I get email: John Harrington’s 15 minutes of fame.

The other day I posted a silly question and invited people to destroy it.  The person who posed the question then sent me this message.

I understand what you’re saying JT. I wasn’t going to pull the inscrutable thing though. I honestly was clarifying and maybe i could have phrased it better or PMed you. Sorry to come off as trollish. I’ll try to do better.

And yes, compassion ftw.

I appreciate reading your posts and being challenged by what you say. Being challenged is really the only way I can think.  Of course, the less I think, the more GW2 I can play….heh heh heh

Ok, cool beans.  I get a lot of questions from Christians who aren’t looking for a real answer, but are instead trying, feebly, to create a tie-down to begin a one-way conversation.  I get several of these every day, and so it was easy to lump this guy in with them.  Plus, I was pretty stressed yesterday.  Ninety-nine times out of a hundred the person who asked that question is looking to assert that when god’s supposed will and compassion are in opposition that we should betray humanity.  I have no qualms calling the lack of forethought in those people stupid.  It is.  But then there are those annoying one percenters… (What Ed Brayton says here pretty much sums up my position)

Anyway, mea culpa.

But now let’s talk about an atheist who messaged me.  A guy named John Harrington commented on the link to the stupid question post upset that I would call that question stupid.  I got the usual charges of arrogance, along with the charge of mild atheist celebrity.  w00t!  When do I get my hot tub and honorary loft in PZ Myers’ lair?

The dude was pretty upset that I could be so rude and punctuated it with “Fuck you, you piece of shit.”  So I defriended him.  Something about not wanting friends who call me a piece of shit.  The following dialogue ensued.

John Harrington<br />Coward.<br />JT Eberhard<br />I don't think an unwillingness to be friends with people who call me a piece of shit makes me a coward. It just means I have a standard for friendship that extends only so far.<br />John Harrington<br />You had all your minions and you against the point I was making. You could have finished the thought, but, no, you had to make your little cutesy "gotchas" and then remove the infidel.<br />As for your cutesy tu quoque, I'm not running a blog acting as a representative of atheism; I *was* responding to you about your bad behavior in a comment thread before you tuck-tailed. Dick.

Oh dear.  Well, I don’t want to be a coward.  So here you go, John.  I’m not a coward!  I’m going to post your whole bit to the internet, regardless of how bad it makes me look.

JT Eberhard  Hrm, the insults of some random on the internet. I'll take yours to heart to the same degree I take all the others.  You have no rights to be my friend on facebook, and I have no obligation to keep someone like you as a friend.  Then again, maybe I'm terrified that you're making me look bad and the "not wanting to be friends with an asshole" is just an excuse. And maybe Jesus really did rise from the dead.  12:27pm John Harrington  Right, straw man me. I was saying I have a right to be your friend on facebook instead of calling you a coward for fleeing criticism.  You know what, if you really were above my insults, you wouldn't even respond. You certainly wouldn't straw man me or try to suggest I was a Christian sock puppet. But you aren't above insult, as you showed in your blog response. You're part of the insult militia, that includes you, PZ, Dillahunty, and the rest of the epithet slinging, petty little tyrants of your internet domains. And, before you make assumptions about where I"m coming from, I think Skepchick is one of a few reasonable and respectful prominent atheists.

The guy puts me on the same plane as PZ Myers and Matt Dillahunty and he expects me to feel bad?

And I don’t think he’s a Christian sock puppet and never even hinted at that.  Sadly, religion doesn’t exclusively own the deeds to hypocrisy, and not all atheists are reasonable.  So I have no trouble believing that John is an atheist.

At least he likes Skepchick. Good on him for that.

JT Eberhard  They guy who called me a piece of shit whining that I'm not above insults? Keen.  I'm flattered to be compared to PZ and Matt. You are too kind. Maybe I'll re-friend you...  Nah.  12:30pm John Harrington  You aren't very rational. I never claimed to be above insults. I just claimed you were a dick, and I'm right. Now I've got more important things to do.  PS: Your new wife is ugly. LOL

Wait, this guy likes Skepchick?

The guy was upset because I’m part of an “epithet-slinging group of internet tyrants” and he chastises me for not being above insults, then calls my fiancee ugly.  This is the type of irony that would allow the a child-raping priest preaching about morality to live in its shade.

Note how I never went after the self-worth of the Christian who asked me the original question.  I said his question was stupid and insincere (and almost every time I would’ve been right about the insincere part, and I still think the question was lame).  It’s the kindness police (read: John Harrington), not me, calling other people a piece of shit and making negative assessments of those I care about in attempt only to hurt.  And he thinks I’m part of the “insult militia”.

Skepchick‘s got a real winner in this fan.  After demonstrating how an atheist can handle himself in a respectable way (and by causing me to expose my previously private humiliation at the hand of John Harrington to the world), I’ll bet all the atheist groups in San Diego can’t wait to pick this guy up.

So anyway, John.  Here’s your 15 minutes of atheist celebrity so you can show us how a real atheist should conduct himself.  I used to think I was doing you a favor by keeping this thread relegated to private messages, but now I realize it’s because I was a coward, just like you said.  Thank you for helping me to be brave.


I’m closing down comments on this thread. It has devolved into John Harrington just insulting people.  The thread has accomplished what I wanted it to. Now, any atheist group John Harrington ever wants to be a part of, if they look into him, will see this post and the know type of person he is.  Unlike the Catholic Church, we police our own.  At least, that’s my hope.

He’ll also be banned from the blog so he cannot derail any other threads.

  • John Harrington

    This was teal deer, so I kind of skimmed it. I hope you find the comfort you seek as your readers reassure you that I’m a bad, bad man.

    • Glodson

      Why did you have to insult his new wife?

      What purpose did that have? I don’t think that having a reaction to a comment makes you a bad man. But I do wonder when you threw in that last dig. That’s my problem. It exists solely to insult JT and his new wife, it has no place in the conversation, and it isn’t a valid criticism. Care to defend that?

      • John Harrington

        You know what? You’re right. And I regret that. She’s not ugly, either. I apologize to her. For some reason, at the time, I found it funny. I’m sorry she’s married to an arrogant asshole. That’s all. I’m sure she disagrees and loves JT very much, but my prediction is one day she shall agree with me.

        • John Harrington

          BTW, before someone thinks of it and accuses me of it, you’re right, in advance: I am apologizing only because JT chose to make my comment public. Had he not, it would have been only a “fuck you” to him. But now that he has, his wife will read it, and that’s why I’m apologizing. It’s the only thing I regret in the above, though. : )

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

            It was only wrong once it saw the light of day? That’s kind of the same way the Catholic Church apologizes for child rape. :P

            To say that it would’ve been ok if only other people hadn’t read it kind of dilutes the apology.

          • Glodson

            BTW, before someone thinks of it and accuses me of it, you’re right, in advance: I am apologizing only because JT chose to make my comment public.

            Oh, just fuck you.

            You should be apologizing because you were wrong. Because it was a mistake to have said in the first place. You shouldn’t be apologizing because you were caught.

            That is so disingenuous. This means your apology means precisely shit.

          • UsingReason

            So it’s only wrong if you get caught, nice ethical standard. You will now claim to have apologized and be the better person while doing sweet fuck all. You are a piece of shit.

          • John Horstman

            That calling Michaelyn ugly is a “fuck you” to JT is a misogynist attitude (I’m taking a cue from Ian here and making sure to call that specific attitude misogynist and not call you “a misogynist”; we’ll see how that goes). Maybe someone at Skepchick will have the patience to explain why, as I don’t at the moment.

        • Glodson

          Yea.

          Now what made him arrogant?

          Don’t get me wrong, he was wrong to jump onto the commenter on Facebook, which he admitted here. But he answered the question and withheld the name of the person asking it, and like I said, admitted it. He called the question stupid, not the person. He didn’t attack the qualities of the person.

          Look back at your other responses. You had a valid criticism. And it turned out to be correct, the question was posed, it seems, in good faith. That’s mistake that was made, however justifiably. We all make mistakes. Every one of us.

          Just maybe you need to rethink the method of criticizing others. I know I don’t always say the right thing. I know that I can fly off the handle, or dismiss someone out of hand, or be a little too rough in my wording.

        • Michaelyn

          Thank you, Glodson, for posing that question, because it seems about 80% of the time people like John feel the need to insult me and how I look even when I have absolutely nothing to do with the matter.
          John – Your opinion of my physical appearance is no matter to me. You don’t know JT. You don’t know me. That’s all I care to say.

          • Glodson

            No problem.

            That was the thing that just jumped out at me. I was reading it, as I went along, as a really bad case of people not communicating well.

            It happens. If I ripped into everyone that made a poor comment, I would have to rip myself first as I can do that easily. I can get upset and angry and fire off words before I stop to think.

            But that last bit bothers me. And then seeing him say that he only apologized because it was public… gah!

            Sorry. I guess I better reign it in before my words get ahead of my thinking.

          • John Harrington

            “You don’t know JT. You don’t know me. That’s all I care to say.”

            You’re right. I don’t know you, or your husband, but I know enough about him, now. : )

    • http://www.godlessteens.com Godless Teen

      Indeed, was it really necessary to pull off all of those meaningless insults? “Oh, ur wief iz ugli, lulz”. Really? Is your goal to engage in relevant conversation, or just to troll the hell out of people?

      Jesus, I think that just reading that gave me a case of the stupid.

      • John Harrington

        I spell better than that.

        • http://blog.IAmDanMarshall.com Dan Marshall

          Dude, just stop. Quite frankly, as someone that has minimal interest in defending JT, since I’ve never even met the guy and read his blog maybe once or twice a month, your comments here are self-defeating, and are only serving to further damage how others perceive you. You claim to be offended by the “epithet slinging, petty little tyrants,” so why not just remove yourself from interacting with people who you believe fit that mold? What purpose does it serve to continue to comment here? Just let it go.

          • John Harrington

            “Dude, just stop”

            No.

          • Compuholic

            Nah, let him ramble on, and dig his own grave. By now pretty much everybody must have figured out what an asshole he really is.

  • Glodson

    About the first guy: that was pretty cool. I am glad that it was more a good faith, if badly thought out idea, attempt to get an answer.

    But that was harsh? That was insulting? I went back and read the thread. Maybe a few people were rough in their language, but the attacks were against the religion, not the person. I know I didn’t. Maybe I’m missing something in some of the longer posts, but most of us piled out objections to believing in a murderous god who demands our worship. You know, answering the question as posed. It isn’t the same treatment that the person who went full Godwin in another thread got.

    So this criticism doesn’t make sense. And then going after the self-worth of another person, unconnected to this, doesn’t make sense. That was a misogynistic remark that had no place in that, or any, conversation. You know, I know flying off the handle happens, and sometimes we misread things. It happens.

    I would be apt to look past that. But that last PS really is what crosses the line for me. It is one thing if a person has a problem with me, and wants to call me a fucker, or a piece of shit, or whatever. But attacking someone close to me for no reason? That’s bullshit. In this case, that ass treated her like she was your property, which is bullshit. It was cruel and misogynistic.

    • John Harrington

      No, calling out someone as stupid on a widely read blog who asked an easily answered question on Facebook isn’t a problem at all.

      BTW, the guy JT insulted handled it like a gentleman and thanked him for the answer. I, OTOH, am no gentleman.

      • Glodson

        He called the question stupid.

        Was the person named? I didn’t see it. I just saw the question. A question that was posted on his Facebook wall. He didn’t say the person was stupid. And he did jump the gun in calling the question stupid, which he admitted. He was wrong in assuming this question was posed in bad faith.

        My problem with you isn’t that you aren’t a gentlemen. It is your unthinking attitude, but we addressed that above. JT made a mistake, and seems to attempted to make amends for mistakenly classifying the person who posed the question. We all fuck up, and he admitted it.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

        Did I call him stupid? Nope. I called his question stupid. Big difference.

        You’re the one calling people ugly and pieces of shit.

        If you’re doing it right, I’m content to keep doing it wrong.

        • John Harrington

          “Did I call him stupid? Nope. I called his question stupid. Big difference.”

          Not big difference. HUGE difference, JT. Huge.

