confounding factors I noted, the signal-to-noise ratio for information gleaned from that page is so incredibly low that I would be uncomfortable demanding it be seen as evidence requiring a response of any sort.

    • ool0n

      I dunno seems most there (In that thread only) are studying hard sciences, I also hang out at the forum so know a lot of the people there are students and studying a vast array of subjects. I wouldn’t make any statements about the majority study this or that. I will also make it clear I would not intimate that hard sciences are somehow better or more relevant to atheism than social sciences.

    • AshleyWB

      I appreciate your anecdotes, but they aren’t data. You’ve now made two claims about Atheism+ people without any supporting evidence. You should be careful about doing that, because biases and assumptions creep in when facts are absent.

    • omelek

      I probably should have said “In my experience, based on the people that I know who explicitly support atheism+, and who I talk to every week…”
      Like when I have to explain who James Randi is, for the fourth time, when someone says that they don’t know what this “TAM” is, but they heard that they shouldn’t go because they will be harassed.
      And they block any attempt to get the dept to send us.
      Perhaps this is just an anomaly.

      All I’m saying is that, in my experience, many who are newer recruits only heard about atheism from people like the skepchick, and don’t know about some basic stuff that we take for granted.

    • Sally Strange

      I’m an engineering student, but, fans of Atheism+ tend to come from the
      social sciences, the arts, or liberal studies backgrounds, so I think
      that affects their worldview.

      Yeah – they don’t engage in social science denialism. You know, that thing where arrogant, uninformed engineers and other mathy types claim that [psychology/sociology/insert whichever social science discipline here] isn’t “REAL” “HARD” science. They recognize that sociology, the study of human societies and human interactions, can yield useful information and therefore pay attention to what sociologists have to say about, for example, racism, and how it functions. They do this because they recognize that racism is a phenomenon of social interactions and societies, and the people who study those things probably know more about racism than the average Joe on the street, regardless of whether Joe has a PhD in physics or not.

    • omelek

      See, I agree with you.
      Although, I would say that it goes both ways, and that people can be too quick to dismiss us, as well.
      I work on projects (right now with video games) to try to bridge the gap.

      Anyway, I do get the impression that people from a more social science background do have difficulty understanding technology, to their detriment.
      I really think that a lot of difficulty has to do with simply not understanding internet culture.
      Simple internet background noise and spam is taken far too seriously.
      When people say “don’t feed the trolls, as they will say ANYTHING to get under your skin”
      It is often interpreted as “I don’t care about your feelings or your safety”

    • blueXenologer

      As an anthropologist who wrote her thesis in the use of authority in online communities, I find the assertion puzzling that people who study humanity would be less likely to be familiar with what amounts to the most major new communication medium around.

      Yes, though, it is true that people who don’t study engineering tend to have a shallower understanding of the things which have been engineered. Similarly, people who don’t study society and culture tend to have a shallower understanding of the dynamics involved. This shouldn’t be a controversial pair of assertions.

      The difference is that social scientists–in my experience–consider things like physics, biology, engineering, mathematics, etcetera to be real areas of expertise, while many who have degrees in physical sciences do not believe there is such a thing as a social scientist. This is irritating and frankly surprisingly anti-intellectual for a group of people (atheists, skeptics) who seem to take it as a badge of honor that they believe all or at least most areas of life can be best understood scientifically.

    • omelek

      I can understand the criticism that social sciences may not be “science” like physics is a science.
      But that doesn’t mean it’s not valid or that it doesn’t help people.
      The medical arts isn’t a science either, but it certainly helps people.

    • omelek

      Well, the Atheism+ forum is a great case study in how people’s ignorance of technology, as well as their ignorance of the dynamics of how online communities operate, can be a disaster.

      Nobody needs to troll them anymore.

      They’ve adopted a permanent siege mentality, and I’ve seen them ban users for not replying frequently enough to other users who have feminine avatars (seriously)

      In the case of the A+ forums, the problem is ignorance, buttressed by stubbornness.

      And it is sadly very typical for people like that.

      It’s because, I suspect, they are applying the same logic that they apply to the rest of society, to online society.

      They believe that everyone’s actions and opinions are influenced by unconscious racism or sexism.

      Even something as innocuous as what threads they view.

      And more than that, they see it as their duty to “correct” these “problems”.

      I have to say that engineering types often have the same problem, in the opposite direction.

      They try to treat everything like a machine, especially people and relationships.

      They paint themselves into corners, stubbornly trying to debug their relationships, when all that was required was a little bit of empathy.

      Anyway, others have already given far more eloquent criticism of that A+ forum, and what it represents, than I have.

      This whole issue has some relevance to me, since I have to think about women’s role in technology almost on a daily basis, at my school’s media lab.

    • smhll

      And I would be happy to talk to you. It’s the people who adopt arguments and quote ‘statistics’ from AVoiceForMen without checking them that I find pointless to talk to.

      (I’ve read at least one book by Carl Sagan, but it was a long time ago, so not sure which one.)

    • omelek

      I can’t help but noticing certain patterns emerging.
      I can’t say why the emerge, but I think it’s worthy of discussion.
      Is that unreasonable?

      I work on projects at an art institute and at a school of social sciences, so, I can’t help but notice that people seem at align themselves along certain lines.
      While the engineering school is 80% male, the art school is 80% female.
      And people come to atheism from different places.
      Many people are offended that science is being abused or misrepresented, while others are concerned about lgbt rights or social justice.

      I think that these differing cultures also have an impact on conference policy.

    • Octavo

      I have to agree with Jpor. This is like debating Ray Comfort.

  • blueXenologer

    Sent you a question! Thanks!

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    I don’t see how anything terribly good can come out of this. Justin Vacula has been pretty clear that he doesn’t think women should be treated as people. He condones and accepts rape and death threats to women on the Internet who have dared to exist by claiming it’s just “trolling”. I don’t see that this debate will wake him up to the need to fight all bigotry everywhere, or the meaning of privilege, or the reality that men and women are treated differently and that’s not OK, or why feminism is such an important part of the atheist movement.

    I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it.

    • omelek

      That’s a really disturbing thing to say.

      Justin Vacula doesn’t think that women are people??
      That’s quite a serious accusation to make, could you please elaborate on that?

