New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by mr friendly guy » 2017-10-19 06:46pm

Dragon Angel wrote:
2017-10-19 10:58am

It's a weak defense however if the best defense you can think of for Thunderf00t is "but the other side does it too!"
I mean, the other people you mentioned on the so-called "SJW" side are people I haven't even heard of, one of them a very quick google search revealing she would be a "literally kill all men" straw type which pretty much all the feminists I know and have seen don't seriously and unironically believe in. So, as far as I know, it's like taking a two-bit no-name with the most extreme views possible, and representing them as a pillar of feminist thought--which by comparison to Thunderf00t's reach in antifeminist circles doesn't remotely equal.

I'd also like to know when Anita took any fight with Thunderf00t into the "real world". As shown in the video I linked, Thunderf00t decided to make a complete ad hominem attack on Anita's fashion choice in response to her feminist observations. Where has Anita done similar?
1. I am pointing out what Thunderf00t did in that case is self defense. If you're going to take a feud off youtube videos into real life (because he criticises Anita) and try and get someone fired twice, gloat when you think you succeeded, then its self defense if he does it right back at you. Its very telling when one gives example of self defense and its spun by others as "you are arguing the other side does it too."

2. I didn't say they are the only or pillars of feminist thought. Clearly there are lots of feminists with different views. However its not one person doing it, its a whole bunch of people putting their names on letters trying to get him fired. The SJW side (and since they identify in videos as SJW I don't know why we should use the "so called" SJWs) clearly has toxic people (who are atheists) as well and this article is spinning it as only one side has them.

3. I didn't say Anita took it off YT into real life. I said some of Thunderf00ts detractors did. Interestingly they are Anita supporters, but that would be guilty by association fallacy if anyone try to spin that as some sort of significance. I won't do that, but the article clearly is spinning it that way when it writes TF makes videos criticising Anita and in the same sentence talks about UNRELATED people harassing her.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by mr friendly guy » 2017-10-19 07:13pm

Formless wrote:
2017-10-19 05:31pm

At the point where your criticism leaves the realm of abstraction or facts and into hysteria and stereotyping? Or perhaps you want me to post a formal definition? I don't really want to google this for you, because I'm not going to bother generating my own. But what I have observed of the New Atheists when it comes to Islam is: they seem to reflexively dismiss accusations of Islamophobia on Free Speech grounds or claim that it is automatically an Ad Hominim or Straw Man, rather than honestly discussing the accusation on its own merits. When one realizes that most of these atheists are white, western men from a college educated background you realize that they are speaking from a position of privilege. That is always a red flag, and I admit that it has to be true of myself as well. BUT at least I admit to it and try to actively address the problem with knowledge. I legitimately wonder how many actual Muslims they have talked to and not tried to argue with. It can be very telling to just talk to people of other faiths and set aside your criticisms long enough to learn what they truly believe in rather than assuming, or unintentionally blow dog whistles to call apologists to spar with. If you do, you miss the real diversity in their opinions. Even reading their holy books isn't necessarily enough to criticize the religion as it is actually practiced. Religion is a social phenomenon, and what people actually believe is often a product of the faith group they surround themselves with. I don't mean the religion as a whole demographic, but the actual Mosque, Church, or temple that they attend. No one would assume that a black Baptist church has the same social beliefs as a huge white Evangelical megachurch. The actual group is very different between the two, and so to can it be among Muslims. So when Muslims say that theirs is a religion of peace, I at least think most of them honestly believe it-- human beings are amazing at compartmentalizing ideas and cherrypicking good from bad within a religion or ideology.

But you wouldn't know it from how some of these New Atheists talk.
Can you give a few examples from the new atheists who fall into hysteria and stereotyping. Which parts of their criticism leaves the realm of abstraction or facts. I am somewhat familiar with the arguments of Sam Harris. Most of your post talks about why people make mistakes about Islam (privilege, never talked to Muslims etc), but not about the actual mistakes they make.

I am not trying to be flippant, but I see people use the term Islamophobia as a way to dismiss their opponents arguments, and no one (not even their opponents most of the time) bother to argue the meaning of the term. While the descriptions given by yourself and Dragon Angel are good starting points, it would help if actual examples are given and explaining why they fall into this definition.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Formless » 2017-10-19 08:50pm

You want a formal standard of Islamophobia and practical examples? Here is a list of things you can watch for, but fuck, its not like it is even needed. Most of the time it speaks for itself, really. Observe.

You want stereotyping? You want exaggeration? You want hysteria? Richard Dawkins, my friend:
tell me this isn't stereotypical wrote:Oh yes, I was forgetting. All those atheists beheading people, setting fire to them, cutting off their hands, cutting off their clitorises.

