I was scorned into silence in Butteflies and Wheels, and being scorned in silence there, far from convincing me of the correctness of the arguments of the posters there, turned me against the New Atheism as a set of propositions (there is a difference between the New Atheism as a set of propositions and as a movment, as people), when my real criticism of the New Atheism is not of their criticism of religious beliefs or their ideas but of their scorning others into silence. Sometimes a good cause turns into a bad cause, not because of the cause, but because of the way that it is managed or directed. Sometimes "we" become as bad or worse than "them" because of the way that "we" attack "them". If you read this, Jeremy, thanks.
So I take it you endorse Jeremy Stangroom's post?
I agree with his description of how people treated McLaren, and agree that Rieux's rationalization is chilling. Scorning people into silence definitely doesn't appeal to me. The stuff about "idiots" and "morons" -- honestly I didn't even take it seriously, and wasn't trying to endorse that.
SoThe stuff about "idiots" and "morons" -- honestly I didn't even take it seriously, and wasn't trying to endorse that.if Jeremy has a valid point(not saying he does), he can throw in the morons and idiots to an entire group of people (he did use 'new atheist' and not people doing the scorning) and you will just pass it by - right?Remember that the next time the incivility wars flare up.
Yes, he was uncivil. If we abolished all incivility we'd have to cancel The Daily Show, and that wouldn't be good. It's a complex thing to decide which instances of incivility are "over the line" and which are just colorful and cathartic.
One point in favor of Jeremy's incivility is that it isn't directed at any one person, not even at Rieux. It's generalized, a way of letting off steam, while often online a group targets one particular dissident poster and tries to scorn or scare him or her into silence or submission.
I don't see any point in comparing Jeremy's incivility with the bullying of McLaren. They are just two different things, bringing up entirely different sets of issues. I might add--there's also no point in comparing the bullying of McLaren and the bullying of Damon Fowler (this relates to a B&W link to my little post here). When we decide what to blog about, we don't have to scour the web and find the Worst Thing, and blog about that. If I did that, I'd be writing about child prostitution or some such (see Nicholas Kristof this week), not Damon Fowler OR Karla McLaren.By the way--everyone should know about that Damon Fowler story and "like" this facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Damon/103714833051042
I don't know any "secular liberals" who "are eager to pretend that the worst bullying and majoritarian silencers are atheists". That's not you or me or Jeremy or even Chris Mooney.
Oh come on, Jean. Of course "When we decide what to blog about, we don't have to scour the web and find the Worst Thing." But let's be real: you do snipe at me often. (You then complain when I retort.) I am what one might call a Regular Target here - I think Jerry Coyne and I have pretty similar scores on the JK Target Tally.It's not obvious why I'm so fascinating or so uniquely malevolent or so anything as to deserve my ranking. Therefore it looks Special in some way. Therefore one starts to wonder...what's that about? That leads to thoughts about some more obvious kinds of malevolence that go unmentioned.Jeremy's post was rude and unargued, yet you gave it a pat on the head. That looks very Special, for many obvious reasons. It seems absurd to pretend otherwise.
amos - why do you keep shoving yourself into these discussions? It's got nothing to do with you, yet you keep popping up to offer your two cents worth.It was just a few months ago that you were moaning here about wishing there could be a truce but oh darn I would never agree to it - but on the contrary, I took you up on it. You were the one always sniping about me, not the other way around, so it was dead easy to say by all means. You agreed - but you, of course, have not lived up to the agreement. You're still busily sniping away. You talk out of both sides of your mouth - one minute you want to make peace and the next minute you find Jeremy or Joe or Jean sniping so you just have to chime in. You're a determined shit-stirrer.You saw my comment about you at B&W, so you know why I'm not a fan of your comments: you talk about yourself way too much. It's that simple.
If we abolished all incivility we'd have to cancel The Daily ShowAll i can say is if Phil Plait wanted examples for his dont be a dick talk , he could have used some of Jeremy's posts. Calling someone idiots or morons? - acceptable to me when the offense is bad. Stating that don't give these people a platform? - That's another form of attempt to silence - with a lot of scorn poured on for good measure. You don't seem to realise what exactly you are agreeing with.@s. wallersteinOne point in favor of Jeremy's incivility is that it isn't directed at any one person, not even at RieuxThis is funny. If i want to complain about some people who share a couple of views, I should be incivil to the entire group? And that would then allow you to say thats a point in my favor?.
Ophelia:You broke the truce. I've never singled you out or mentioned your name in an unfavorable way since the agreement.For the moment, why don't you take a deep breath and stop making a fool of yourself?
Ophelia, I'm sorry, but that whole diatribe has no basis at all in fact, and I just don't want to waste my Saturday responding. I invite you to read my blog before making wild claims about what I write about. And can we also skip the Ophelia vs. Amos drama? There's always email.Deepak, What do you think about this--is it forbidden for me to write a post where I call Republicans "idiots"? I think saying that in a very general, satirical way is fine. It's another thing if I am talking to you directly, know you're a Republican, and call you an "idiot". It's obviously going much much further still if I call you a bigot and a liar and unintelligent, and my 20 anonymous buddies join in and do the same thing. So--there are lots of distinctions to be made among types of incivility.