      • Makoto

        Don’t worry, when you called his fiancee ugly, it was implied that you weren’t a gentleman. You covered your bases, such as they were. Finding it funny to insult someone close to him shows your colors.

        • John Harrington

          “Don’t worry”

          I’m worried, though. I know you have every right to judge, though, because I’m CERTAIN you’ve never done anything wrong and apologized for it.

          • RowanVT

            You didn’t apologize for that. Your not-pology higher up in the thread is definitely not an actual apology in any sense of the word, because you’re only sorry you got caught. You’re not apologetic over the fact that you said something stupid. You’re not apologetic over the fact that you said something needlessly cruel and untrue. You’re not apologetic over the fact that attempting to insult a man by insulting his wife is a very sexist form of insult.

          • John Harrington

            “because you’re only sorry you got caught”

            Not true. I’m sorry my comment became public and hurt someone’s feelings. I would have been sorry and said so had my comment been posted publicly and my name left out of it. I’ve said that many times. You’d know that if you bothered to take any interest in what I actually had to say rather than fatuously assuming something and joining the pile up. So fuck you.

          • Richard

            “I’m sorry my comment became public…”
            Classified as not an apology.
            “…and hurt someone’s feelings.”
            ….You are sorry that your insult, which by definition is intended to offend, offended.
            What? Just… What?

  • John Harrington

    Yes, it was only wrong once it saw the light of day, for the reason I said. If that dilutes the apology, consider it diluted.

    • invivoMark

      It was massively bigoted and misogynistic.

      In all my time following JT, I’ve never once seen him say anything nearly as low and ugly as what you did. JT is not a bigot. You are. I’m ashamed to share the same planet as you.

      • John Harrington

        You may be assured, however, that if you ever do see him say such a bigoted and misogynistic thing, you will never see him apologize for it. And if he does, he may count on you to defend him, since you evidently see no problem with his calling someone stupid publicly on his blog, someone who committed no offense other than asking a question he found loaded.

        • B-Lar

          I thought there was a HUGE difference between calling someone stupid and calling their ideas stupid? Or maybe I am quote-mining poorly delivered sarcasm?

          This thread is totally awesome.

  • John Harrington

    Glodson:
    “Oh, just fuck you.”

    Well, fuck me, then. Apparently, agreeing with you outrages you.

    • Glodson

      You said that you are only apologizing because it was public.

      I was hoping that you had reflected a bit and realized why it was wrong. You just admitted that it wasn’t the case. I was hoping that you would have apologized for the last crack on your own in time, if you examined the exchange.

      That’s my problem. You are only apologizing, by your own admission, because it was made public. That’s bullshit, and that makes any apology worthless. You should have just kept that comment to yourself.

      • John Harrington

        “You said that you are only apologizing because it was public.”

        Yes.

        “I was hoping that you had reflected a bit and realized why it was wrong.”

        I did.

        “That’s my problem. You are only apologizing, by your own admission, because it was made public. That’s bullshit”

        No it isn’t. It’s consideration for someone’s feelings, JT’s wife’s, which wasn’t relevant until JT chose to make it public. But of course you know this, which is why you snipped the context of my apology, excluding the very next sentence.

        • Glodson

          No. That’s not how it works. And you know it.

          You should be apologizing for even making the comment. You should be reconsidering your attitudes. You are supposed to be a fan of Skepchick. I should not have to explain to you why your comment, apart from being damaging to the feelings of someone else, was wrong.

          • John Harrington

            Oh, fuck. I’m trying to leave here.

            I did apologize for making the comment, about his wife. I did realize it was wrong. I did reconsider. I stand by the rest.

            I am a fan of Skepchick, but that doesn’t make me a saint. Realizing JT’s an asshole does, though.

  • Anonymous

    And you called his fiance ugly. Classy.

    You’re a real piece of shit.

    • John Harrington

      And I apologized, and you’re Anonymous.

      • Glodson

        BTW, before someone thinks of it and accuses me of it, you’re right, in advance: I am apologizing only because JT chose to make my comment public. Had he not, it would have been only a “fuck you” to him. But now that he has, his wife will read it, and that’s why I’m apologizing. It’s the only thing I regret in the above, though. : )

        You failed at apologizing.

        • John Harrington

          One more: How could I apologize so that you would approve, because that’s important to me, Glodson?

          • Glodson

            How about just saying your sorry and stop trying to be cute with it.

            You fucked up, and I was ready to leave it at that. If that was the end of it, I would promptly forget about it.

            Instead, you seem intent on grabbing a shovel and digging deeper.

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

            An apology is generally along the lines of “I said/did something bad, and I’m sorry. I know what I did was wrong, I know why it was wrong, and I won’t do it again”.

            An apology is not “I’m sorry I got caught”. It is not “well I meant to insult you by saying bad things about your property (wife), but then she saw it, and I didn’t mean to hurt her, so I’m sorry it came to light”. What is wrong is that you said it, not that it was seen. You’re not apologizing for the thing you did wrong.

  • John Harrington

    This was nice. I’ll check back later. Bye to all, for now. I just want you all to know, I consider you all new friends.

    Except JT, who is a magnificent asshole.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Given your amazing lack of self-awareness, I give your assessments of who’s an asshole as much respect as your assessments of beauty.

  • John Harrington

    “An apology is not “I’m sorry I got caught’”.

    True, but that wasn’t what I said. As I specifically explained. But you’re just being deliberately obtuse.

    “It is not ‘well I meant to insult you by saying bad things about your property (wife), but then she saw it, and I didn’t mean to hurt her, so I’m sorry it came to light’. What is wrong is that you said it, not that it was seen. You’re not apologizing for the thing you did wrong.”

    OMFG, did you just call his wife his property? Not to get off topic, but you’re a dick.

    What made it wrong was that it was false and that she *could* have seen it, which didn’t occur to me, and, that it wasn’t funny. But I said all that, clearly. You just don’t want to understand the apology because it interferes with your joy in condemning. If I were JT I would never have let my wife see that, but apparently he doesn’t care about her feelings, or he cares about them less than trying to embarrass me. : )

    • Glodson

      Gendered insult. Good job there.

      Again, missed the point. It wasn’t that you called her property, you treated her like that.

      And the last paragraph, you shifted the blame onto others. It wasn’t your fault that her feelings might have gotten hurt because JT should have covered up your mistake better.

      Let’s do a comparison:

      “An apology is not “I’m sorry I got caught’”.

      True, but that wasn’t what I said. As I specifically explained. But you’re just being deliberately obtuse.

      What made it wrong was that it was false and that she *could* have seen it, which didn’t occur to me, and, that it wasn’t funny. But I said all that, clearly. You just don’t want to understand the apology because it interferes with your joy in condemning. If I were JT I would never have let my wife see that, but apparently he doesn’t care about her feelings, or he cares about them less than trying to embarrass me. : ) [emphasis added]

      So much for accepting responsibility, which most of us consider important to an apology.

    • pjmaertz

      “If I were JT I would never have let my wife see that, but apparently he doesn’t care about her feelings, or her cares about them less than trying to embarass me.”

      I’m sure that Michaelyn, after seeing some colassal douche on the internet call her ugly, is now in the throes of deep insecurity. If only JT would have bravely protected her silly woman brain, she could still be obliviously happy, and not lose several nights of sleep. JT, why did you kill chivalry?!?!

      Kidding aside, you are an asshole.

      • pjmaertz

        John Harrington is the asshole, not JT. Just clarifying.

      • John Harrington

        Well, if I’m an asshole, you’re a double asshole. How do you like them apples?

        • pjmaertz

          I may very well be a double, or possibly triple asshole. But at least I’m not going around insulting a woman’s looks and fake apologizing for it. BTW I’m now bored, and all out of troll food, so I’m done on this thread. Please have the last word.

          • John Harrington

            The apology wasn’t fake.

          • sqlrob

            I can completely and totally believe that. You sincerely regret getting called out on it.

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

      No, I didn’t call Michaelyn JT’s property. You did. You tried to insult him by insulting his wife, implying that any insult to her is also an insult to him (your wife is ugly. Note the possessive?). You didn’t phrase it quite that awfully, but that was the implication of it.

      And FWIW, I’m female. I’m sensitive to gendered insults because those can get hurled at me, and I’m sensitive to their actual meaning because, well, you see how being treated like not-quite-a-real-person makes you feel. If you want to hurt me, call me ugly (I mean, see if I care, but the intent is there). If you want to insult my husband, call him ugly. It doesn’t insult him to call me ugly, it insults me. The fact that you thought it would insult JT to call Michaelyn ugly says some very nasty things about you and how you see women.

  • John Harrington

    Glodson
    “How about just saying your sorry and stop trying to be cute with it.”

    How about I do just that and you tell me “oh, fuck you”? There was nothing cute about my apology. It was sincere, plainly stated, and made a clear distinction about what I was apologizing for and what I wasn’t. Clearly, no apology would have satisfied you, so your call for an apology is insincere.

    • http://blog.IAmDanMarshall.com Dan Marshall

      You’re a winner, bud.

      • John Harrington

        Thanks.

    • Glodson

      You got the fuck you for being an asshat with your comment here.

      This is the comment getting you piled on.

      This is the comment you defend.

      This is where I went from thinking “oh, he just talked out of his ass and said some really dumb things that I don’t agree with but is likely an alright person” to thinking “hey, this guy is a total fuckwit.”

      • http://blog.IAmDanMarshall.com Dan Marshall

        For me, it was part where he is apparently *so upset* about people being insulting and tossing around epithets, but chooses to make that point by… being insulting and hurling epithets. The lack of self awareness is stunning, but it’s not like atheists are any more immune from hypocrisy than any other group. People are people.

        • John Harrington

          If someone’s a hypocrite, does that make their point wrong? No, no it doesn’t.

          Besides, I wasn’t being insulting in a blog where I’m professing to represent atheism. And some of my insults the insultee himself chose to make public–on that blog. I wasn’t criticizing someone for being rude. Obviously I have no problem with that. : )

          Now this is your queue to deliberately misunderstand what I just said and straw man me. Go!

          • http://blog.IAmDanMarshall.com Dan Marshall

            Frankly, I have no interest in any further interaction with you. Good day.

          • B-Lar

            I see what you did there with that last sentence. It might feel pretty clever, but you are undermining your ability to learn anything by presupposing any response will be a strawman. I suppose thats not really a problem if your objective is to not learn anything.

            I think your position has been made pretty clear. You have demonstrated that you are an asshole. You dont think you are an asshole. Therefore anyone who calls you out for being an asshole is a: strawmanning your super awesome arguments, or b: an asshole.

      • John Harrington

        Yes, I know what you’re outraged about, Glodson. And, I clearly accepted responsibility for my part in it, and, if I wasn’t clear, here it is: I accept responsibility for my part in his wife seeing my insult, because she never would have seen it had I not written it.

        Now I’m going to give you the last word. May I take my invitation to your birthday party as rescinded?

        • Glodson

          Sigh, more cuteness.

          Look, I don’t know you apart form this. Your behavior in this thread has been poor to say the least. While it is true that no amount of people saying a thing will make it true, when a number of people have the same opinion concerning your posts and actions, maybe you should really stop and consider what people are saying. They might have a point.

        • http://talkorigins.org jatheist

          “I accept responsibility for my part in his wife seeing my insult”

          Or you could apologize for actually ~saying~ it, and not just for her ~seeing~ it.

          If I robbed your house and felt badly for it I wouldn’t tell you ‘I am sorry you found out your house was robbed’, it would be ‘I am sorry for robbing your house!’

          • John Harrington

            I did apologize for saying it. But of course you know that, because it was in the SAME SENTENCE, the part of the sentence you deliberately snipped from the quote:

            “…, because she never would have seen it had I not written it.”

            Congratulations for exposing yourself as an intellectually dishonest asshole.

          • http://talkorigins.org jatheist

            Adding “because she never would have seen it had I not written it” ~still~ makes it clear that you are only sorry that she ~saw~ it… and not that you ~wrote~ it!

            Since you clearly only regret that she ~saw~ the insult, and that I was right in my assessment, I’m sure you’ll produce some actual evidence that I am an “intellectually dishonest asshole” right?!
            You wouldn’t be throwing insults around without warrant would you?