If you think atheists are violent you don't know what violence means.
So this is what kinds of religious violence he thinks of off the top of his head, huh? I would ask why he doesn't cite Klan rallies and stuff like that, but he actually answers that question in the next quote. Oh, and by the way, FGM hasn't got a thing to do with Islam, it predates the religion. It has to do with traditional African folk beliefs, and is practiced far, far away from Syria and Afghanistan. But it doesn't take an idiot to know he's referencing ISIS and Al Qaeda when he talks about beheaddings and cutting people's hands off. You know its stereotyping when the person can't even get their facts and context right.
tell me this isn't hysterical wrote:Anyone who believes that what is written in a holy book is true even if the evidence is against it is dangerous. Christianity used to be the most dangerous religion. Now Islam is. Of course that doesn't mean more than a small minority of the world's Muslims. But it only takes a few if their beliefs are sufficiently strong, fanatical and unshakeable.
So, attacking the entire religion because of the crimes of the few? And outright admitting to it? How can it be more dangerous than a religion everyone takes for granted at home? How can he pretend that this is purely a religious conflict when the fact is that Middle Eastern conflicts are so damn rooted in Colonialism and Cold War politics? The way he talks about it is inherently dangerous because it precludes the possibility of conflict resolution. That's why these socio-political "phobias" are so dangerous. He must know that this attitude alienates muslims who might otherwise listen to him, and radicalize a few who were leery of him to begin with. He must not care, I guess. He has already decided what he thinks of the religion, nuances be damned.

Oh, and by the way, I'm betting he's never surveyed Muslims on their day to day knowledge of the contents of the Quran. Sure, those who can memorize it are no doubt proud, but its not a small book. I have a copy (in English, granted, but surprisingly given to me at a mosque). Its at least the size of a good novel, and no one actually remembers a novel word for word. They are simply too long, so you end up remembering the important bits by abstraction; the plot, the characters, the themes, etc. But that leaves a lot of room to forget specifics, like how that scene didn't actually make sense, or how the writing felt forced to make one character the hero. Same goes for religious texts. Few people memorize them verse-for-verse. I bet you most Muslims don't know about most of the things that Dawkins finds so objectionable in the Quran. But many atheists do! WE often forget that believers have in reality a hodgepodge of beliefs that may or may not have anything to do with what is religious canon. Hell, the mosque I went to has a guy who deals with public relations, and what was interesting was that somehow he felt the need to justify so many of their traditions regarding prayer methods and fasting based on (junk) science. He hears that God wants what is good for us, therefore resting your head on the ground during prayer must be good in some way, right? But how, especially given that it hurts your damn ankles? Well, according to this guy, "science" has proven that putting your head on the ground releases "negative energy" from your body. Yes, really. New Age Woo is just as much a part of that guy's belief system as what is in his holy book. Go figure.

And there are even more statements Dawkins has made over the years that would qualify as Islamophobic. And the rest of the AMA is full of him aggressively responding to trolls against what should be his better judgement (IMO). He's definitely an Angry Old Man, if we can agree to nothing else.

And yes, before you say it, I realize that the AMA includes a question about immigration where he flatly states that he disagrees with Trumps proposed ban on Muslim immigrants. But really, he can fear Muslims and Trump simultaneously, so it doesn't matter.

I would put it to you that what is truly dangerous are demagogues who lack self-reflection. Dawkins is one of those people. What makes him an Islamophobe is the inability to distinguish between Islam as it exists in real life, and the Straw Monster that exists in his head. He fears it, and his statements over the years make that clear. By his own admission the average muslim does not factor into his threat assessment of the religion, even though such a statement is baffling on statistical grounds. It is, however, quite easy to explain psychologically: we call it the Availability Heuristic, and its a major factor in explaining prejudice. And of course, a distant foreign religion is always easier to Other. You have to tread more carefully when criticizing what your next door neighbor believes.

In a way it does not really matter whether he and Sam Harris are correct to deflect accusations of Islamophobia and characterize them as mere character attacks, because they never say what they think Islamophobia is or isn't. Hell, I've never seen them even acknowledge whether one can be Islamophobic at all! One could even interpret their silence on that as a kind of concession that they are Islamophobic but do not consider it to be harmful. Even though it is. Either way, it does not matter because it enables others to do the same and invites Islamophobes into their fanbases. And of course, bigots are rarely known to be selective in their prejudices.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2017-10-19 10:03pm

mr friendly guy wrote:
2017-10-19 09:58am
Both sides have engaged in intellectual dishonesty, which is why I keep an eye out on them (or used to) but don't identify as either.
Ah, a fellow drifter like me. :wink:

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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Dragon Angel » 2017-10-19 10:20pm

mr friendly guy wrote:
2017-10-19 06:46pm
1. I am pointing out what Thunderf00t did in that case is self defense. If you're going to take a feud off youtube videos into real life (because he criticises Anita) and try and get someone fired twice, gloat when you think you succeeded, then its self defense if he does it right back at you. Its very telling when one gives example of self defense and its spun by others as "you are arguing the other side does it too."
I'm talking about Anita because this branch of the conversation, and the video I linked, discusses his obsession with her and his dishonesty in his arguments. I have no idea who Laughing Witch or Jenny McDermott are, other than random two-bit no-names that are brought up to somehow equate what was done to Anita with what was done to Thunderf00t.