      He most certainly does not condone rape threats, that’s absurd.
      A threat is a threat.
      That said, we can’t lock down our conferences and install metal detectors because someone got a threatening youtube comment.

      Is there something else I’m missing?
      Please explain.

    • 3lemenope

      That said, we can’t lock down our conferences and install metal detectors because someone got a threatening youtube comment.

      .

      Can’t is quite different from shouldn’t. We certainly *could*, it’s just the argument is about whether we *should*.

    • ool0n

      Haha the forum he hangs out at have methodically spread the lie that a prominent commenter at FtBs threatened herself with rape at Thunderf00ts blog. No evidence whatsoever just because it fits into their narrative that any threat is either “just trolling” or “not atheists” or even better paranoia about feminists threatening themselves to drive up blog hits.

      Justin does nothing to distance himself from this – quite the opposite he follows the party line diligently as can be seen in the Twitter exchange that spawned this talk with him.

      I agree with those against this legitimising of Justin. He only wants to do this to get more publicity, learning is far from his intention. He will score enough disingenuous points to keep his side happy that he “won” the debate with no need to actually think at all.

      At what point do Dave Silverman, Fincke etc throw in the towel and condemn him and his pals outright? While at #WISCFI he gave an interview for A Voice for Men which sat nicely on their front page next to an article about how college girls like being raped. At one point he was trying to distance himself from AVfM and said he never wrote *for* them despite his saying he was working on a post for them at the Slymepit. These days he is an out and out mini-Paul Elam or Dean Esmay. Our own leader of the atheist MRM *retch*

    • AshleyWB

      Silverman condemned that bunch pretty definitively on twitter last week, and he’s been clear that he opposes the misogynist garbage in our midst.

    • ool0n

      Yup, its promising I won’t deny it. Silvermans post on Skepchick hate directed at women series was good as well. Just depressing that when there is so much back story to Vacula there are prominent atheists like Nugent, Fincke and Silverman who are willing to give him one more chance… Always one more… This is despite the narrative he and his pals at the Slymepit push that the #FTBullies like PZ, Greta, Ophelia etc will destroy your reputation and career for one small misstep. Justin has been well into his misogyny tap dance for over a year and is still being entertained.

      Personally I’d like to see Nugent, Fincke and Silverman shut up and listen to them and tell Justin to fuck off. Not very civil though ;-)

    • omelek

      Has anyone actually looked at the evidence?
      Personally, I was curious, so I used a scraper to harvest every single comment from different videos, and grepped through them.

      I found that thunderf00t has numerically gotten far more rape threats than anyone else.
      I can throw it up on pastebin tonight if you’d like.
      Maybe they can talk about it on the show.

    • omelek

      OK, let’s assume for a second that he is in bed with the MRM.

      How does that mean that he doesn’t see women as people, or thinks that he condones rape threats?

      Personally, I do not like AVfM, and have been banned there.

      But they’re not nearly as bad as the now defunct Radical Hub, which openly calls for violence, and doesn’t recognize any rape survivor who wasn’t a woman raped by a man.

    • ool0n

      Not *nearly* as bad? I don’t want to be seen standing up for TERF radscum like Brennan and pals but that is absolute rubbish. SPLC are monitoring AVfM exactly because they call for violence. Including the leader, Paul Elams, statement that he would pass a rapist as not guilty if he was on a jury regardless of the evidence. Its their fault apparently. That is literally condoning rape not just rape threats as a means to silence women online. Vacula gives Elam and his pals legitimacy and a door into the atheist community.

      Meanwhile Thunderf00t is making videos about how feminism is poisoning atheism. While Justin invites in the MRM and its irrational band of rape apologists by the backdoor.

      You show me the atheist feminists that condone the excesses of the radhub or are sucking up to Brennan and the trans* exclusionary feminists and you’ll have a point. Fortunately the very best of feminism is represented in the atheist community, we should be proud of that. Not inviting in irrational anti-feminists.

    • Sally Strange

      the forum he hangs out at have methodically spread the lie that a
      prominent commenter at FtBs threatened herself with rape at Thunderf00ts
      blog.

      Yup, that would be me… That incident happened well over a year ago now, and it was just a month and a half ago that Vacula was commenting that “SallyStrange has some competition” regarding a news story about a woman being charged for making a false rape accusation. I have the link buried somewhere in my email inbox. Of course, Slymers and Vacula spreading that particular lie is hardly an extraordinary claim, since they’ve done it over and over again since then.

    • Sally Strange

      He doesn’t condone rape threats. He just maintains that feminists are either lying about getting them – he has specifically spread the lie about me faking a rape threat against myself on Thunderf00t’s blog – or he maintains that they are not really real threats (based on no knowledge whatsoever) and that people who allow those threats to affect their decision-making about where to go or whether to blog are cowards or stupid*. So the claim that he “doesn’t condone” rape threats is technically true, but in practice he’s shown a tendency to practice extreme hyperskepticism about the existence and seriousness of these threats, which has the practical effect of diminishing the seriousness with which these threats are regarded.

      *I initially wrote “cowards or lying,” which was a brain fart.

    • omelek

      This is a complicated issue, and frankly there’s enough to say about it that it could be the subject of a podcast series.

      I want you to know that I believe that you’ve experienced online harassment.

      Anyone who is moderately popular has.
      Nobody needs to manufacture it.
      People who have youtube channels where they talk about makeup or cooking or archery experience harassment.

      It’s a reality of the internet, and the society that uses the internet.

      This is more than just you or a few other individuals experiencing online harassment, it’s about how online communities maintain and grow themselves.

      I haven’t followed this very closely, but, I think the big disagreement is about what to do about it.
      Nobody to my knowledge has experienced explicit threats that have any credibility.
      Nobody has said “If you speak at this conference I’m going to murder you, I know you live at such and such”

      From what I’ve seen, it’s consisted of youtube comments like “lol get back in the kitchen ur stoopid”

      And just because you get 200 messages doesn’t actually map to 200 people, and I’d wager that it could be as few as one or two dedicated trolls.

      Stop and ask yourself how other, far larger and more controversial communities, have managed to thrive online.
      Do you think they don’t experience the same thing??
      Why is it that the JREF forums became so popular, while the A+ forums are an embarrassment?