    • Desiree

      It’s pretty obvious you did not mean your apology. You did not apologized until it became public, so your excuses are invalid. You should have not made the comment about JT’s wife in the first place or apologized for the insult without the excuses. Now you’re a known asshole on this blog and no one will take your comments seriously because you can not admit that your apology was not an apology at all. You can not take responsibility for your words and that is truly sad. You’re either a troll or jackass, probably both.

      • John Harrington

        “It’s pretty obvious you did not mean your apology.”

        It’s pretty obvious you gave that opinion zero thought.

        ” You did not apologized until it became public, so your excuses are invalid.”

        That’s not even close to a rational statement. I didn’t apologize until my insult became public because until then it had hurt no one I valued. I have made no excuses. There’s no excuse for what I did, and I did nothing else for which excuse would be appropriate.

        ” You should have not made the comment about JT’s wife in the first place”

        Agreed. And I’ve said so.

        ” or apologized for the insult without the excuses.”

        I did apologize without excuses. I’m just not sorry for what you and others think I should be sorry for. And I’ve repeated that so many times that I figure you’re either an idiot or you haven’t even bothered to read what I’ve written, which makes you an intellectually dishonest asshole.

        ” Now you’re a known asshole on this blog and no one will take your comments seriously”

        Then I assume you, and everyone else, will proceed to ignore me.

        ” because you can not admit that your apology was not an apology at all.”

        It was a sincere apology. It wasn’t an apology for what YOU think I should apologize for, and, as far as that’s concerned, fuck you.

        ” You can not take responsibility for your words and that is truly sad.”

        I take full responsibility for my own words.

        ” You’re either a troll or jackass, probably both.”

        And you’re a piece of shit who attacks people for things you don’t even have the courtesy to try to understand, and it wouldn’t ever occur to you to apologize for it, no matter whom you hurt. So fuck you.

        • Desiree

          No I read your comments. Your apology was not geninue at all. When your nasty insult was publicized you got then finally apologized. Just because you did not know JT’s wife does not make it acceptable to insult her when she was not involved with your dialouge with JT. Your constant excuses shows how terrible of person you are that you can not apologize without tacking on excuses with it. Now everyone on JT’s blog and those on facebook can see how much of a loser you are by you insulting JT’s wife. Keep commenting and you look like a fucking loser you are.

  • http://talkorigins.org jatheist

    What’s sweeter than exposing an asshat on a blog? When the asshat continues to comment on said blog providing more proof than evolution enjoys that he is in fact an asshat.

    • pjmaertz

      Maybe we’ll see someone try to defend him as not an asshat using some creationist canards?

      “I know he said something sexist and stupid, fake apologized, retracted the fake apology, then acted like he didn’t retract the fake apology, and learned absolutely nothing from the whole exchange, but there are still transitional forms of his asshattery that have not been observed! Accordingly, he’s not an asshat!”

      • John Harrington

        The apology wasn’t fake and it wasn’t retracted.

      • http://talkorigins.org jatheist

        +1 for that one pjmaertz!

        @John: I don’t happen to think your apology is fake. I just think it is not apologizing for the right thing. You seem to genuinely feel sorry that she ~saw~ your insult… of course a decent human being would have been sorry for having written it in the first place, whether she saw it or not.

        • John Harrington

          Well, I guess I’m indecent then. I hope it made you feel good about yourself to say so.

          • John Harrington

            But thanks, at least, for representing what I said accurately. You’re the first.

  • Cylon

    Kudos to the original questioner for clarifying his intent and not taking offense where he could have (arguably justifiably). And kudos to you, JT, for owning up to your mistake and setting the record straight.

    As for the rest of the post, meh. Seems too many words have already been wasted on that, so I won’t add to them.

  • John Harrington

    Just want to point out that you all are engaging in the same intellectual dishonesty, straw manning, deliberate obtuseness–nonsensical, ad hoc, argumentation that we see all the time from theists. I behaved like an asshole when I called JT’s wife ugly, but at least I can admit behaving like an asshole.

    Just for the record, I apologized before you asked. My apology was sincere, not ironic, as some of you claim. You then asked me to accept responsibility. I did, and I made it further clear that I did. You then complained that I didn’t apologize for what you thought I should apologize for. Well, I’m not going to. I apologized for writing what I did and for not considering that it would be seen by JT’s wife. I stand by that apology. I also lied, because she’s not ugly. Of course, I wouldn’t have to repeat that if anyone here had the intellectual honesty to accept what I already wrote.

    And, last, we all act like any of this means something, but we all know, or should, that we’re just having a good time here, so stop pretending like any of you care. Ciao. : )

    • Glodson

      Based on why you wrote in this thread, that was an entire post of bullshit.

      You said it yourself, numerous times, that you only apologized because it became public. And it became increasingly clear that you didn’t understand why you should have apologized in the first place. Even looking over your exchange that sparked all this, you didn’t understand the difference of someone calling a question stupid and attacking a person.

      You dug a hole, and when you were given the chance to dig out of it, you happily grabbed the shovel and started digging more.

      I am not having a good time with this. Introspection is a good thing, and maybe you should get some.

      M explains nicely why what you did exposed something about yourself here.

      No, I didn’t call Michaelyn JT’s property. You did. You tried to insult him by insulting his wife, implying that any insult to her is also an insult to him (your wife is ugly. Note the possessive?). You didn’t phrase it quite that awfully, but that was the implication of it.

      And FWIW, I’m female. I’m sensitive to gendered insults because those can get hurled at me, and I’m sensitive to their actual meaning because, well, you see how being treated like not-quite-a-real-person makes you feel. If you want to hurt me, call me ugly (I mean, see if I care, but the intent is there). If you want to insult my husband, call him ugly. It doesn’t insult him to call me ugly, it insults me. The fact that you thought it would insult JT to call Michaelyn ugly says some very nasty things about you and how you see women.

      She explains it well. And when you keep saying that if you were JT that you wouldn’t have let her see the insulting post further shows that you don’t understand what is objectionable about the comment.

      I can only hope that other people on the outside, reading this, comes to understand the problem.

      • John Harrington

        “that you only apologized because it became public”

        Are you serious with this shit, Glodson? You know very well that that is not a complete picture of what I said. Stop straw manning me. I mean, for fuck’s sake.

        And I didn’t “dig a hole”. I very clearly explained myself and stayed on the same level of ground. You played the misunderstanding and straw manning game, and you’re STILL doing that crap, even though I have responded to you with respect and good humor up to now. Have a little humility and honesty and admit it. I at least admitted I was wrong to write what I did, even if I didn’t do it to your exacting standards. If you want to continue arguing with me, then deal with what I’ve actually said than your caricature of it. Have I straw manned or misrepresented you at all? No. So this “asshole” is behaving better than you. If what I did was so bad, you needn’t have to misrepresent me.

        As to charges of misogyny, some people are ugly, and some aren’t. I can speak the truth and say who is and who isn’t. It has nothing to do with hating women, which you would know, if you bothered to even honestly ask me about my views on anything rather than shoving words in my mouth, is about the last thing I do. But, as I said (and I’m getting tired of repeating myself) what was wrong about the comment in isolation, even beyond the fact that it was released publicly, is that I lied. She isn’t ugly, and I said that just because I thought it was funny to tweak a dickhead like JT that way. And if you don’t like, well, then you don’t like it. I don’t have to play the game by your rules.

        • http://talkorigins.org jatheist

          John wrote: “what was wrong about the comment in isolation, even beyond the fact that it was released publicly, is that I lied.”

          FAIL. That the remark isn’t true is irrelevant… you still don’t seem to understand human decency.

          I know, I know – you think I’m “straw manning” you… not that you appear to use that phrase properly.

          • John Harrington

            The phrase means you’re misrepresenting what I say and responding to the misrepresentation. And I accuse you of that because that’s exactly what you’re doing.

            I do understand human decency. Part of it is intellectual honesty in debate. Another part is realizing your mistakes and admitting them. You’ve done neither.

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

          No, John. I’ll try to explain this again. Your comment wasn’t wrong because it was seen or because it was untrue. It was wrong because saying it was a bad thing to do. Calling someone a kike or a cunt or a nigger is wrong because of what those words mean, not because a Jew or a woman or a Black person might overhear them.

          It really, truly doesn’t matter if Michaelyn is ugly or not. What matters is that you dragged in a third party and tried to make her appearance relevant to a conversation she had nothing to do with. You basically said that JT could only get an ugly woman and that therefore, there was something wrong with him. Your words implied women are a prize, a trophy, a display of taste. All of those are things. Women are not things. We are people. I object strenuously to being called a thing.

          The apology I want, that I think the rest of us are looking for, is something like this: “I’m sorry I called Michaelyn ugly. That was entirely out of line and irrelevant to the conversation JT and I were having. I understand that my words were hurtful and my attitude was misogynistic. I won’t do anything like that again, and further, I’ll go learn more about feminism and privilege so that I understand where my attitude came from and how to fix it.”

          Your apology said “I’m sorry Michaelyn saw that. If I’d known she’d see it, I wouldn’t have said it. Besides, I didn’t really mean it”. But you’re not actually sorry for what you said or for what it means, you’re sorry it became public. You attitude towards women, which is the real problem here, is what you are explicitly not sorry for.

          • http://talkorigins.org jatheist

            You really have a way with words “M”!

  • sqlrob

    Anyone else feel like John is trying to get himself banned here as well as from the Facebook post?

    • John Harrington

      Anyone feel like this anonymous asshole makes himself feel better by piling on someone and referring to him in the third person?

      • Glodson

        Are you determined to prove everyone who said something bad about you right?

        • John Harrington

          Are you fucking serious? I offered a sincere apology and you said “Fuck you”. And you’re criticizing me for calling this guy an asshole? Well, fuck you.

          • Glodson

            This certainly made it look sincere.

            BTW, before someone thinks of it and accuses me of it, you’re right, in advance: I am apologizing only because JT chose to make my comment public. Had he not, it would have been only a “fuck you” to him. But now that he has, his wife will read it, and that’s why I’m apologizing. It’s the only thing I regret in the above, though. : )[emphasis added]

    • John Harrington

      Ban away, JT, you coward. : )

      • Glodson

        You’ve added nothing to this converstation. You’ve poorly defended your position with nothing but non sequitur and insults. They aren’t even ad hominems as that would be a gross misuse of the word argument. You have used gendered insults, been blind to your own privilege and sexism, used shaming tactics and so on.

        It wouldn’t be an act of cowardice, it would be a mercy killing. Besides, I keep thinking you are leaving. Yet, here you are.

        • John Harrington

          On the contrary, my defense has been perfect. And you know it has. Do you know how I know that? Because rather than respond to it, you have chosen to misrepresent it, and that, not imitation, is the sincerest form of flattery.

    • http://talkorigins.org jatheist

      Yes.

      • http://talkorigins.org jatheist

        That was meant for sqlrob – yes John is trying to get banned.

        • John Harrington

          Oh, please don’t ban me from this blog I’ve never read before.

  • John Harrington

    Thanks for quoting at least the entire apology this time. If someone reads something other than the bolded part, they will realize that, in toto, it is a sincere apology, and that the publicity is relevant to why it’s a sincere apology, not in contradiction to it. And, if such an intellectually honest person were to read my other comments about the apology here, he or she would realize that I really did apologize, not issue a “fake apology” as you deliberately misrepresent it.

    As to insisting I won, I claimed nothing of the kind. This is a no-win situation. I simply offered an opinion counter to the opinion you offered about my arguments, and I backed it up with evidence, something you didn’t bother to do.

    • Glodson

      No, anyone who reads that will see that you are an insincere asshat still deflecting blame. Anyone who reads this thread will find a man throwing a temper tantrum. And anyone who sees you say your defense was prefect would probably break down in a fit of laughter.

      • B-Lar

        I know I had to wipe some tears from my keyboard.

    • sqlrob

      M’s response to your misogyny shows that comment for the lie it is.

      No it isn’t. It’s consideration for someone’s feelings, JT’s wife’s, which wasn’t relevant until JT chose to make it public

      You keep saying it wasn’t because it was made public, and say it was. Why does the hurting of her feelings matter whether it’s public or private? It wouldn’t matter for a genuine apology. You really have no concept at all of what you’re doing wrong.

