Another day, another twitter ShiTsunamiShashimi, eat up folks. It’s almost as if the internet is bad for people or something.
I try to be charitable when it comes to other peoples motivations, mostly because I tend to see the worst in people and I figure I should probably counter that innate impulse with a little optimism. Sometimes I am successful, sometimes, not so much.
A while back Richard Dawkins posted a sarcastic message on PZ’s blog, he was criticizing the amount of blogger ink being devoted to a rather minor incident that happened in an elevator at a conference, when in his opinion, there were much greater injustices that were not getting as much attention, and should be getting attention.
I think he was wrong. Not because I think Dawkins is a raving misogynist, nor because I think he is incredibly stupid, but rather because he, like many people do very often, was failing to see the forest for the trees. It was a small incident, but it resonated with people, many people, on many emotional levels, and even for diametrically opposite reasons. And that made it the focus of an ongoing stupid flame war.
He missed the context, was a total dick about it, and I think that is the time when one should apologize.
Dawkins is not the only one, the ‘Amazing Atheist’ did something… even worse in my opinion… he went after someone who couldn’t defend themselves, when he attacked Amanda Todd…. and her silly little middle class suicide.
Guess what? Yes many people have worse problems than you or I do. But depression and desperation can hit any one of us, so mocking someone’s desperation and suicide, is just fucked up shit.
Like I said at the time: It was a douche move. You should apologize. Full stop.
I don’t really give a shit what his point was, yes the media is going to sensationalize stuff. That is a fact of life, especially when some event resonates with people. Amanda Todd was a victim of bullying and depression and suicide.
And so we come to the most recent atheist self-inflicted stupid.
Here’s how you don’t respond to Williams death: as P.Z Myers has in a post at Pharyngula, in which he claims that the media (and our government) has taken advantage of Williams’s death to draw attention away from racism and other social problems….
Oh bloody hell.
Coyne covers the details, so no rehash here.
I don’t think PZ Myers is a bad guy. I don’t agree with him on certain things, but I have found him to be a thoughtful and compassionate person, most of the time. His emotions, like many of the social justice types, like many other people, sometimes gets the better of him, but I’m not going to jump on any ani-PZ band wagons. I can see the usual suspects already wringing their fists with glee over this one.
It was a douche move, PZ. You should apologize. Full stop.
I’m inclined to disagree on almost every point.
Dawkins had no need to apologize about his comment. He might have found a better forum and format for it, and might have acknowledged how individual experiences can vary widely, but the gist was entirely correct: It is NOT reasonable to allow the paranoid unverified claims of one person or a handful to tarnish a whole community as dangerous and bigoted using the same terms we use to describe far worse. That is the exact opposite of what atheists and particularly skeptics should be doing.
I’m not sure I know enough about the Amazing Atheist Amanda Todd topic to comment on that, except to say that every time he says something outrageous, and then I go watch the video in full, I find that he convinces me, every time so far. People love to soundbite and straw-man him, because he’s annoying, long-winded, and goes after sacred cows.
Regarding PZ Myers, he is not only a bad atheist, but a bad person generally. He’s used his platform to divide and demean, and he’s done it by violating principles he claims to stand for, which is in my mind the worst offence for someone presenting himself as a leader of some sort.
Dicks are beautiful. Gendered slurs and casual sexism aren’t. You should apologize.
>the gist was entirely correct
I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
He said nothing about ‘the community’. He was merely playing the victim olympics, much like the social justice types often do when dismissing the concerns of het/pale/male.
>I’m not sure I know enough about the Amazing Atheist Amanda Todd topic to comment on that..
And you should have stopped there. His reponse to a mercilessly bullied teenage girl’s cry for help and eventual suicide was this…
He also went further with other nastiness about her on tumblr. Dawkins was merely oblivious to the live wire he was stepping on, the ‘amazing atheist’ is a vicious little troll.
As for PZ, reducing Robin Williams to a ‘rich white man’ was certainly dehumanizing and cruel, but he didn’t attack him on a personal level… like the ‘amazing atheist’ did to Todd.
I actually prefer pussies to dicks… to each their own.
But you’re right, I’m sorry political correctness exists.
I’m glad. Same thing with Ron Lindsay when he stepped in a similar pot of poo at WIS. It says a lot about their character. Not that it will mean much to the extremists who only see ‘us vs them’, but they feed on self-righteousness, and you don’t need religion for that, just a healthy dose of narcissism and/or a victim complex.
Yes, he at least showed him to be the mensch we knew he probably was. Sadly, I read some responses from the FTB crowd that complained that it took a long time and was hard to find. Ugh.
That is their purity test.
People who have not studied ethics often go with their gut… The social justice types default to compassion centred around defined oppressed groups… It’s an intuitive consequentialism. It’s how animal rights people can rationalize attacking medical facilities and car bombs etc…
PZ has always been their rhetoric attack dog… And he fit right in with the trolling libertarians as long as religion was the enemy. But they actually have very different intuitive impulses, and since examining ones own assumptions, and seeing from an opposing point of view is the hard, and they feel they are right, the ‘other’ gets dehumanized as evil or tainted…. Fair game as the scientologists say.
Tribe vs tribe is the old game.