      Back when most social scientist types were still figuring out how to use AOL, I was helping organize protests.
      Why must you guys be so stubborn?
      I have no desire to harm anyone, and I’ve tried explaining this so many times, but I gave up awhile ago.
      This is around the time I gave up on the atheist community in general.

    • omelek

      And I don’t think that people should be criticized for being “too skeptical”
      Is that not one of the pillars of atheism??
      When we’re told that we need to radically alter our conferences, because of some unspecified threat, should we not be skeptical?
      I pride myself on being resistant to manipulation.
      There are ways that compromises can be reached.
      For example, if you’ve received threats, but don’t want to make them public, you can go directly to conference organizers, or some other trusted proxy to attest to the validity and severity of threats.
      Should we really just take it on faith?

      I’m also skeptical when we go to “Orange alert” because of unspecified terrorist chatter, and there are extra cops at the train station.

      Personally, I’m not opposed to making guests of conferences more comfortable, but I believe that many have gone about it all wrong.

      Anyway, I’m interested in dialog, but usually any disagreement is met with a swift banning, and then accusations of harassment, followed by some fem-splaining.

      For the record, what I am doing is NOT harassing you, I’m disagreeing with you, and I think I’m being civil about it.

    • Sally Strange

      And I don’t think that people should be criticized for being “too skeptical”Is that not one of the pillars of atheism??

      No. Your level of skepticism should be in proportion to the available evidence. Hyperskepticism is the irrational refusal to be convinced by reasonable evidence. See also: climate change “skeptics”.

    • Sally Strange

      For the record, what I am doing is NOT harassing you, I’m disagreeing with you, and I think I’m being civil about it.

      Sounds like somebody has been telling you lies about the nature of harassment.

    • 3lemenope

      …or why feminism is such an important part of the atheist movement.

      It isn’t. Feminism is important socially, and is certainly important politically, but it has nothing and less to do with atheism as such. The coincidence of feminism and atheism seems less driven by anything endogenous and more driven by accentuating the difference between atheism and its established religious alternatives, most of whom are distinctly anti-feminist in doctrine, and many in practice. That correlative coincidence is neither necessary nor particularly interesting beyond what it indicates about how some atheists form values in religious-majoritarian societies.

    • 3lemenope

      Well, that was a fast down vote. Look, I’m both a feminist and an atheist and I can’t see the necessary point of contact between the two. Can anyone make a plausible case that there is one? I’d be interested in hearing it.

    • ool0n

      If atheism is a movement then it is trying to achieve something? The meaning of the term atheism is not diminished or changed by a group of people with the non-belief label applying that worldview to political-social change and creating a movement. Same as being gay has nothing to do intrinsically with equal rights or gay marriage, it is *just* a sexual preference. However that group of people with that label are going to see the world rather differently and want to make changes – hence the gay movement.

      As soon as you start talking about movement atheism then all the implications of that non-belief such as separation of church and state, removal of religiously inspired bigotry all come under that movements remit IMO. There are such a diverse set of people in the atheist group its hard to see what social justice causes don’t come under its remit.

    • 3lemenope

      In what sense are “movement atheists” applying their atheism to feminism? As far as I can tell, feminism + atheism = feminism & atheism. They neither augment nor diminish each other, because they don’t interact. It’s like, the members of a political party have a grab-bag of political views on a myriad of topics, many of which really have nothing to do with each other, but they are still part of a political organization with those goals. So, the goals are united in the person pursuing them, but it would be an error to assume because the same person holds views in many areas that those views must be related to one another, much less do actual work for one another.

      There are such a diverse set of people in the atheist group its hard to see what social justice causes don’t come under its remit.

      I would say, rather, that atheism is such a big tent that it is hard to see how any definition of social justice or any defined collection of causes could appeal to us all, or even a significant plurality thereto. We don’t all even agree on the elements of society and culture that do directly intersect with religion and religious influence!

    • ool0n

      Of course they do. Religion normalises some toxic crap about “normal” sexuality/sex and “normal” gender roles and what is “right and moral”… Atheism rejects that wholesale and can give a non-theistic view on sex and gender issues. Its a perfect fit from my pov and I’d rather the feminist movement was intersected with the rational free thinking atheist community than the woo-soaked spiritual or religious community.

      By asserting atheism has nothing to do with feminism that is pushing it away from an important area of socio-political change that atheists have much to say that is unique.

      Would you apply the same logic to secularism? Or gay rights? Why is the atheist community and movement so tied to separation of church and state, why is it wasting its time talking about gay rights and bigotry?

    • 3lemenope

      Religion normalises some toxic crap about “normal” sexuality/sex and “normal” gender roles and what is “right and moral”… Atheism rejects that wholesale and can give a non-theistic view on sex and gender issues.

      This is *exactly* the same category error that many religious folks make about atheism. The relationship between theism and atheism is asymmetrical because religions make positive claims, assign ceremonies and duties for their participants, directly assert an epistemology and a metaphysics, and atheism does not.

      Atheism rejects theism wholesale. That’s it. Everything else is optional, including opinions about what social baggage of religion should be kept and what should be discarded. An atheist can easily challenge gender roles that are residues of religious traditions, or just as easily enthusiastically embrace them.

      Would you apply the same logic to secularism? Or gay rights? Why is the atheist community and movement so tied to separation of church and state, why is it wasting its time talking about gay rights and bigotry?

      Yes. I marched in a gay pride parade. I am an atheist. I did not march in a gay pride parade because I’m an atheist. I also know atheists who are rabid homophobes. They wouldn’t climb on-board the gay rights train any time soon, and no appeal to atheism is likely to change that, not least because it is unclear exactly what about atheism one would appeal to to do so. There is no god, therefore…what, exactly?

    • Sally Strange

      There is no god, therefore…what, exactly?

      There is no god, therefore claims about god’s preferences regarding what we do with our naughty bits, what career opportunities ought to be open to women, the sinfulness of sex outside of marriage, and so on, can be summarily rejected because there is no secular evidence to support any of those positions.

      That wasn’t that hard, was it?