There's always email. To talk about amos behind his back on your part; would that be the gist of it?
Huh? I think it was pretty obvious that I was suggesting that if Ophelia and Amos wanted to talk to each other, they could do it via email.
What do you think about this--is it forbidden for me to write a post where I call Republicans "idiots"? Umm didn't I already state calling people Idiots if deserved(subjective) is fine with me?It's another thing if I am talking to you directly, know you're a Republican, and call you an "idiot"Calling someone an idiot specifically is fine with me . Stating republicans are idiots but stating that person X who is republican and accepts their policies is not an idiot is illogical in my opinion.So--there are lots of distinctions to be made among types of incivility.Sure. I specifically pointed out to jeremy's don't give them a platform to respond - which you haven't yet commented on.
Hello Deepak:Maybe I'm weird and if so, fine, but I am much more sensitive to insults directed at me, Amos, an individual than to those directed towards, say, white, straight, male, Jewish, atheists with leftist politics, words which classify me. However, as I write, I realize that anti-semitic insults affect me as much as those directed towards me as a person. As you can see, I'm not arguing against you. I'm trying to understand the diverse reactions which well-intentioned reasonable people have on the this subject. If I react as negatively to insults directed towards Jews as a class as I do towards those directed towards me as a person, I understand that you may reactas negatively towards those directed towards New Atheists as a class as towards those directed towards you as person.I suppose that we all "choose" our sensitive areas. Interesting.My conclusion: we should be careful about what we say about others because each of us is sensitive about different areas of our identity.
Deepak, I agreed with Jeremy's advice to Karla, if that's what you're asking. There are definitely times when engagement is pointless. About logic. If you think all Republicans are idiots, and x is a Republican, than you have to believe x is an idiot.But two things--(1) When I say "Republicans are idiots" I typically don't mean it literally, and don't really mean "all". It's hyperbolic, comical, cathartic, etc.(2) You can believe x is an idiot, and still be obligated not to say it. There are rules of etiquette that tell us what part of what we believe to say and not to say.
@JeanThere are definitely times when engagement is pointless. Ah. that's a euphemism for don't give people a platform to respond. its irony really to support the above while saying how scorning into silence is so chilling.There are rules of etiquette Uh yes - the same rules of etiquette would prevent you from calling the entire group "idiots" as well.But in any case if I think Jeremy is behaving like an idiot I'll be sure to use "accomodationists" instead because clearly its hyperbolic,comical,cathartic etc.And when I see fundamentalists behaving badly Ill be sure to use "Christians" or "Muslims" its so comical, you see.
did I lose my post to the Internet gremlins or was I censored?If the latter then may I know why?
Deepak, No moderation, it just got lost (temporarily--now it's published). But I have no problem with the idea of censoring comments. That comment is all snark and insults, no substance. I'll get rid of the next one like that.
Alright then - Ill leave with if it was Rieux who stated something to the effect that religious people are morons and idiots and we should criticise them and not give them a platform to respond - would you reaction be the same as it was to jeremy's post (in effect that you dont take the words morons and idiots seriously and that yes there are times when engagement is pointless - youll note that it is not engagement , it is criticise and close comments)
You are wrong to assume I'm a goody two shoes who would never talk about the idiocy of religion. There is a time and a place and a way of doing that which is fine with me. I don't know that Rieux is a master of the fine art of mockery, and I don't know if Jeremy particularly did a marvelous job of it either, in that particular post. But one can do these things well. I actually think Richard Dawkins is a fantastic mocker. I literally walked down the street laughing while listening to TGD on my ipod (when it first came out). Further down the food chain, people just degenerate into bullying and personal nastiness, but I'm not for putting a total ban on words like "idiot" and "moron."
One thing, in reply to amos to me on June 4. (Jean, amos is saying this stuff here, and in response to your post, so I don't think it's OT to reply to it here.)amos, you said: "You broke the truce. I've never singled you out or mentioned your name in an unfavorable way since the agreement."http://kazez.blogspot.com/2011/06/scorning-into-silence.html?showComment=1307205503171#c1313161184556434122I finally found a minute to search out the thread in which the truce was declared. Here is what you said:"Fine, Ophelia.I will make no more veiled or not so more veiled references to you.That's a good way to start the New Year."http://kazez.blogspot.com/2011/01/open-thread.html?showComment=1294097104909#c7596313912088428422Which is exactly how I remembered it. Not "I will make no more references to you by name" but "I will make no more veiled or not so [...] veiled references to you."See? That's the truce you broke. Not I; you. You've been doing the veiled references again for weeks (not here - mostly at Jeremy's and Joe's). (That of course is without even bothering to point out that sniping at B&W is hardly not sniping at me.)
Ophelia;I think that Jean made it clear that this is not the space for us to air the differences between us. If you want to argue with me,write me. Here's my email. firstname.lastname@example.org
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