      • John Harrington

        “Why does the hurting of her feelings matter whether it’s public or private”

        Because if it’s public, she can see it. Doy.

        Maybe if you took a fucking moment from being an asshole and actually fucking read and tried to understand what I said you’d know that.

        “You really have no concept at all of what you’re doing wrong.”

        And you really have no concept of what this thread is even about, nor do you apparently care.

        • Glodson

          The more you write, the more you expose yourself as a poor thinker who is in desperate need of introspection.

          You have said nothing of value, your initial criticism was valid, insofar as JT did lump the question into a group of insincere questions. But JT never mentioned the name of the person who posted it, and never made assertions about the person’s worth. You however have done this, both to JT and others. You have continually lashed out when you should have just apologized. You made a shockingly misogynistic comment, attacking a woman uninvolved for her looks and treating her as JT’s possession, and only apologized because it was made public. You never addressed any points that people made, you never mounted a defense. You have repeatedly lashed out, and defended your statements while trying to blame JT for your original mistake.

          Look back at my first response to this whole thing. I wouldn’t have cared if it had not been for your postscript, and if you had just left the apology as it was, I wouldn’t have already moved on. You have shown a complete lack of understanding of what people have said in this very thread, you have been belligerent. You accuse JT of being arrogant with a complete lack of irony.

          In short, your apology is meaningless as you are only apologizing for being caught, and haven’t put one thought as to why you should have never made the comment in the first place. Hint: the reason that your comment would have hurt her feelings ain’t it.

          • John Harrington

            “You have continually lashed out when you should have just apologized”

            I did apologize, and I lashed out less that you did, or JT for that matter, who published a private IM, and exposed his wife to the harm of my comment. The comment wasn’t “misogynistic”. That’s just demagoguery and you know it. As for your “not caring” initially, the only thing that made you care after is that your lame attempts to straw man were toothless. Your entire argument has been rhetorical tricks without substance, spinning what really happened, e.g., “You made a shockingly misogynistic comment”…even you don’t believe that bullshit.

            Look, I took on all of you. You had to gang up on me, and you still didn’t have any

          • Glodson

            You still don’t get it.

            It has been explained to you. Your apology was negated by your very next statement.

            You demeaned a woman close to JT for her looks with the express purpose of hurting him, in so doing, you treated her like his property and tried to shame him for finding his property lacking. That’s what you did. It is up there and you even admit you made the comment. Calling a woman out for her appearance is a common shaming technique. This was explained to you, by several people.

            You aren’t sorry, you don’t understand what the problem is, and you don’t understand this very thread.

          • John Harrington

            Glodson, you’ve been reduced to the ridiculous position that any insult against a woman about her looks is misogynistic, rather than specific. You need bullshit like this because you have no case. I understand. In support for this, you offer the feeble “evidence” that other people say the same thing, as if you’re unaware that’s a fallacy. Further, you make it seem as if I need to disprove this assertion of yours, as if you’re unaware that’s a fallacy, also. Finally, you seem to take the fact that I”m one against many here as proof of something other than the fact that any blog where you have a major fight with the author is going to instantly turn into a pecking party–and as if you don’t realize that appealing to number isn’t a fallacy. Finally, you have the gall to accuse me of a temper tantrum, when I’ve been very much kinder to you than you deserve.

          • Glodson

            Nice word salad.

            My position has been consistent since this whole thing started. All we have from you are bald assertions and insults.

            I’ve quoted you, directly. Others have to. Others are seeing the exact same thing I’m seeing. Are you going to recant your statement that you only apologized because it was made public? If not, then you didn’t really apologize for your action. You just apologized because it was made public.

            And calling the wife of another man ugly because you are disagreeing with him is a misogynistic statement. Period. You made a misogynistic statement. That’s not a strawman. That is an accurate representation of reality. When you feel the need to demean a man because of their looks, that’s being an asshole. But in our culture, like I said, it is a common technique to attempt to shame a woman because of her looks. This has been explained.

            You really have offered nothing of substance. You like to accuse others of fallacies and the like without explaining how they are fallacies. You just assert and expect us to take it.

            It isn’t gall to say it is a temper tantrum. It is a temper tantrum. You act like an ill-mannered child.

          • John Harrington

            “Are you going to recant your statement that you only apologized because it was made public?”

            No, because I’ve admitted that from the very outset. You keep omitting that the significance of that is the harm it could have caused not that I was “caught”, and you’re still doing it. It’s part of your limited arsenal, which amounts to nothing.

            First:
            “All we have from you are bald assertions and insults.”

            Then:
            “And calling the wife of another man ugly because you are disagreeing with him is a misogynistic statement. Period. You made a misogynistic statement. That’s not a strawman. That is an accurate representation of reality.”

            And then:
            “You act like an ill-mannered child.”

            You have GOT to be joking.

          • John Harrington

            You know, it occurs to me, way too late, that I am dealing with a JT sock puppet here. No minion could be so devoted to this ass as to commit this much time to arguing such nonsense.

          • Glodson

            No, because I’ve admitted that from the very outset. You keep omitting that the significance of that is the harm it could have caused not that I was “caught”, and you’re still doing it. It’s part of your limited arsenal, which amounts to nothing.

            You fucking idiot. You fucking douchebag. It doesn’t matter if you admit it or not! It matters because it fucking negates the apology. You shouldn’t be sorry because it got made public. You should be sorry because you said a fucking horrible thing in the first place. What part of that don’t you fucking get? When someone apologizes because they got caught, they aren’t fucking sorry. They are just trying to weasel out of taking responsibility. You really are fucking stupid.

            First:
            “All we have from you are bald assertions and insults.”

            Then:
            “And calling the wife of another man ugly because you are disagreeing with him is a misogynistic statement. Period. You made a misogynistic statement. That’s not a strawman. That is an accurate representation of reality.”

            And then:
            “You act like an ill-mannered child.”

            You have GOT to be joking.

            Let’s go through this slowly, because apparently you are quite limited in your ability to fucking think.

            1. Yes, that’s all you have done. Everytime you claim that someone is misrepresenting what you said, you never back it up. You just say it and move on. Then you will call someone out for using a strawman and never go back and point out what makes it a strawman. You don’t add a fucking thing to the conversation. Fuck, JT should have unfriended you on general principal if this is an example of your style of argument.

            2. That is the summary of events. You said something stupid, got called out for saying something stupid, apologized and then turned around and said something even dumber. You shit the bed, said you were going to clean it up, and the preceded to piss all over your shit.

            3. I am not kidding you. You are like a fucking child. You are sulking like a child because JT unfriended you after you called him a piece of shit, and then you turned around and insulted his wife, and immediately after the apology, you made light of it by admitting that you would never have apologized if you hadn’t been called out on it.

            This makes you a fucking douchebag. “Oh, I’m sorry but I wouldn’t tell you that if you hadn’t found out about it.” You aren’t fucking sorry. You don’t know why you should be sorry. You don’t even acknowledge your shitty attitude that you display about women.

            You are a fucking idiot.

          • Anonymous

            john wrote: “…JT…exposed his wife to the harm of my comment.”

            Wow… just wow. What a douche.

          • John Harrington

            As I’ve told you before, it doesn’t “negate the apology”–it necessitates the apology. It explains the harm the comment had. If it hadn’t been made public, there would have been no harm. I apologized for the harm my comment caused and for its being a lie. The reason I apologized was the comment became public and had the potential, at least, for harm, so I apologized to the victim of my comment and her husband’s carelessness. Before that, I had no one to apologize to. If I shoot an arrow in the air, and it hits no one, I have no one to apologize to.

            Yes, I know you say it’s misogynistic and you want me to apologize for that. I deny that it’s misogynistic and, so far, your assertion that it is has remained mere assertion. It’s not my job to disprove your assertion, nor is “other people say it” proof. Besides, even if you were to prove that such things are misogynistic, you can’t prove that was my motivation, and it wasn’t. I don’t hate women. You don’t get to decide for me what goes on in my mind.

            “Everytime you claim that someone is misrepresenting what you said, you never back it up. ”

            Let’s get one thing straight, when you make an assertion I’ve said something, it’s not MY job to disprove that. You need to quote me actually saying that. Let me give you an example, right here, right now of what you do. Oh, look, here’s one:

            “…You are sulking like a child because JT unfriended you after you called him a piece of shit…”

            I’ve not once sulked because he unfriended me. I haven’t even intimated being butt hurt about that. The only thing I said was he was cowardly for fleeing criticism, and he was.

            Oh, look, here’s another:

            “immediately after the apology, you made light of it ….”

            I never said or even intimated I was making light of the apology. In fact, I’ve told you time and again that I was making a very serious point about it. I explained this to you in my previous comment.

            And yet another:

            “…by admitting that you would never have apologized if you hadn’t been called out on it””

            I admitted no such thing. I said I wouldn’t have apologized had it not become public. It had nothing to do with *my* being “called out”. It was the comment becoming public and becoming something that caused (presumably) some harm. If the comment had been made public anonymously, I would have revealed myself and apologized.

            Here’s another:

            “You aren’t fucking sorry. ”

            Yes, I am, for the things I said I was. And I’ve said so, several times, quite sincerely. To say that I’m not is pure straw manning.

            If this were a fair court, and it’s not, your outburst of rage and insults would be enough to discredit you in the eyes of everyone here. What you’ve said is factually far more uncalled for, abusive, not to mention childish than anything I said about JT. But don’t worry, for one you haven’t the courage to make your real name known, and for another this isn’t a fair court, and everyone’s still on your side. I’m just saying … well what am I saying? I guess I’m saying you have some amazing issues, issues I assume you’re probably under some serious therapy for or should be. That’s not vituperative, by the way. It’s an honest observation. You really have a problem with rage.

          • John Harrington

            “john wrote: ‘…JT…exposed his wife to the harm of my comment.’

            Wow… just wow. What a douche.”

            Yes, JT is an amazing douche, who obviously has zero regard for his wife’s feelings if he feels a need to protect his ego by bringing an IM public and displaying before his wife hurtful words that were written in private. That’s probably too many steps of logic for you, anonymous coward who is probably JT.

          • Glodson

            You stupid fucking child. What necessities the apology is the comment itself. Period. It isn’t that she found out about it, or that he made it public. It is that you made the stupid fucking comment in the first fucking place, you brainless imbecile.

            I don’t hate women. You don’t get to decide for me what goes on in my mind.

            You really are fucking simple. Everyone in the world has sexist attitudes, and racist prejudices and all that nastiness. No one is immune, we are taught this by our culture. What you said was misogynistic. That doesn’t mean you are a misogynist just as saying something racist doesn’t mean you are a racist, as using a homophobic slur doesn’t mean you are homophobic. However, using slurs and insults like these might indicate that you have a blind spot to your own privilege. It means you have adopted a bad idea from our culture and are not seeing the harm it does.

            Many people we call misogynistic aren’t sitting around saying “Man, I hate me some women.” However, they are using shitty ideas and thoughts to keep dehumanizing women, reducing their roles to mere possessions and saying things to devalue women in the eyes of others. The net effect is the their actions and attitudes are those of someone who actually hate women.

            Go back and look at your comments again that sparked this whole thing. Why did you add that particular postscript? How was it meant to be insulting? Why did you think it was insulting? Why else did you add it if not to hurt? And what about the comment in your mind was supposed to be hurtful? Try to answer these questions in your head. Try to remember that you live in a culture in which Fat, Ugly, or Slutty is a thing. Try to remember that you live in a culture where women have a disproportionate amount of pressure to look good. Stop trying to rationalize away blame.

            Let’s get one thing straight, when you make an assertion I’ve said something, it’s not MY job to disprove that. You need to quote me actually saying that. Let me give you an example, right here, right now of what you do. Oh, look, here’s one:

            “…You are sulking like a child because JT unfriended you after you called him a piece of shit…”

            I’ve not once sulked because he unfriended me. I haven’t even intimated being butt hurt about that. The only thing I said was he was cowardly for fleeing criticism, and he was.