    • 3lemenope

      Nearly every society on Earth has, at one point or another, criminalized male homosexuality. Many of them did not appeal to religious reasons to do so (usually they relied upon a ethotic argument regarding traditional gender roles and a direct appeal to consequences). Nearly every society on Earth has been explicitly patriarchal and many still are. They all reached the conclusions that homosexuality was gross and that women are inferior to men independently, so it is difficult to turn around and point to “religion” as an explanation for this otherwise bizarre convergence of opinion given independence.

      So, an enterprising atheist who holds misogynistic or homophobic opinions can point to that difficult-to-explain convergence and say that it is plausible, given universal independent occurrence, that the societies were responding to a universal human characteristic, and so the result was not dictated by the presence or absence of religion.

      I tend to think such a person is wrong. Nonetheless, it is a plausible enough hypothesis to easily maintain homophobia or misogyny given atheism, such that your claim that these positions can be summarily rejected due to lack of evidence is quite hasty.

    • Sally Strange

      I said, specifically, that the claims that GOD prefers that men not have sex with men, and that women should remain in the home lest they inspire lustful thoughts in passing men, can be summarily rejected.

      Do please read for comprehension.

    • 3lemenope

      Oh, then what you were saying wasn’t responsive to what I wrote at all unless you assume a priori that the only arguments that support misogyny and homophobia are those that were stuffed in the mouth of one god or another. That’s clearly not the case, so what was the point of saying it?

      Reading comprehension, you’re not doing it right either. My original point was that there are atheists who are misogynists. If they are atheists, obviously they already don’t believe in the existence of a god, so you filling in “There is no God, therefore…” with, “well, God doesn’t exist, so we can dismiss arguments from Gods” is a pointless repetition. He or she already knows that, so it is reasonable to believe they base their misogyny on something other than a comment that was stuffed in the mouth of some god or other.

    • Sally Strange

      I figured that you would be intelligent enough to figure out that when I said “claims about GOD’s preferences,” I meant only the claims that related to the preferences of GOD.

      The fact that there are atheist misogynists who advance secular arguments for the subordination of women is a separate matter.

    • 3lemenope

      The fact that there are atheist misogynists who advance secular arguments for the subordination of women is a separate matter.

      A separate matter?

      Lemme quote the original question with its context:

      I also know atheists who are rabid homophobes. They wouldn’t climb on-board the gay rights train any time soon, and no appeal to atheism is likely to change that, not least because it is unclear exactly what about atheism one would appeal to to do so. There is no god, therefore…what, exactly?

      The context of my question was, given that your interlocutor is a misogynist atheist, how does one appeal to atheism to argue against misogyny? So, not a separate matter but the very matter under discussion. Your answer, that you can point out that they can ignore anything uttered by a purported god, is likely to be known (and done) by them already, so it’s not a good answer to the question.

    • Sally Strange

      Well, these sexist atheists maintain that rejecting god belief doesn’t necessarily lead to weakening one’s belief in the superiority of men over women. I’m demonstrating part of the reason why that argument is false.

      The other part of the reason is that these secular arguments for sexism are pretty weak sauce.

    • ool0n

      Right so the focus on gay rights and secularism in the atheist movement was argued against by you? As Sally Strange points out below the same argument can be made against those not having anything to do with atheism….

      Weirdly no one popped up to argue minutiae about how the word literally only means disbelief therefore blah blah fart when applied to those topics. We only get this objection popping up when people talk about *feminism* being a natural focus for the atheist movement. I just don’t see why other than antipathy towards feminism.

    • 3lemenope

      I can only speak for myself, but I have been consistent and emphatic in my opinion that atheism implies nothing beyond its definition in a variety of contexts. I agree that it can be a fig leaf to hide misogyny or whatever other quality is at issue; of course arguments can always be made in bad faith. That doesn’t make the argument itself a bad argument or unnecessary to refute.

    • ool0n

      Well you keep saying just atheism and I keep saying “atheist movement” … You never answered my question on whether you even think there is such as thing as an atheist movement. For me atheism is a concept that you are right about – it addresses rejection of a god claim only. AtheistS however are people not an abstract concept. I reckon its clear that a movement made up of atheists is going to naturally apply their scepticism about theistic god authority to the dogmas that are supported by theistic authority. One bigun being misogyny!

    • 3lemenope

      I’d say there is no atheist movement. There are atheists who choose to associate together because they also agree about other things, leading to things like Atheism+, Secular Humanism, and so forth. If their scope is merely those things they agree upon besides atheism, then they are not the atheist movement, only a movement for social change that has odd membership requirements. If on the other hand there is overreach, such that such a group claims to represent all atheists or atheist concerns generally, their claim is not sustainable because of the large numbers of atheists that differ from them on one or another topic of particular concern.

    • Sally Strange

      Concluding that there are no gods calls into question one of the major pillars of ideological justification for rigid gender roles and subordination of women, namely, that such roles and subordination are divinely ordained. An atheist who arrives at atheism by applying reason and critical thinking to religious claims must also reject religious claims that embryos have souls, that women’s most important role is that of baby-maker, that men are “natural” leaders, etc., etc.

    • Sally Strange

      Sure. Atheism has nothing to do with feminism.

      Similarly, atheism has nothing to do with science education.

      Atheism has nothing to do with separation of church and state.

      Atheism has nothing to do with gay rights.

      If the first statement is true, then the rest must be true, because the relationship between atheism, the conclusion that the claims of gods’ existence are false, and political activism around national educational standards or civil rights are just as coincidentally correlative as the relationship between atheism and feminism.

    • 3lemenope

      I hate to be the one to tell you this, but if you live in the US you live in a strongly religious-majoritarian society. It is the height of arrogance for atheists to claim that we were the driving force behind, really, any of the things you just mentioned. Many, many religious people are feminists, believe in proper science education, are fans of the SoCaS, and are proponents of gay and trans rights. If that weren’t the case, no amount of effort or noise from the comparatively tiny atheist population would have made an iota of difference.

      The fundamental irony of social progress in a democracy is that the minority relies on the majority for eventual political approval of positive action pertaining to the minority. It is a source of not inconsiderable discomfort for many who study social change, but it is undeniable. This is not to say that minorities lack agency or stake in their (our) struggles, but only to point out that in the end whatever they seek has to persuade a majority of others who do not share their identity.