It's no secret that since the beginning of her channel, Anita has been bombarded with toxic harassment from the anti-SJW crowd. This was long before Tropes vs. Women was an idea. We even had people creating shit like the Punch Anita Sarkeesian flash game. Then she began the Tropes vs. Women Kickstarter, and the Internet collapsed in on itself. Harassment was ratcheted up to never before seen levels, and legions of Internet scum started to take every single letter of every single word in every single line against her. Even until today, as Kane deftly explained ( :lol: ) people still say she "scammed" donators of gajillions of dollars when she has, in fact, released many episodes of Tropes vs. Women and more. Actually, well, holding up to her end of the deal. These people are not operating on reality, but they are still causing distress to not only her but people around her. This has been happening for years and years.

Without knowing more into the context and background history, as I don't actually care to know a lot about Thunderf00t's personal life, one person who I have no clue about nor have people around me even mentioned on any occasion, who may as well just be a random face on Twitter, decided to try to get him fired. I don't know why she tried (I could take few guesses...) but let's just assume you are entirely correct that there was no justification and no substance for her actions.

Then yes, her actions sucked. However, and I want you to answer this: Does it actually compare with the legions that took their issues with Anita against her in real life? Including, I might remind, a terroristic threat that wanted to take down more than Anita. It's only become worse since then.

Thunderf00t's dishonesty regarding Anita and Feminist Frequency added and continues to add fuel to the ever burning garbage inferno surrounding her, and so it should be no surprise that people would associate his creepy obsession, as well as fans who take that obsession to the next level, with the groups and movements he is a part of. Those two people you brought up, while they may have or not done some stupid and horrible things, don't have nearly the reach and scale of Thunderf00t. You can't possibly reach an equation because they aren't remotely some significant percentage of feminist thought.
mr friendly guy wrote:
2017-10-19 06:46pm
2. I didn't say they are the only or pillars of feminist thought. Clearly there are lots of feminists with different views. However its not one person doing it, its a whole bunch of people putting their names on letters trying to get him fired. The SJW side (and since they identify in videos as SJW I don't know why we should use the "so called" SJWs) clearly has toxic people (who are atheists) as well and this article is spinning it as only one side has them.
I mean, if you take a large enough sample of people in any group on any side, you are bound to find some level of toxicity. The real question to ask is, how do the numbers and intensities of these toxic people actually compare to a set like "Thunderf00t fans" or "New New Atheists"? Are they really close to equivalent, or is it like comparing a backyard bonfire to the wildfires of the West Coast?

When one makes a general statement of "both sides are bad" there is an implicit assumption that "both sides" act equivalently in bad faith. It takes the actions of any side of an argument and puts them as equal to the actions of the other sides without context or nuance, and unless further elaborated upon will exactly be read as such. GamerGate tried to do this, for example, with their "GG has some bad people, sure, but anti-GG has been just as bad or worse!" line of "reasoning". When looking into their claims, it turned out that while there were a few people who acted out of line, many of the other "toxic" posts they cited were from people responding out of absolute stress from constant harassment, exasperated with every single person who refused to listen, or they were grossly misrepresented, or just plain fabricated against. GG would also not acknowledge the foundation of the reason for their stress, still presenting both sides as equivalent as if fighting the harassment was just as bad as committing it.

As far as those several people who did take the fight much too far, well, they suck. How much were they compared to the legions who fought on the side of GamerGate, though? This doesn't excuse those several people's actions, so don't take it that way, but pretending like one side isn't being more dishonest than the other here is utterly fooling yourself, and a nihilistic path that leads you to places like the United States' political situation, where Democrats are compared to be almost if not just as horribly evil as Republicans.

...