            Everyone has to back up their claims. Dismissing a claim made with no evidence is easy. When you make the accusation that people are using a fallacy, you are making a claim. Back up the claim with evidence and reason or have that claim dismissed. This is easy.

            Further, that’s not what happened. You called the guy a piece of shit. You know, it is one thing to criticize a person. It is another to call them a piece of shit. These are two distinct actions. One had merit, the other was just a mindless insult. He has given you a space here to talk, and you have, endlessly. And the proof is in. You are good at the mindless part.

            “…by admitting that you would never have apologized if you hadn’t been called out on it””

            I admitted no such thing. I said I wouldn’t have apologized had it not become public. It had nothing to do with *my* being “called out”. It was the comment becoming public and becoming something that caused (presumably) some harm. If the comment had been made public anonymously, I would have revealed myself and apologized.

            Let’s look at your first comment here:

            This was teal deer, so I kind of skimmed it. I hope you find the comfort you seek as your readers reassure you that I’m a bad, bad man.

            So, yea, you are full of shit.

            You know what? You’re right. And I regret that. She’s not ugly, either. I apologize to her. For some reason, at the time, I found it funny. I’m sorry she’s married to an arrogant asshole. That’s all. I’m sure she disagrees and loves JT very much, but my prediction is one day she shall agree with me.

            That was your apology. Even there, though I ignored it, you were still acting like a jackass. I was happy with this. I was done with it, at this point. I can’t speak for anyone else but I was willing to look it at as really stupid thing to say and leave it at that. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt right up until….

            BTW, before someone thinks of it and accuses me of it, you’re right, in advance: I am apologizing only because JT chose to make my comment public. Had he not, it would have been only a “fuck you” to him. But now that he has, his wife will read it, and that’s why I’m apologizing. It’s the only thing I regret in the above, though. : )

            This. Right here. Again. When you say “Hey, I’m sorry but I’m only sorry because this came out and really it is your fault that this came out,” you haven’t apologized for shit.

            JT’s new fiancee(thanks for the correction Michaelyn) isn’t a delicate flower who needs her feelings protected. She is a woman, an independent woman that you elected to demean solely to hurt JT. You really don’t fucking get it. Again, you should apologize for the mere fact that you made this stupid statement, not that she might have seen it. And if you think for a second she was harmed by the opinion of a fuckwit on the internet, you are mistaken.

            You say that you would have apologized anyway if left anonymous. But your shitty apology didn’t come until after you were challenged on the point. And immediately after, you admitted that you apologized for a shitty reason, just making it words with no real reason to be accepted as sincere or meaningful.

            Yes, I am, for the things I said I was. And I’ve said so, several times, quite sincerely. To say that I’m not is pure straw manning.

            If this were a fair court, and it’s not, your outburst of rage and insults would be enough to discredit you in the eyes of everyone here. What you’ve said is factually far more uncalled for, abusive, not to mention childish than anything I said about JT. But don’t worry, for one you haven’t the courage to make your real name known, and for another this isn’t a fair court, and everyone’s still on your side. I’m just saying … well what am I saying? I guess I’m saying you have some amazing issues, issues I assume you’re probably under some serious therapy for or should be. That’s not vituperative, by the way. It’s an honest observation. You really have a problem with rage.

            Fuck you. It isn’t making a straw man. Try that shit with anyone. Go on. Fuck up, and then say “Hey, I’m sorry, but I’m only telling you this because you found out.” Hell, let someone try that to you. That isn’t a sincere apology. That is “hey, I am forced to own up for something I did, here’s some words that I’m only saying because you found out which will destroy any semblance of remorse on my part.”

            And I’ve lost my patience with you. You are nothing more than a clueless fuckwit. This isn’t a fucking court. In fact, you brought in the evidence yourself. You don’t apologize in one statement and then say what you say in the next if you meant the fucking apology in the first place. All you have done is deflect and tried to deny.

            You are a colossal waste of time. You have squandered all the good will I would have for you. You have been told why you are wrong, and you are so fucking arrogant that you don’t even so it. Fuck you, you are the poster-boy for the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

    • baal

      At the risk of sounding too sympathetic of John Harrington, there was piling on in these comments and John’s use of insults was over the top and not ok. Comment threads like this one otherwise tend to be Roarshark* tests.

      *I like my spelling better, for the pedants among us (you know who you are, Rorschach)

      • John Harrington

        Not looking for sympathy, just honesty and fairness, not that I’m going to get either.

        • Rory

          Then maybe you should stop crying about it and leave, clown. Jesus, what a whiny little asshole you are.

          • John Harrington

            I haven’t whined. What a fucking dick you are.

        • Kodie

          You reap what you sow, asshole.

          • John Harrington

            So do you, you piece of shit.

  • alanzo hern

    And, if such an intellectually honest person were to read my other comments about the apology here, he or she would realize that I really did apologize, not issue a “fake apology” as you deliberately misrepresent it.

    I did read the entire thing, and I like to think of my self as at least attempting to be intellectually honest. John, you are now engaged in an exercise similar to what my cat does when she tries frantically to scrape over the pile of poo she left in the middle of a tile floor – a stinky mess in public and lots of action, but nothing she can do will cover it.

    Give up, dude. You’re not helping your cause.

    • John Harrington

      The apology wasn’t insincere, and your comparison of me to a cat has nothing to do with that. Your claim to intellectual honesty in that context is incoherent.

      • Kodie

        I believe you are sincerely sorry that Michaelyn saw what you wrote. I don’t believe you are sorry for what a shitty human being you are to the rest of us for having wrote it. You don’t understand what’s wrong with it, no matter how much it’s explained to you, so I don’t believe a sincere apology for what wrong you have actually done is forthcoming. You can’t be sorry for doing anything if you don’t understand what was wrong with it in the first place. And it’s not that you’re illiterate and do not comprehend the words we’re saying to you – it’s that you fully stand by your statement in regards to intending to insult JT. You thought it was “funny”. You thought it was a private “fuck you” to JT. You do not think there is anything wrong with insulting the appearance of a man’s property to get a rise out of him. That you are enjoying this thread means you think the statement you made was altogether successful in getting the response you were after, manifold. I didn’t want to post in here because I could see you were enjoying the attention. Your sincerity is therefore in question. I don’t believe you are sincerely sorry to Michaelyn that she read what you said about her. I know you aren’t sorry to JT for saying something out of line that demeans all humanity, not just him and his fiancee. You called him a coward because he wanted to cut ties with you. You are just crying for attention of any kind. You don’t actually understand what a straw man argument is. You are taking it kind of hard that nobody wanted to fight with you so you love this thread. You love that it’s all about you and dozens and dozens of arguments you get to fight on the internet.

        Sorry your life sucks, dude, but not really.

        • John Harrington

          “I believe you are sincerely sorry that Michaelyn saw what you wrote.”

          Thanks. I really am.

          “I don’t believe you are sorry for what a shitty human being you are to the rest of us for having wrote it.”

          If defending myself here against your abuse makes me a shitty human being, then you’re a shitty human being for abusing me.

          “You don’t understand what’s wrong with it, no matter how much it’s explained to you,”

          No, I understand what you believe is wrong with it–that an estimation of a woman’s looks is sexist–that it means you think of her only as an object–that it means you consider her the property of her fiance–that it’s wrong regardless whether it hurts anyone. I don’t share your opinion. I think estimations of looks are not sexist, or not necessarily so, and I know for a fact it wasn’t sexist in my case.

          “so I don’t believe a sincere apology for what wrong you have actually done is forthcoming.”

          I made a sincere apology. I could have said nothing.

          ” You can’t be sorry for doing anything if you don’t understand what was wrong with it in the first place.”

          I can be sorry for doing something I think is wrong. Not for doing something you believe is wrong.

          ” And it’s not that you’re illiterate and do not comprehend the words we’re saying to you”

          Gee, thanks. You’re obviously a model of courtesy.

          ” – it’s that you fully stand by your statement in regards to intending to insult JT.”

          Yup. And I’m sure he fully stands by the statements of insult he’s sent to me in IM since making this post, too.

          ” You thought it was ‘funny’”.

          Yes.

          “You thought it was a private ‘fuck you’ to JT.”

          Yes.

          ” You do not think there is anything wrong with insulting the appearance of a man’s property to get a rise out of him.”

          I don’t regard women as property.

          ” That you are enjoying this thread means you think the statement you made was altogether successful in getting the response you were after, manifold.”

          No, that’s your straw man. I enjoy this thread because I love being in the position of having a rational argument while I’m assaulted on all sides by irrational anger. There’s some bravado about that. It’s fun.

          “I didn’t want to post in here because I could see you were enjoying the attention.”

          And yet you did, anyway. Several times. Not to add anything, because nothing you say is at all original, but because you can’t resist being cruel and piling on with the rest of the crowd. You came on here, not to reason with me, but to hurl insults at me. Let’s be clear about what this is.

          ” Your sincerity is therefore in question. I don’t believe you are sincerely sorry to Michaelyn that she read what you said about her.”

          That’s funny, because moments ago you wrote:

          “I believe you are sincerely sorry that Michaelyn saw what you wrote.”

          That’s okay. I understand. You don’t really have an coherent point to make. We both know why you joined this thread.

          ” I know you aren’t sorry to JT for saying something out of line that demeans all humanity, not just him and his fiancee.”

          I said no such thing.

          ” You called him a coward because he wanted to cut ties with you.”

          No I called him a coward because he fled a conversation. I don’t give a shit about his ties with me. He had no ties with me, anyway.

          “You are just crying for attention of any kind. You don’t actually understand what a straw man argument is.”

          I most certainly do. A straw man is a mischaracterization or invention of an argument for the purpose of responding to the invented argument instead of the actual one. Like when you say I called him a coward when he cut ties with me. That’s a straw man. I never said or intimated that at all. In fact, I said just the opposite. Yet you insist on it. Straw man.

          “You are taking it kind of hard that nobody wanted to fight with you so you love this thread.”

          Huh? I have legions fighting with me here. Love it.

          ” You love that it’s all about you and dozens and dozens of arguments you get to fight on the internet.”

          I love this thread, it’s true. It’s not about me, though. It’s about you all.

          “Sorry your life sucks, dude, but not really.”

          My life is fucking great. I’m a day away from committing to the purchase of a 3100 sq ft house with a pool in a gated community on a golf course in one of the most expensive housing markets in the world, where I will live with my loving family. If I’m a criminal, crime pays gooood. How’s your life working out?

  • Rakatosh

    Baal, I think you mean “pendants”.

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

      Ok, that made me laugh a little.

      Pedants are people who are pedantic; that is, narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned (thanks Merriam-Webster!)
      Pendants are necklaces.

      Pretty sure Baal wasn’t calling anyone a necklace :)

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

        And yes, posting this might possibly put me in the pedant category. I like educating people, but I can also come across as insufferably elitist and overly-educated sometimes.

        • Andrew Kohler

          People keep saying pedant like it’s a bad thing; I’ve never understood this ;-) I’d rather be a pedant than a pendant (especially as the latter is an inanimate object).

  • Rakatosh

    M, stop being such a pendant.

    SGU reference. :)

    On a side note, (or off of one) I’m confused by this whole conversation. What exactly was the point again? John felt the urge to accuse JT of being an asshole while demonstrating that he is an asshole himself. Ok, but even if he’s right and JT is a huge asshole – so what? Assholery in general clearly doesn’t bother John, so why does he care?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      That’s a mystery. :P

    • Glodson

      The only thing that can stop a bad asshole with a point is a good asshole with a point?

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

      SGU? I don’t actually know what that stands for :(

    • Nate Frein

      The whole thing is bizarre. Even the person who asked the original question admitted that the way he phrased his question “came off as trollish”.

      So JT’s a bad person for asking his followers to take apart a question that in every conceivable way comes across as “checkmate atheists, lol” nonsense, and bad for posting publicly communication from a stranger, but John Harrington isn’t a bad person despite relying on gendered and misogynist insults in criticizing JT over an exchange that none of the involved actors felt hurt by?

  • John Harrington

    luck* lol

  • Rakatosh

    So, just a troll, I guess.