    • Sally Strange

      There are religious people who are feminists? Gosh, I guess you just… pointed out something really obvious that nobody was contesting. To what end?

      Please point out where I claimed that atheists were THE driving force behind any of the things I just mentioned.

      Please read for comprehension.

    • 3lemenope

      You were snarking about my argument that social issues and atheism are merely coincidental correlates. I was pointing out that there is no coincidence only if you ignore the extent to which the other category (theists) occupy the same ideological space. Then it truly does appear coincidental; if theists in the very same society in fact occupy those positions in droves, then it is likely that there is no feature of religion or its absence which causally dictates a given adherent’s views on social issues.

    • Sally Strange

      I was not snarking. I was being perfectly serious. I still am. Atheism, the lack of belief in gods, no more entails a commitment to feminism than it does to the separation of church and state. If you disagree then please present a reasoned argument as to why.

    • 3lemenope

      In that case, you’re agreeing with me, so you’re picking an oddly combative way to do so.

    • Sally Strange

      I’m not agreeing with you, though, except in the narrowest sense. The lack of theoretical connection does not erase the presence of the practical connection, which is created by the fact that we live in, as you pointed out, a god-soaked society, where goddists attempt to insert their religious beliefs into our government, private charities, schools, and other collective endeavors.

    • 3lemenope

      Interestingly, I think it works far better and more plausibly the other way. It is actually quite difficult to be a consistent feminist and be a theist at the same time (the feminist theist has to bracket out either large chunks of one or large chunks of the other to harmonize their beliefs), and certainly as a practical matter, working to delegitimize theistically-sourced arguments makes it easier to win the broader social arguments about the role of gender and sex in society.

      So, while atheism and feminism, themselves, have little to do with each other, the anti-feminism of religion places additional burdens on feminist theists that feminist atheists don’t suffer.

    • Pitchguest

      Right. Atheism has nothing to do with feminism, nothing to do with science education, nothing to do with seperation of church and state and nothing to do with gay rights.

      It is politically devoid from all of these things.

      An atheist simply has a lack of belief in a god or gods. That’s it. The moment you begin to conflate atheism with idealism is the moment you get cries of Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, etc, because they were the biggest mass murderers the world have ever known and they were atheists. They were, but they didn’t do what they did BECAUSE they were atheists – their atheism was simply a consequence.

    • Sally Strange

      Right. Atheism has nothing to do
      with feminism, nothing to do with science education, nothing to do with
      seperation of church and state and nothing to do with gay rights.

      It is politically devoid from all of these things.

      True. Therefore, atheists who do make a connection between their lack of god-belief and, say, promoting high educational standards, would be hypocritical to condemn atheists who make a connection between atheism and feminism.

      As 3lemenope pointed out, we do live in a god-soaked society, therefore rejecting god-belief has all sorts of real world political implications. If goddists were not attempting to give their narrow sexual morality the force of law, the lack of connection between atheism and feminism would be both theoretical AND practical.

      An atheist simply has a lack of belief in a god or gods. That’s it.
      The moment you begin to conflate atheism with idealism is the moment you
      get cries of Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, etc, because they were the
      biggest mass murderers the world have ever known and they were atheists.
      They were, but they didn’t do what they did BECAUSE they were atheists -
      their atheism was simply a consequence.

      Indeed. I’m not really seeing why the tendency of goddists to make blatantly false claims about atheists should affect whether or not we undertake activism based on our rejection of god-belief, though.

    • Pitchguest

      Because it’s not an ideology. Atheism have no dogma or creed, or tenets to follow. It does not require you to become a feminist, it does require you to become a gay rights activist, it does not require you to become a Democrat (if you live in the US).

      Why? Because lack of belief in a god does not suddenly dictate you believe in these other things.

      And I don’t care if you make a connection between atheism and feminism, as long as you don’t conflate the two. It’s atheism and feminism, two seperate entities, not atheism *plus* or feminism *plus*

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      I argue that atheism is an inherently skeptical movement. That is, it *should* be associated with skeptical inquiry and a willingness to learn that isn’t bound by dogma. It should also want to welcome other people who have the same mindset.

      When you are explicitly non-feminist, you are implicitly supporting the status quo. You are saying that it’s not worth the brain power to be skeptical about gender roles, patriarchy, rape culture, and the rest of it. You’re saying that how it is is good enough. And you make your movement a space that’s comfortable for sexists, because our society is sexist and you’re explicitly not challenging that greater society. Is that really your goal?

      EDIT: When you challenge one aspect of the status quo (religious privilege), you get stuck deciding where you stand on other aspects of the status quo. Status is intersectional- female atheists can’t separate their atheism from their woman-ness, Black, Asian, and Latina(o) atheists can’t separate their atheism from their race or ethnicity, and gay atheists can’t separate their atheism from their homosexuality. You can only do that if you are one of those privileged to be “normal”- white, male, and straight.

    • http://twitter.com/AleisterHermit A Hermit

      It’s atheism and feminism,

      Another way to say that in English is “Atheism plus feminism.”

      http://thesaurus.com/browse/and

      Main Entry: and

      Part of Speech: conjunction

      Definition: in addition to; plus

    • sinmantyx

      “Atheism have no dogma or creed, or tenets to follow.”

      Right – does that mean that you and other atheists have no social obligations?

      Like not constantly raging against arguments that nobody has made, that have been explicitly clarified to the contrary over and over and over again?

      You know, to the point where you essentially say that you “don’t care” if people do the thing they are actually doing as long as they don’t do what you just said you don’t care about?

      I mean you “don’t care” so much about that, that you spend hours and hours online for years attacking people who are doing this thing you “don’t care” about?

      Seriously – what is your deal. What goes on in your head?

      My working hypothesis right now is that you just REALLY love Dawkins and can’t handle it when people criticize him – EVEN when they go out of their way to also compliment him on what he has done.

      Because you tend to go on-and-on about how awesome he is and how you’re mad that anyone would say anything bad about him on the MANY threads that you pop-up in and rage; like when you went on Jen’s father’s blog and accused Jen (while she was taking a break from the internet) of lying about being defamed and pushed out in the same post where you mocked and insulted her; in the same thread where posters were calling her “worthless” and an “embarrassment”; the same thread where you called Jen’s history of depression a “cop out”.