  • Nate Frein

    I’m still trying to figure out where you get the idea that you had any expectation of privacy when you emailed someone who was, for all intents and purposes, a complete stranger to you.

    • Glodson

      I know why. The guy is a real fucking idiot.

      • Nate Frein

        Yeah, he’s definitely proving that point for us.

    • John Harrington

      “I’m still trying to figure out …”

      Oh, you aren’t trying to figure out shit. You just want to join the pecking party. I actually should have expected someone of JT’s character to make an IM public and I admitted that above in my apology. Most people consider making an IM public something they’d never do, simply on principle. Doesn’t matter what was said in it or whether the person’s known to them. That’s irrelevant. But I don’t care it was made public, for my sake. As I said, if JT had asked me I would have given him permission, but asked him to remove the comment about his wife, which I would expect he would do for her sake anyway. I did care it was made public, for her sake. You can take that or leave it.

      • Nate Frein

        Yup. You’re not only a bigot and asshole, you’re also an idiot.

        • John Harrington

          You can talk about other people being bigots and assholes because your comment is obviously so scrupulously considered and gracious, Nate.

  • Rakatosh

    M: Skeptics Guide to the Universe. Sorry, I should know better than to acronym at random.

    • Glodson

      Ha, for some reason, I thought it was a Stargate: Universe reference.

      See? I actually learned something from this thread.

      • Rakatosh

        You’re welcome.

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

      Ok cool, thanks!

  • Andrew Kohler

    JT, I hope that you told the very nice person (judging by the message he sent you) who posed the original question that this did lead to some good discussion (although I could have done without the “how are you different from Nazis” bit). I definitely learned something about Gehenna and the origins of the idea of the original sin (sorry for the terrible wordplay). And I didn’t notice anything disparaging the original poster either in your reply or in the comments. Personally I tend to reserve judgment about a person’s character and intelligence until I’ve seen more than one sentence that she or he has posted on Facebook.

    • Glodson

      Yea, I thought the thread turned out pretty well, the Godwin part aside.

      Even that went okay, because several people explained why that was wrong without being overly insulting.

      • John Harrington

        Godwin part? I must have missed that.

        I’m quite satisfied by the thread, too.

        • John Harrington

          Oh, never mind. I see you guys were on about something else. My bad.

  • Joey K.

    1) Josh Harrington comes off as a dick.
    2) Your wife-to-be is cute
    3) There’s no need to bring her into this anyway, so he’s upgraded from dick to ass hole.

    • John Harrington

      Josh Harrington is definitely a dick.

      • Nate Frein

        Way to keep using gendered insults.

        Bigot.

        • John Harrington

          Okay, Nate. You win. I’m a bigot. And you’re a sweet sweet, er, person.

          • Nate Frein

            I really gotta wonder if you actually follow Skepchick.

            Cuz you seem pretty clueless on how to use gendered language.

          • John Harrington

            Yes, I follow Skepchick. I think she’s wonderful. I call people dicks, too. So does Matt Dillahunty, who has been a vocal defender of Ms. Watson’s and, I believe, a friend of hers, and who is, himself, nevertheless, a dick.

            And since I know you’ll immediately claim to be completely unaware of Matt calling anyone a dick, here’s a blog post from 2010 in which he does it, which I choose merely because it’s the first thing that comes up when you Google “Matt dillahunty” and “dick”:

            “Find me a skeptic who starts off with insults and name calling and I’ll agree with Phil: those people are dicks who are most probably doing more harm than good. Maybe I’m out of touch, but I haven’t seen much of this. I’m sure they’re out there, but are they really a significant problem?”

            You don’t really have a problem with gendered language. You just want to join the rabble here in their condemnation. You conform, thoughtlessly. You don’t even understand why you call me an idiot and a bigot. You don’t have a single intellectually defensible reason to do so, but you do it anyway. And that makes you a dick, whatever your gender may or may not be.

          • Nate Frein

            What Matt says has nothing to do with this topic. And I have an issue when Matt uses the word as an insult.

            I know full well why I called you an idiot. I called you an idiot because you are an idiot. You say idiotic and bigoted things and say more idiotic and bigoted things when called on it.

            Calling a person a dick as an insult is predicated on the fact that having a dick is bad. You are reducing the person to a gender. it is no different from calling them a pussy or a cunt or a fag.

          • John Harrington

            “What Matt says has nothing to do with this topic.”

            Yes it does. It exposes your hypocrisy.

            “And I have an issue when Matt uses the word as an insult.”

            You have an “issue” in general.

            “I know full well why I called you an idiot. I called you an idiot because you are an idiot.”

            That. Sir. Is brilliant. You are clearly my intellectual superior.

            “Calling a person a dick as an insult is predicated on the fact that having a dick is bad. ”

            No, it isn’t, but why should you have any more insight into a common insult than you have into anything else? A for effort.

  • John Harrington

    A perfect definition of an asshole is definitely not someone who insults someone whose name he isn’t even aware of, revealing he’s given no consideration to the issue at all.

    • Joey K.

      Yes John, I am an asshole, and yes I misread your name. But I’m more than happy to admit I made a mistake, and even happier that I am an asshole. I’d rather be myself, and to quote one of my favorite songs, “If you don’t like me, you can eff off.” And I only bother to learn names (or screen names) of those who earn my respect. But look on the bright side, at least I bothered to get your name right this time.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks, Joey, for getting my name right. You have no reason to disrespect me. And “I’m more than happy to admit I made a mistake, and even happier that I am an asshole. I’d rather be myself” expresses exactly what I’m about, too.

        • John Harrington

          ^^ That’s me.

  • ladyvanda

    I can’t be the first to notice this, but this guy does have the authority to judge your fiance’s level of hotness, and she should make more efforts to be attractive to him, that’s what women are for, amirite? (we know this since Aristotle).
    Look at that Greek god AAA piece of meat of a man. All a woman can do is to abdicate in front of such perfection, and hope he thinks of us as more than a “7″.
    Respect, feminist-dude-with-a-forgettable-name.

    • John Harrington

      Now that’s not a straw man at all. I’m as qualified to judge anyone’s beauty I wish, as are you, and I’m the ultimate authority of what I find attractive, yes, as are you qualified to judge for you.

      I’m certain you’ve done it, too, and probably more cruelly than I have, without bothering to apologize. I could be wrong. Only you would know for sure. You certainly don’t seem to be beneath heaping contempt on someone who you don’t know and who’s done nothing to you, without even understanding the nature of the thread you’ve entered, so you’re in no position to judge.

    • John Harrington

      By the way, ladyvana, Joey just a few posts above tells JT “Your wife-to-be is cute”. So does that mean Joey has the authority to judge JT’s fiance’s level of hotness, and she should continue to make efforts to be attractive to him, that’s what women are for, amirite?

      • Joey K.

        Why yes John, I do have the authority to judge JT”s fiancee’s level of hotness. But you know what, so does everyone else. What I don’t have the authority to do is to mention it in an argument that has nothing to do with how she looks, but you seem to think you do. And as for your statement, “she should continue to make efforts to be attractive to him,” I say no, she shouldn’t. It doesn’t matter what I think of her appearance, unless she’s secretly trying to leave JT and make a move on me. But I’m fairly certain that she isn’t thinking of that, seeing as JT may have seen one of my posts, and odds are if she reads any of these comments, this thread will be the first time she sees my name. And she could go track me down via Facebook, but that’s a lot of effort to try and find a stranger who made one nice comment about her. I’m just going to leave the last line of your comment alone, as there’s no way I could make you look like a bigger ass than you already do yourself. That being said, JT, you’re awesome, don’t let tools like JH bring you down.

        • Anonymous

          “What I don’t have the authority to do is to mention it in an argument that has nothing to do with how she looks, but you seem to think you do”

          It only seems that way because you didn’t bother to read anything here before you attacked me. I don’t think that, and I’ve very clearly, over several posts extremely explicitly, apologized for what I said about JT’s fiance. No one who quotes me honestly will find any evidence to the contrary of my contrition.

          “she should continue to make efforts to be attractive to him” wasn’t my phrase, as you would also know if you bothered to understand something before charging in with zero information. And neither is the last line. I was repeating verbatim what someone said above me. And now that you know that, you will remain consistent and heap all the scorn you just did on me on them. Except no you won’t.

          As to knowing someone’s name whom you don’t respect, you should learn someone’s name before you decide to disrespect them. But never mind.

          “JT, you’re awesome”

          For yet another opinion, JT, you’re an asswipe.

          • John Harrington

            Anonymous above is me. Sorry, accidentally blanked out my fields.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    Did that exchange with John, the one that ended with him insulting Michaelyn, take place on Facebook? If so John’s claim that he didn’t mean for her to see it, apparently the only reason he believes an “apology” is called for, comes across as pretty bogus.

    John is right though; apologizing for insulting a person only because the insult was made public, and thus the subject might or did find out, doesn’t negate the sincerity of the apology. I’m sure John sincerely wished the undeniable evidence of his lack of integrity never became public knowledge. However, as others have pointed out, it does remove any weight or validity to the apology and only serves to show that John is a sorry example of a human being.

    • John Harrington

      “Did that exchange with John, the one that ended with him insulting Michaelyn, take place on Facebook? If so John’s claim that he didn’t mean for her to see it, apparently the only reason he believes an “apology” is called for, comes across as pretty bogus.”

      It happened in FB IM, which is private. But why bother to understand something before passing judgement when you can just automatically assume that everything I say is bogus, right? You obviously are in a perfect position to be moral judge and jury for someone else.

      “John is right though; apologizing for insulting a person only because the insult was made public, and thus the subject might or did find out, doesn’t negate the sincerity of the apology. ”

      That’s correct. It doesn’t.

      “I’m sure John sincerely wished the undeniable evidence of his lack of integrity never became public knowledge.”

      Actually, I do wish the insult against JT’s wife hadn’t become public, but only the insult, and not because I was embarrassed by it, but because it was hurtful, as I’ve made amply clear from the very beginning. But you’d know all this if you even bothered to do any cursory attempt to discover the truth before launching into judging me. But it’s much more fun to jump on the bandwagon of viciousness and assault someone for something you don’t even understand the basics of, right?

      “However, as others have pointed out, it does remove any weight or validity to the apology and only serves to show that John is a sorry example of a human being.”

      I’m not a sorry example of a human being. For example, before judging someone, I take the time to accurately figure out what I’m talking about, and, if I don’t, I apologize–as I’ve done and as you’re about not to do. So, I hope you had your vicious fun and insulting me without remorse made you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

      • Kodie

        You should be embarrassed that you said it. It’s a desperate and irrelevant strike at JT “your girlfriend is ugly, nyah!” that comes from the schoolyard playbook. What does it say about you to have said it? It says you’re a child. It also says you’re a sexist. You have nothing better to argue with than childish, bigoted remarks. It’s like “yo mama” snaps. You didn’t mean to insult Michaelyn, you meant to insult JT by the quality of woman, based only on physical appearance, that he can attain. You objectify Michaelyn as property of JT, you insult his property to insult the man. She’s not even relevant to you, how she looks, she is nothing but property of JT to you. How old are you and from what time have you traveled? It’s obviously not a relevant argument if you had one with JT – you stop being an immature asshole of the lowest order and come up with something relevant to support your side of the argument.

        You should be embarrassed to have said it.

        • John Harrington

          If it says I’m a child, then you’re a child because your comments here have been one long series of insults against me with little substance.

          “She’s not even relevant to you, how she looks, she is nothing but property of JT to you.”

          That’s not true. I never said anything like that.

      • Jeremy Shaffer

        It happened in FB IM, which is private. But why bother to understand something before passing judgement when you can just automatically assume that everything I say is bogus, right?

        I was trying to understand the situation; that’s why I asked a clarifying question, John. Furthermore, that’s why I offered a qualified statement about the situation. You’ve been pretty quick to call others deliberately obtuse in this thread and here you are demonstrating that very flaw.

        Or is it just general disingenuousness that’s you are displaying?

        You obviously are in a perfect position to be moral judge and jury for someone else.

        If that “someone else” is you; I think I am in a prefect position.

        Actually, I do wish the insult against JT’s wife hadn’t become public, but only the insult, and not because I was embarrassed by it, but because it was hurtful, as I’ve made amply clear from the very beginning.