      My hypothesis was even further supported by the fact that much of the criticism of Jen on that thread was that she wasn’t enough like Dawkins for your tastes.

      So, I asked you a question then that you may have missed:

      “Do you support those who threaten and abuse Dawkins? How about those assholes who made fun of Hitchens when he was dying of cancer? Did you support them too?

      No, I don’t want Jen to get “special treatment” or anyone else to get “special treatment”. When the hell did refraining from being horrible to people equate to “special treatment”?!

      The ONLY thing anyone has mentioned on this thread that Jen actually said or did that somehow justifies all these insults (on her own fathers’ blog for chrissake) is that she once pointed out that Dawkin’s was male, white and old.

      Really- pointing out that someone has a particular perspective because of their demographics is the HUGE crime that justifies all this crap? Even if she was really terrible (which nobody has presented any evidence what-so-ever that she is), how would that justify going on her father’s blog and insulting her for shits?

      I think The Amazing Atheist has done some pretty horrible things. His vlog is boring and lacks substance – he essentially just yells about how stupid everyone is. Sure, I’ve criticized him. However, I could not frickin’ imagine – dogging him to the point of going on a relatives blog and complaining about him. If he, at some point, took a “mental health” break from having an on-line presence, I would not dog him even MORE.

      Who the F does shit like that?”

      Can you please answer this question without deflecting to the real or perceived misbehavior of others that you believe are hypocrites, or accusing me of not doing diligence to point out other’s real or perceived misbehavior?

      That would be nice.

      Now, I know this long, interjected post might be considered too combative or inappropriate and if Dan chooses to moderate it, I would understand.

      However, I feel that it’s appropriate to the subject. I mean, one of the reasons that Vacula is so embattled is because of his associations (real and perceived) with the type of behavior that you continually exhibit.

      One aspect that Vacula mentioned was that verbal abuse over the internet should somehow not make anyone feel unsafe or affect them in anyway. Here are your words blaming Jen for being affected by the type of verbal abuse that you yourself, were dishing out:

      “Unlike you and Jen, I’ve firmly checked my own privilege. That is why I don’t go moaning about petty things endlessly. My conscious just wouldn’t allow it. And you’ve muddled the issue. The concern were threats, not verbal abuse. One would have to be extremely disingenuous to claim that threats over the internet are frequently substantiated in the real world. Oh, and I’m well aware of the problem of cyber-bullying, but to be fair, I didn’t take Jen to be that fragile.”

      Another aspect of the interview is that Vacula seemed to think, as you do, that just because not everyone is being threatening, harassing, and hateful. (You know, the line about the Slymepit talking about other things than hating Rebecca Watson occasionally.) Here is your take on that:

      “Yes, bombarding his daughter with threats and slurs. Did I mention those threats are on the internet? The slurs can be ignored. The slurs, rightly, can be dismissed coming from sexist assholes. Most people, however, are not sexist assholes. ”

      Another reason I am writing this is that to the casual observer, this sort of context is lost. If I ever entertained the idea that there actually is some sort of “threat narrative” being over-blown to cause drama, it died the day I read through the comments on Jen’s father’s blog.

      I’m also amazed at the expectations placed upon people who are already dealing with the din of troll behavior that we all deal with; the addition of overtly sexist people coining derogatory nicknames and making fake twitter accounts and photo-shopping images; and people like you who claim to HATE sexism but “easily dismiss” it when they see it and viciously blame the subjects of that sexism for reacting to it.

      I mean, Vacula also in this interview criticized people for documenting this sort of behavior and not documenting this sort of behavior.

      The go-to defense seems to be that Rebecca Watson may have made a hyperbolic statement when she said “everyday” once a few years ago. Somehow attacking that statement; or attacking people for discussing the persistent abusive behavior directed toward them; is a legitimate focus of the atheist movement?

      Well, only the women, when Dawkin’s reads his hate-mail he is brave.

      Because by your own words – and Vacula’s words in the OP – you acknowledge that those threats and that abuse exist. You just react to that fact the way you do; which yeah, is problematic.

    • http://natehevens.wordpress.com/ Nathan Hevenstone

      I was going to respond to Pitchguest, but now I don’t have to. Brilliant, sinmantyx. Absolutely brilliant.

    • Edward Gemmer

      I kind of disagree. Yes, technically you can be an atheist and still hate women (which was Vacula’s point about being an atheist isn’t logically connected to thinking women aren’t subservient to men).

      However, I think atheism has at least given me a bigger appreciation for feminism. Our culture of sexism seems more rooted in our biology than in religion, so a feminist movement makes more sense and is more necessary there.

    • http://twitter.com/AleisterHermit A Hermit

      This has been an interesting discussion, hasn’t it? We all agree that strictly speaking “atheist” simply means “without belief in god(s)” and that whatever implications that lack of belief has for other issues are in addition to that lack of belief.

      If only there was some kind of shorthand way of identifying ones self as being an atheist in addition to being a feminist/anti-racist etc. Some kind of symbol or glyph that we might choose to append to the “atheist” label to indicate that additional concern. I wonder what that might look like? +.o

    • Pitchguest

      Gee. Except then you would look like elitist asshats who co-opts the atheism label to make a moral judgment on those that doesn’t care to share in such elitism – or just doesn’t care in making atheism politically charged.

      So you co-opt atheism to mean whatever you want it to mean, what’s next? Socialism? Humanism? … Feminism? Sooner or later you have teams, teams with rules and those teams have feuds and whoops. Before you know it, your team is indistinguishable from a cult. No thanks.

    • http://twitter.com/AleisterHermit A Hermit

      How is this “co-opting” anything? Identifying myself as an atheist who also values humanism, feminism or socialism doesn’t in any way anyone prevent anyone else from being an atheist libertarian, or MRA or racist. All it does is clarify my own position.

      And rather than being elitist it’s a statement about wanting to broaden the community of atheists/agnostics and secularists to include more people outside the established, elitist circle of white male academics who for so long have been the face of atheism.

      It seems to me that it’s folks like you and Vacula and now Ron Lindsey who are struggling to maintain an elitist community.

    • Pitchguest

      Does it now? Instead of saying you’re “Atheists for…”, it’s Atheism+ which is effectively co-opting the label to mean whatever you want. Basically you’re making it up as you go along.