        In your opinion, was it hurtful because the subject was made aware of it or was it hurtful regardless of that? All I’ve seen so far has been you suggesting the former, not the latter. You seem incapable of realizing that the insult was what needed to be apologized for, not it’s effect (actual or possible) or its level of exposure.

        I’m not a sorry example of a human being.

        So far you have demonstrated nothing but this, John.

        • John Harrington

          “In your opinion, was it hurtful because the subject was made aware of it or was it hurtful regardless of that?”

          It’s not an opinion. It’s a fact that hurtful things aren’t hurtful unless they’re being experienced by the person being hurt. I can’t believe we’re even debating stupid shit like that.

          Or do you mean to ask am I sorry if I hurt JT’s feelings? Nope. Fuck him.

          ” All I’ve seen so far has been you suggesting the former, not the latter. You seem incapable of realizing that the insult was what needed to be apologized for, not it’s effect (actual or possible) or its level of exposure.”

          I’m capable of entertaining the possibility that I’m incapable of seeing something. And yet I’ve explained over and over again why what you say is not so. I apologize when I do harm to someone I don’t wish to harm. You apparently want me to apologize for hurting JT’s feelings. You have GOT to be kidding. Fuck JT and you. You apparently believe that any expression of estimation of a person’s looks is wrong. You’re an insane ideologue if you think so, and I’m a feminist who has routinely defended feminists against charges of insane ideology.

          “I’m not a sorry example of a human being.”
          “So far you have demonstrated nothing but this, John.”

          Not that you have a clue about what you’re talking about, but, so far, I’ve been surrounded by a loving family and friends, been at two companies for 19 years and 6 years, respectively. Had a successful education, career and life, with wealth, friends, loves, and multiple enthusiasms from science to music. I’m a decent person, whom you’re in no position to judge based on a single mistake I made on the internet and my refusal to see it exactly as you view it. But in this weird kingdom of cruelty you and your companions have lovingly fostered and nurtured in monument of your lust for outrage and insult I’m just the latest target.

          • Jeremy Shaffer

            It’s a fact that hurtful things aren’t hurtful unless they’re being experienced by the person being hurt. I can’t believe we’re even debating stupid shit like that.

            I can’t believe we’re debating this either. It hardly matters if the subject you insulted was hurt by your comment or if they even found out about it; the fact is that what you said was wrong regardless of the above is what you seem incapable or unwilling to get. If I were to steal something from you, yet you never found out about it and were never hurt by it, would my theft have been any less wrong?

            Or do you mean to ask am I sorry if I hurt JT’s feelings? Nope. Fuck him.

            I don’t really care if you feel bad about that or not. Given that that never came up in anything I said to you, nor did I say anything that suggested that that might be what I was talking about, I suppose this is yet another example of your deliberate obtuseness.

            You apparently want me to apologize for hurting JT’s feelings.

            No I don’t nor does it seem that anyone else on this thread really cares about that either. They are trying to explain why what you said was wrong (regardless of how it made anyone feel) and why your “apology” wasn’t acceptable since it hinged on your comment being made public, not for making the comment in the first place.

            You keep claiming that no one else is reading what you say yet you demonstrate your inability or unwillingness to respond to what others actually write with your every post.

            You apparently believe that any expression of estimation of a person’s looks is wrong.

            If it is irrelevant to whatever topic is under discussion, it is wrong. Your remark about her appearance had zero to do with the discussion you were having with JT. It only served to show that you are a petty individual who lacked the maturity to not throw a temper tantrum when you realized that you weren’t going to get your way.

            You’re an insane ideologue if you think so, and I’m a feminist who has routinely defended feminists against charges of insane ideology.

            You claim to be a feminist yet felt it was peachy keen to make a comment about a woman’s appearance to insult her fiance? I think an Indigo Montoya moment is on its way.

            Not that you have a clue about what you’re talking about, but, so far, I’ve been surrounded by a loving family and friends, been at two companies for 19 years and 6 years, respectively. Had a successful education, career and life, with wealth, friends, loves, and multiple enthusiasms from science to music.

            And? “Other people like me and I’ve accomplished stuff” is hardly evidence that you are a decent person.

            I’m a decent person, whom you’re in no position to judge based on a single mistake I made on the internet and my refusal to see it exactly as you view it.

            You’re correct that my assessment of you is based on the single interaction I have seen of you. Maybe that’s premature of me. Still, I couldn’t care less if you see it as I do and that is hardly a determinent of a decent human being. Indeed you could convince me that I am wrong in my opinion, but flinging further insults, failing to respond to what others actually write, projecting your own failings onto others, striking a martyr’s pose and making dull- witted defences of your mistakes that fail to even respond to the criticisms offered doesn’t help in changing my initial apprasial of your character.

  • Michaelyn

    Is it too late to let everyone know I’m not actually JT’s wife yet?

    • John Harrington

      I got that. You’re his fiance. Thanks.

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

      Sorry :/ For some reason I thought you guys had gotten married in Las Vegas already (I know you’ve taken trips there together).

      • Michaelyn

        No need for apologies! I understand your confusion; we went to Vegas for my older brother’s wedding. :)

    • Andrew Kohler

      I’d been debating whether or not to point that out, Michaelyn, but thought it wasn’t my place to do so. Little things like that tend to drive me crazy, so thank you :-)

  • John Harrington

    It’s funny how people are so focused on the assumption that I was embarrassed by JT’s posting of our private conversation that the assumption positively blinds them to anything else. I’ve actually fully enjoyed this thread. It’s very enjoyable to me to be the lone person answering a mob of angry, irrational people. I’ve always enjoyed that challenge, for example when I protested at the local Creationist Museum, and had to answer an angry crowd of theists who quizzed me about the Bible, assuming I’d never read it. And, had JT asked, I would gladly have given him permission to post every word I wrote but the insult against his fiance, and I would only have asked that be withheld for her sake, not mine. I’ve said that from the beginning.

    So people enter into this assuming some sort of retribution, something approaching a mild form of terrorism, or at least a public humiliation has been perpetrated against me, and of course, instead of considering that enough, they pile on top of that to insult me more, without even bothering to understand the facts. The insults that have been said against me here approach a level of viciousness that nothing I said to JT came within a mile of. And I apologized for that. No one here has apologized against any of their victims in any of the threads I’ve read, or shown even the least respect or concern for their feelings. Not even close. And yet every one of you is positively certain you’re better than me. I’d ask that you let that sink in, but why even bother?

    Strolling through the other comment threads on this blog, I see that some of the participants in this thread are regulars here. The game of viciousness is usually carried out with theists who take pot shots at JT’s postings. That the theists are lame and mistaken doesn’t make it any less of a game of viciousness and cruelty. And it’s obviously a fun passtime for you all. I wonder if any of you care about that. Probably not.

    It’s not so much that you’re outraged by the content of anything anyone says so much as you are lustful of group humiliation and insult of some lone person. The same thing happened here, only it was a fellow atheist this time, who insulted JT and, most egregiously, his fiance in an IM. That you are injured on JT’s behalf is not believable by anyone, certainly not me, but not you either, I suspect. It’s just a pretext to cast stones. And the pretext doesn’t even have to be a good one, since you raise the same false charges over and over, which, if you had even bothered to read a 10th of what’s here with any intellectual honesty, you would realize have been answered honestly and completely.

    I don’t write this with any bitterness, but just to hold up a mirror. Maybe I’m no better than you all, but I’m certainly no worse.

    Good night. : )

    • Loqi

      It’s funny how people are so focused on the assumption that I was embarrassed by JT’s posting of our private conversation that the assumption positively blinds them to anything else.

      I don’t think this is true. For example, I’m not sure if you are capable of feeling shame. Ergo, I can conclude you don’t feel the slightest bit embarrassed. Of course, by your repeated stating that you didn’t regret writing the things you wrote, my skepticism here is irrelevant. Since the rest of your post follows from this, the rest doesn’t need a response. But I’m going to do it anyway.

      …without even bothering to understand the facts. The insults that have been said against me here approach a level of viciousness that nothing I said to JT came within a mile of. And I apologized for that.

      What are the facts that we’re missing, pray tell? And you’re still not getting it. You didn’t apologize for writing it. You seemed to in your second post, but then completely rendered it hollow in the follow up. You apologized for Michaelyn seeing it, saying it’s really JT who is being an asshole to her (where exactly does it work like that? If you’re in a monogamous relationship and your friend shows you evidence that your wife is cheating, would you get mad at the friend because you wouldn’t have been aware of what was going on if he hadn’t showed you?). That’s the same as when someone posts some vile racist shit, it goes viral, and then “apologizes” by saying, “I’m sorry that you’re offended.” How about being sorry for even letting the though to write that come into your head? That alone indicates that there’s something wrong.

      No one here has apologized against any of their victims in any of the threads I’ve read, or shown even the least respect or concern for their feelings.

      None of us have, say, tried to insult theists by calling them fat. Or ugly. Or old. Because it has nothing to do with the topic at hand. It’s irrelevant, it’s petty, and, in your case, it reveals a mind that thinks a woman being “ugly” is one of the worst things imaginable. Your PM is pretty much a summary of casual sexism. If someone on this board were to say, “John Harrington is fat,” I’m confident that person would get the same treatment you got.

      It’s not so much that you’re outraged by the content of anything anyone says so much as you are lustful of group humiliation and insult of some lone person.

      I’d advise against a career in psychology. You don’t do it very well.

      Good night.

      Good riddance.

      • John Harrington

        My reply to this appears below.

    • Kodie

      You didn’t mean to insult Michaelyn, and that’s why you’re sorry she saw it, but you did mean to insult JT via his ownership of an “ugly” woman. That’s worse than the rest of us. That’s worse than just calling Michaelyn “ugly” to her face because, one, it’s objectifying her and what she appears to you, but two, you are demeaning her whole self by considering her nothing but property of the guy you’re having an argument with. It’s also really thoughtless and immature. You didn’t think she might see it? Or the rest of us? You’re sorry she got insulted by your insult because you aimed it at JT without thinking it through. You’re mad at JT for showing it to her and letting her know some asshole on the internet insulted her appearance. You are back-pedaling and trying to defend yourself still for having made the comment in private. JT should not be insulted that you think he has an ugly girlfriend, but he should be offended (as a feminist) that you regard his girlfriend as his property to insult. Exposing you as a sexist moron with no valid arguments was his prerogative, and not unforeseeable – he has his own blog, and he regularly posts comments by fools, and you are one. And did I read this wrong or was this whole thing over him unfriending you about an earlier argument on his page? Buck up, son, he doesn’t like you.

      • John Harrington

        “You didn’t mean to insult Michaelyn, and that’s why you’re sorry she saw it, but you did mean to insult JT via his ownership of an “ugly” woman. That’s worse than the rest of us.”

        No it isn’t. Actually what the rest of you do, engaging in daily pecking parties against lone victims is far worse and far more petty. And rather than calling people ugly, you regularly impugn their intelligence which is no more relevant to the validity of an argument than looks are. Things are either true or they aren’t. The intelligence of the person saying them is irrelevant, unless your purpose is to cruelly harass someone, which of course is practically the whole point of these comment threads, apparently.

        “That’s worse than just calling Michaelyn “ugly” to her face”

        No, it’s not. That would be far more hurtful.

        “because, one, it’s objectifying her and what she appears to you”

        I’m allowed to say how people appear to me. If you’ve ever expressed an opinion about any actor’s attractiveness, you’ve done it too.

        “but two, you are demeaning her whole self by considering her nothing but property of the guy you’re having an argument with.”

        I never said she was his property. That’s ridiculous.

        ” It’s also really thoughtless and immature.”

        True.

        ” You didn’t think she might see it? Or the rest of us?”

        That’s right.

        “You’re sorry she got insulted by your insult because you aimed it at JT without thinking it through.”

        Yes.

        ” You’re mad at JT for showing it to her and letting her know some asshole on the internet insulted her appearance.”

        No, I’m not mad at JT. I’ve concluded JT is an asshole and an egomaniac who cares less about his fiance’s feelings than he does about his own massive, shit-storm of an ego, and I’m right.