      It’s elitism. Dividing atheists into teams, the ones for Atheism+ and the ones against, and the ones against are obviously not pure enough and should be shunned. Richard Carrier made it clear on his blog, and so did PZ Myers – “why should we blah blah blah rape threats blah blah blah cunts and twats blah blah blah”

      Building up strawmen to paint the opposition to Atheism+ as worse as they possibly can.

      Broaden the community, you say? Have you been to the AtheismPlus forum? Broaden the community? Hahahahahaha.

    • 3lemenope

      It’s a bit like labeling a social movement Tennis-players+ or Philatelists+. I’m sure there are tennis players and stamp collectors who care about feminism and gay rights, but it would still be silly for them to emphasize front-and-center a fact that bears not at all upon their social movement’s goals. If an individual wants to call *themselves* a philatelist+, more power to them, but I don’t think they can expect other stamp collectors to respect his or her appropriation of their chosen hobby in service to something unrelated.

    • http://twitter.com/AleisterHermit A Hermit

      How is this an “appropriation” of anything? I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand this opposition to people using a word along with another word to clarify their own position.

      In fact we see these kinds of connective terms all the time. I’m happy to be a secular (as opposed to religious) humanist; a social democrat (as opposed to just a democrat or a socialist). If I choose to also identify myself as an atheist plus an advocate of social justice why should that be a problem for you or anyone else?

    • http://twitter.com/AleisterHermit A Hermit

      It’s a bit like labeling a social movement Tennis-players+ or Philatelists+.

      Actually this is pretty good analogy. If I were a tennis player who also wanted to work for children’s rights I might start a “Tennis Players for Kids” group. Would it be reasonable for other tennis players object to that as an “appropriation” of “tennis player?”

    • Edward Gemmer

      I’m fairly confident in saying that Vacula strongly believes in treating women like people. Also, this “fight all bigotry stuff” never holds up. Do you think being bigoted against rapists is impermissible? And should they be treated like people? Are they privileged? Are they treated differently? Is that ok?

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      I suggest you learn what bigotry is and means, then get back to me.

      And yes rapists should be treated as people. People who have committed an awful crime and must be punished appropriately, but people. Would you say that murderers and thieves should be treated like not-people?

    • Pitchguest

      How would you suggest we learn what bigotry is and means?

      Using the dictionary?

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      Studying the works of people who engage it for a living? Women’s studies, Black studies, Latino studies, LGBT studies people? It’s not as fast and easy as looking it up in a dictionary, but it’s far more robust.

    • Sally Strange

      Deferring to experts is okay when it’s about climate science or the origin of the universe, but complex psychological phenomena of personal and societal interactions? Any jerk can opine on that!

    • Edward Gemmer

      I know what bigotry means and I represent criminals so I’m fairly aware of how they are treated, at least where I live. My point is that ending bigotry sounds nice but isn’t necessarily something people agree on, even very strident feminists. Vacula often asks questions like these because he’s a sore thumb and that’s what he does, but that doesn’t mean he hates women at all. If skepticism is to mean anything, I have to think it means that asking questions, education, and critical thinking are values we share. So don’t punish people for exercising those values.

    • Pitchguest

      Dislike of a person doesn’t mean you can get away with defamatory comments. When has Justin made it “pretty clear” he doesn’t think women should be treated as people? When has he condoned and accepted rape and death threats to women on the internet?

      You wouldn’t happen to have any evidence for that, would you? So I can confirm it for myself?

      As for the trolling aspect, speaking only for myself, I have received my fair share of threats on the internet. Rape threats, death threats, you name it. I’ve been getting them ever since I began surfing, which is roughly 15 years ago. Needless to say, I’m still here. I think that strongly suggests that many of them were, in fact, trolling. (And the rest, I guess, lost interest.) Indeed, many (if not most) of the threats occuring on the internet are just hot air that in all likelihood will never substantiate in meatspace.

      But does that mean I condone such conduct? No. It doesn’t.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      Vacula is hyper-skeptical about rape threats, to the point of diminishing their existence altogether (see above where he claimed one woman sent rape threats to herself). I’m not talking about just comments, either- I’m talking about women on the Internet (and it is almost always women) receiving surveillance photos of their houses along with rape and/or death threats. I’m talking people who give specific, crude descriptions of what they want to do along with the woman’s address in their email. While men may get rape threats on the Internet, they are rarely so personal, descriptive, and detailed as the ones women get, nor do they often describe the emotional devastation they wish to induce. I’m talking organized campaigns of hatred sometimes- get a woman in the crosshairs and try to harass her off the Internet altogether.

      As for not treating women like people- it’s implicit in accepting the rest. Threats of violence, deliberate silencing of perspective, ignoring real-world problems. Vacula doesn’t necessarily do all of that, but he gives a platform to those who do. That’s enough. I bet you don’t host a site where rape apologists and MRAs feel safe to get together and publish awful things, because you don’t condone such behavior.

    • ool0n

      Well PitchGuest and pals consider some commenters at Pharyngula saying “go fuck yourself with a dead porcupine” to be a “rape” threat… Seriously. They’ve said as much many times. So don’t take his claims of receiving them too seriously.

      EDIT: In fact I can link to their shameful list of “rape” threats with their debunking. http://aratina.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/skepsheik-liar-lunatic-or-lord.html

    • Pitchguest

      There’s the problem with your comprehension, oolon. You’ve always been a bit thick. We don’t care about dead porcupines or people telling us to fuck ourselves with them. We care about hypocrisy. I wouldn’t consider it a rape threat because I wouldn’t care. However, the Pharyngulites obviously do care and yet they were the ones who uttered the words, not us.

      So when they tell us to go fuck ourselves with a dead porcupine, that’s a rape threat *by their own standards.* Which makes them *hypocrites.*

      So, no, not seriously. You’re just too dumb to realise.

    • ool0n

      Haha, cheers PitchG you just explained in clear english for everyone to see that you don’t argue against your opponent’s position but a strawman “understanding” of your own making. It should even have been clear to you that those terms are not rape threats by “their standards”, cos they clearly wouldn’t issue them! You also argue in bad faith as there is reams of evidence of you and assorted Slymers appearing to care very much about being told to fuck off with a dead porcupine. You do realise you just admitted to bad faith argumentation? Otherwise known as trolling? You also implicated the whole Slymepit in that… “We don’t care about dead porcupines or people telling us to fuck ourselves with them”

      I won’t say anything about your intelligence, but you really should have thought before posting that comment.

      Now onto the rape threats you have experienced, given its your experience then citations will be no problem at all. Over to you genius.

    • Pitchguest

      They clearly wouldn’t issue them, although they clearly issued them. Or do you suffer from amnesia as well as dementia, oolon?

      “Don’t waste time whining at anyone that they’re not nice, because this gang will take pride in that and rhetorically hand you a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice.”

      1. “I am going to personally see to it that an especially rotten and dribbly dead porcupine is rammed so far up their rectum that they are picking bits of it out of their teeth for the foreseeable future.”

      2. “Fuck ‘em with decayed porcupines and red hot pokers! I’m drunk and I’m priviledged and I’m human thus fallible all hell but fuck those douchcanoes and make it hurt!”

      3. “the porcupines are still located to the left of the door as you leave. Grab on. Shove it where it will do the most good (to the entire world), and then go die in a fire. Slowly.”

      4. “stick a decaying porcupine dipped in hot tar and glass shards up his pustule-covered arse sideways, slowly.”

      5. “Take your fucking sympathies for predators and shove them up your ass and chase them with a dead, rotting porcupine that’s been marinating in capsaicin.”

      6. “You are fucking tiresome and I wish you would shove a rotting porcupine up your ass.”

      7. “May a necrotic porcupine fester, unremovable in your bowels.”

      8. ” He should be pounding so many decaying porcupines up his asshole that quills start coming out of his ears.”

      9. “surlyramics made me a custom necklace with a totally cute porcupine and the word “insert” underneath it. I get compliments on it every time I wear it (without even any questions about why the word “insert” is under the porcupine).”

      10. “Surly Amy makes a lovely porcupine necklace now. It’s adorable, and has a one word label: “insert”.

      By their own standards, telling someone they would forcibly shove something up someone else’s arse (whether that be a porcupine or a dead, decaying porcupine) is a rape threat. Yet there they are, issuing them with glee. I say “by their own standards” because obviously if someone from “our side” would have uttered them, that’s what it would be – a rape threat. If they do it, however, it’s a “joke.”

      Have I admitted to bad faith argumentation? I think I’ve admitted that we (or rather, I, as I can’t really speak for the Slymepit as a whole) care about hypocrisy, which is something that runs rampant in the FtB/A+/Skepchick crowd. Despite the fact that most “threats” about bodily harm, dying in fires, and getting dead porcupines forcibly shoved up people’s rectum, have come from places that ISN’T the Slymepit, somehow that’s where the blame is lain.

      If you want to talk bad faith argumentation, I can think of a few. Inserting yourself into discussions with a smug attitude and a penchant for well-poisoning, that’s arguing in bad faith. Claiming that this and this is a joke, and this and this is harassment and bullying, despite the fact that they resemble eachother in both severity and intent, that’s arguing in bad faith.

      As for the rape and death threats I’ve experienced, are you insinuating I’m lying about them?

    • ool0n

      Cheers again you derp, you don’t even realise you just said Skepsheik is a liar when he says those *are* rape threats. He didn’t say that Pharyngulites *think* them to be rape threats neither have you. http://www.oolon.co.uk/?p=384

      You asked for citations for rape threats to Feminerd below… Why are you not providing them for your “threats”?

    • Pitchguest

      Derp, is it? Ableist.

      Shepsheik is documenting HYPOCRISY. Do I really need to spell it out for you?

      And I didn’t ask citations for rape threats, I asked for citations about “women on the Internet (and it is almost always women) receiving surveillance photos of their houses” ALONG with rape and/or death threats. Subtle difference. Too subtle, clearly, for you to grasp.

    • ool0n

      No Skepsheik pretends he thinks those actually *are* rape threats in his opinion. You have nicely undermined that position, thanks.

      Where are your citations? You can easily provide a few, right? I saw the sinfest crew say “go kill yourself” to you but no rape threats. BTW I thought they were pretty nasty, far worse than Pharyngula commenters.

    • Pitchguest

      *sigh* Okay. Let’s go through the motions.

      Vacula is hyper-skeptical about rape threats, to the point of diminishing their existence altogether (see above where he claimed one woman sent rape threats to herself).

      Did he now? I’m aware of that thread and I don’t recall seeing Justin there taking part in that discussion. In fact, here’s the actual thread so you can read for yourself.

      https://thunderf00tdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/ftb-and-the-conspiracy-to-defraud-drawing-a-line-under-this-pointless-crap/#comment-9841

      I’m not talking about just comments, either- I’m talking about women on the Internet (and it is almost always women) receiving surveillance photos of their houses along with rape and/or death threats.

      Citation needed. Seriously.

      I’m talking people who give specific, crude descriptions of what they want to do along with the woman’s address in their email. While men may get rape threats on the Internet, they are rarely so personal, descriptive, and detailed as the ones women get, nor do they often describe the emotional devastation they wish to induce.

      Is that so? I think if you spend enough time on YouTube, Reddit, 4chan, and so on, you’ll notice the reprobates treat men and women surprisingly equal when it comes to retribution. I think the most well-known subject of attrition is Justin Beiber, closely followed by Robert Pattinson. And if you truly have evidence to claim otherwise, then I suggest you provide it.

      I’m talking organized campaigns of hatred sometimes- get a woman in the crosshairs and try to harass her off the Internet altogether.

      Really? Who?

      As for not treating women like people- it’s implicit in accepting the rest. Threats of violence, deliberate silencing of perspective, ignoring real-world problems.

      Threats of violence? I think you’re confusing Justin with Greg Laden. And deliberate silencing of perspective? The Justin I’ve come to know appreciate all perspectives, even those he doesn’t agree with, and often offers to have a debate. I’m unfamiliar with this Justin you speak of, but maybe you have information to prove otherwise?

      Vacula doesn’t necessarily do all of that, but he gives a platform to those who do. That’s enough.

      Who?

  • sinmantyx

    I never knew how to pronounce “Vacula” – now I know.


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