        “You are back-pedaling and trying to defend yourself still for having made the comment in private.”

        That is utter bullshit. I haven’t backpedalled ONCE. Apologizing about my remark isn’t a backpedal. It’s an unequivocal acknowledgement of wrongdoing. I was wrong to say something hurtful to someone I should have known would not refrain from publishing it before the eyes of the object of my insult.

        “JT should not be insulted that you think he has an ugly girlfriend, but he should be offended (as a feminist) that you regard his girlfriend as his property to insult.”

        I don’t regard her as property. That’s an absurd straw man.

        ” Exposing you as a sexist moron with no valid arguments was his prerogative, and not unforeseeable – he has his own blog, and he regularly posts comments by fools, and you are one.”

        Yes, I’ve seen how you admirable human beings insult and degrade people on a daily basis here.

        ” And did I read this wrong or was this whole thing over him unfriending you about an earlier argument on his page? Buck up, son, he doesn’t like you.”

        You read it wrong. You read a lot wrong, or didn’t bother to read anything before you formed an opinion and decided to insult me.

        • Kodie

          Your insult had no value except to insult JT’s property. Do not try to tell me that’s a straw man – you don’t understand what a straw man is, and you’ve defined it wrong every time you think that’s an “answer”. You don’t understand, you don’t comprehend what’s wrong with the insult, and that’s why you’re not sorry you said it. That’s why people think you are an asshole with no redeeming value, an anti-social arrogant uncomplicated intellect, and that’s why you’re not even aware how badly you’re losing. That’s not an example of a straw man because that’s how you’re expressing yourself.

          When you call a man’s woman “ugly” to insult the man, you’re not even considering that the woman has a value to insult. The only value she has to you or you presume to JT is her appearance. It’s also considered a “low blow” and you wanted to get punched in the face. It had nothing to do with your argument with JT, which he ended by unfriending you, which you got upset about. What kind of life do you lead where it’s “cowardly” to not give you the attention you want? This internet-beating is exactly what you live for, and a fine example of why nobody should want to be your friend, why JT was not wrong to walk away and not go further with you. You love to antagonize people with no substance, call them names like a bully for being more mature than you are, and then treat women like they aren’t even people. You make yourself look silly, and there’s no valid defense of your behavior anywhere in this thread, no evidence that you are not just a creep with no life. I used to be friends with a guy like you, unfortunately I don’t think he has internet access since he abused his mother and committed fraud and is possibly homeless now. I would love to hook you up with him since you might hit it off or at least get a taste of what being friends with someone like you is like. Nobody needs your shit.

          • John Harrington

            “Your insult had no value except to insult JT’s property.”

            I don’t regard women as property.

            ” Do not try to tell me that’s a straw man ”

            Do not try to tell me I regard women as property.

            “– you don’t understand what a straw man is, and you’ve defined it wrong every time you think that’s an “answer”.”

            I’ve defined straw man correctly, which has been twice.

            ” You don’t understand, you don’t comprehend what’s wrong with the insult, and that’s why you’re not sorry you said it.”

            I am sorry I said it. I said that at the beginning. We disagree about why I should be sorry.

            ” That’s why people think you are an asshole with no redeeming value,”

            No it isn’t. And people don’t think that. They say that. They have no basis for saying that. They just enjoy shitting on people. Stop pretending you’re doing an of this out of some lofty principle. If you really gave a shit about women’s rights you wouldn’t be wasting your time in these comment threads on a daily basis. You’d be doing something, so fuck you and your pretensions.

            ” an anti-social arrogant uncomplicated intellect, and that’s why you’re not even aware how badly you’re losing. That’s not an example of a straw man because that’s how you’re expressing yourself.”

            I’m not losing. I’m winning big time, against a sea of people like you, and it’s fucking great.

            “When you call a man’s woman “ugly” to insult the man, you’re not even considering that the woman has a value to insult. The only value she has to you or you presume to JT is her appearance. It’s also considered a “low blow” and you wanted to get punched in the face.”

            These are a series of assertions that have zero basis in fact.

            “It had nothing to do with your argument with JT,”

            True.

            ” which he ended by unfriending you”

            He didn’t end it by unfriending me. You aren’t even aware of the basic facts of what went on. But never mind, we both know your comments have nothing to do with facts.

            “, which you got upset about.”

            I didn’t get upset that he unfriended me.

            ” What kind of life do you lead where it’s “cowardly” to not give you the attention you want?”

            The life where you can dish out bullying on your blog and sick your toadying blood-lusting readership against someone who did nothing to you–but can’t abide something a fraction as intense on your own facebook page. A life where cowardly pieces of shit like JT have worshipful, unquestioning followers like you at their beck and call, causing you to litter a comment thread that you profess to not want to join. That life.

            ” This internet-beating is exactly what you live for, and a fine example of why nobody should want to be your friend, why JT was not wrong to walk away and not go further with you. You love to antagonize people with no substance,”

            No, I love it when people like you antagonize me out of sheer cruelty and I get to fight back. Why? Because fuck you, that’s why.

            ” call them names like a bully for being more mature than you are”

            I’ve called people names. I’ll even grant you “bullying”, for the sake of argument. There’s no way, however, I will admit to being on the level of abuse and bullying I’ve received, from you alone, but certainly this community.

            ” and then treat women like they aren’t even people.”

            I did no such thing.

            ” You make yourself look silly, and there’s no valid defense of your behavior anywhere in this thread, no evidence that you are not just a creep with no life. I used to be friends with a guy like you, unfortunately I don’t think he has internet access since he abused his mother and committed fraud and is possibly homeless now.”

            Wow, yep, he sounds just like me. Someone who calls someone ugly and then refuses to see the insult in exactly the way you do is just like someone who commits fraud and hits his mom. Brilliant. You are an impeccable judge of human beings. Eminently qualified.

            ” I would love to hook you up with him since you might hit it off or at least get a taste of what being friends with someone like you is like. Nobody needs your shit.”

            Oh, you need it. If it’s not my shit, it’ll be someone else’s here. You live to insult people. That’s your joy.

    • Andrew Kohler

      “It’s not so much that you’re outraged by the content of anything anyone says so much as you are lustful of group humiliation and insult of some lone person.”

      This comment has inspired me to listen again to one the most magnificent moments in modern opera, the mob scene (end of Act III Scene 1) in Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P46aKimw2s

      I love the ratchet when they disperse, and I love how in this production the completely unhinged ringleader Mrs. Sedley stands there in an ecstatic trance as the rest of the Borough runs off to the hunt. This is a terrifying depiction of the masses turning against the vulnerable individual (albeit not a terribly nice individual in this case). The mob does condemn Peter Grimes’s misdeeds (“and cruelty becomes his enterprise”), but they focus far more on how he “holds himself apart, lets his pride rise,” and the text of their fugue is “Him who despises us we’ll destroy.” Britten first got the idea for this opera in 1942, and the premiere at Sadlers Wells in London was within months of Germany’s unconditional surrender in World War II. Britten certainly knew something about being an outsider at that time, as he was a gay man and a conscientious objector.

      [BTW: notably absent from this scene is Mr. Horace Adams, the spectacularly useless rector who complains about his "burden pastoral" in Act II Scene 1.]

      So, there’s an example (albeit taken from fiction) of mob persecution, written at a time when persecution of various kinds was rampant. Compare all of that to the comments on the following post:

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2013/01/not-impressed-with-the-boy-scouts-of-america/

      Of course I can’t speak for anyone else, but I assure you that I spent several hours of my life engaged in this discourse (if it deserves that title) because I was in fact “outraged by the content.” And Alessandra was hardly a weak victim in the vein of the psychologically deteriorating Peter Grimes: she was verbally combative and continued to cling to her homophobic assertions. As Ed Brayton notes below, not everything deserves civility (for example, saying atheists are no better equipped to determine morality than the Nazi Party). Evidently, I managed not to be too rude, in that I was not among those to whom Alessandra replied “Only a pile of turd [says whatever the person said].” You could argue, sure, about whether or not the comments on this blog are as polite as they ought to be–I think that the appropriate level of civility is contingent upon the context, and I don’t think that’s just one right answer–but I strongly take exception to your accusation that the regular commenters here are not serious about the ideas that are being discussed. I’m glad that most discussions on this blog aren’t personal attacks (which is why I’ve not gone through all 170+ comments in this thread). It’s much more satisfying to listen to Britten.

      • John Harrington

        I like Britten, too, so this was a thrill to read. I’d say it’s more like Britten’s Billy Budd, where the title character, for a remark which was stupidly misunderstood, was executed. Except Budd was completely blameless, and I’m not, but the disproportion is similar.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches Ed Brayton

    See, this is why I just can’t sign on to Dan Fincke’s civility pledge. Weapons grade fuckwits like John Harrington do not deserve civility.

    • B-Lar

      He might not deserve it, but he might have responded to it better… I have no data on this of course, but I have a feeling that civility and doubling down in response are inversely proportional.

      On balance though, I think he was in bad faith from the start so any amount of civility would probably have been worthless.

      • John Harrington

        Would you care to defend your comment that I’ve exhibited bad faith? I’ve been utterly truthful from the start, except about his fiance’s looks, and that comment I’ve apologized for.

    • John Harrington

      Maybe you won’t sign a civility pledge because you’re an asshole who enjoys incivility.

  • John Harrington

    “Ergo, I can conclude you don’t feel the slightest bit embarrassed. Of course, by your repeated stating that you didn’t regret writing the things you wrote, my skepticism here is irrelevant.”

    You’re wrong, since I repeatedly said I regretted writing that about his wife.  So you’re either judging without reading what I wrote, which is intellectually dishonest and immoral, or you’re stupid.   

    “What are the facts that we’re missing, pray tell? ”

    Thanks for asking, even though it was rhetorical.  They’re only the things I’ve repeated over and over and over again and which you’ve ignored, not read, or can’t understand.  Like that I regretted saying that about his wife, which you completely missed.  Like the fact that I didn’t apologize because I was “caught” or “ashamed” but because the quote being made public made it hurtful and therefore in need of an apology.  If I hit a golf ball, and it hits someone, I need to apologize.  If it doesn’t, I don’t.  It’s really that simple.  And the only reason you won’t acknowledge this, admit it, and apologize for your insults, is that you just love to shame and abuse people.  That’s obvious, not psychology.

    “How about being sorry for even letting the though to write that come into your head?”

    Fuck you.  No.  I refuse to be sorry about that.  That you would even ask someone to apologize for a thought shows what an asshole you are.  

    “None of us have, say, tried to insult theists by calling them fat. Or ugly. Or old. Because it has nothing to do with the topic at hand.”

    That’s undoubtedly because you haven’s seen pictures of them.  I honestly have no problem with what you do.  It’s your hypocrisy that I have a problem with.  Even if it’s true no one here has insulted their appearance, you’ve said far worse, though.  You (the members here) repeatedly insult their intelligence, just as you have with me here.  Insulting someone’s intelligence may seem material to you, but actually it isn’t, any more than their appearance is.  The only material issue is whether what they’re saying is wrong and whether they can defend it.  You could simply respond to that, and leave it at that, but you’ve got to go the further distance and attempt to insult them.  That really is far more despicable, if you insist such things are despicable.  There’s no other reason for broaching the subject of their intelligence.  

    “Your PM is pretty much a summary of casual sexism.”

    No, it isn’t, and I doubt even you think so.  But if you do, then the repeated insults against intelligence here are examples of sexism, too, especially if they’re ever focused at women, whose intelligence has long been impugned by chauvinists.  And, to be consistent, you should regard comments about people’s intelligence as examples of bigotry against the mentally disabled.  

    “I’d advise against a career in psychology. You don’t do it very well.”

    Actually, I do it far better than you do.  

    “Good riddance.”

    Meh. Not gone yet.

    • Anonymous

      Meh. Not gone yet.

      Yes, that much is apparent. I hope you find something more worthwhile to do with your time someday.

      • John Harrington

        Here’s a worthwhile use of my time:

        Fuck you, you anonymous coward.

        Now that was worth it.

  • John Harrington

    There’s plenty more room here for more of your mass cruelty, gleeful judgment, and offense-posturing people. Get it while it’s hot.


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