With regard to "SJW" as a label, I don't like it because it has absolutely no meaning at this point. Just a cover word for anyone the users of it don't like. There are some activists that label themselves it, but it could be either an ironic use or not. If unironic, then well, that's on them. I still don't like it but I'm not going to waste thought cycles around them believing it's somehow something meaningful.
mr friendly guy wrote:
2017-10-19 06:46pm
3. I didn't say Anita took it off YT into real life. I said some of Thunderf00ts detractors did. Interestingly they are Anita supporters, but that would be guilty by association fallacy if anyone try to spin that as some sort of significance. I won't do that, but the article clearly is spinning it that way when it writes TF makes videos criticising Anita and in the same sentence talks about UNRELATED people harassing her.
Others have talked about the whole trend argument here already so I won't touch on that, but... To be honest, I'm not very likely to put faith into the majority of Thunderf00t's complaints about his detractors because the level of dishonesty I've come to learn about him and his arguments is a level I'd now attribute to any other claims he's made. If he is this dishonest when it comes to representing Anita's opinions for example, how do I know he is actually honest when talking about people who dislike him? It's the boy-crying-wolf effect; his use of logic is such, too, that I'd even doubt words of his relating to his professional field without always second opinions confirming them.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2017-10-20 01:24am

This thread has been cleansed. Let it be noted that while it is my position that misogynists are scum of the earth, if they present an argument and don't take it too far they may persist in this forum. Kane Starkiller failed in the former and his posts have been removed. Responses have not been because those are actually decent.

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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by mr friendly guy » 2017-10-20 07:16am

Formless wrote:
2017-10-19 08:50pm
You want a formal standard of Islamophobia and practical examples? Here is a list of things you can watch for, but fuck, its not like it is even needed. Most of the time it speaks for itself, really. Observe.
Firstly, I am going to thank you for posting even though we have clashed before in the past and you most probably suspect I don't agree with you. I think you underestimate how many people don't see it when you say it speaks for itself. Frankly some of the criticism are no more than what Darth Wong levies out. And I don't still see what you're seeing, and I suspect a lot of people in the middle between the Left and the Right don't see it either.

I am sorry that I don't have time to go reply to all your post at the moment (but rest assured I did read them), so I will just go through your first example of why I am finding it hard to grasp the Islamnophobia claim.
Formless wrote:
2017-10-19 08:50pm
You want stereotyping? You want exaggeration? You want hysteria? Richard Dawkins, my friend:
tell me this isn't stereotypical wrote:Oh yes, I was forgetting. All those atheists beheading people, setting fire to them, cutting off their hands, cutting off their clitorises.

If you think atheists are violent you don't know what violence means.
So this is what kinds of religious violence he thinks of off the top of his head, huh? I would ask why he doesn't cite Klan rallies and stuff like that, but he actually answers that question in the next quote. Oh, and by the way, FGM hasn't got a thing to do with Islam, it predates the religion. It has to do with traditional African folk beliefs, and is practiced far, far away from Syria and Afghanistan. But it doesn't take an idiot to know he's referencing ISIS and Al Qaeda when he talks about beheaddings and cutting people's hands off. You know its stereotyping when the person can't even get their facts and context right.
1. So you're saying if he gives an Islamic example of religious violence, he has to also give a Christian one like Klan rallies as well? Most of Dawkins anti religious writings have been against Christians already. Is he obligated to give a buddhist example of religious violence as well as the Islamic one? Because this is what it sounds like to me reading your sentence, and its very hard to take criticism of Islamophobia seriously if that seems to be your argument.

2. The fact FGM precedes Islam doesn't mean we cannot draw associations with it. Lets do a quick thought experiement. Imagine a religion, lets call the Cult of Cyric, a religion which advocates capital punishment, and then its practioners become the majority and ruling class in the UK, US and China. Now these countries start or increase the existing rate of capital punishment and openly use religious justification instead of secular ones for capital punishment, are you going to say we can't blame that religion because capital punishment preceded that religion?

There is a higher association of FGM in regions predominantly Muslim (note I say regions, because countries split with Muslim and Christian populations show a marked difference in FGM rates). It could be something to do with Islam, but we aren't going to be able to even look into it if people assume the current prevalence of something can't be due to x because it originally started from y.

3. Stereotyping. With Jihadists, and certain muslims who do engage in FGM sure. But he is referring to all all or most of them just from that one statement? Possibly, if you take a really uncharitable interpretation. The only clear generalisation he used is on atheists, ie they all won't do the actions described.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-10-20 03:38pm

I haven't kept up with a lot of what Dawkin's been selling lately, but I don't really see how him being super-critical of Islam is that far out there. To a guy who's taken wide swing at Christianity over the years, Islam has to just be another group of people using the "word" of a violent magic sky-pixie to justify their bullshit. So, his baseline is going to be "they most likely suck" and he's going to focus on the worst-examples rather than something like the ten of thousands of Houston Muslims who mind their own and help out with shit like the Harvey relief effort.

I can't say I'm all that surprised. I've seen so much shit heaped on video games in my early life and the consumers of it that I'm leery of any "outside" (perceived or actual) personas entering the fray. I'm guilty of this with Anita. While she does make some good points (though many can be summed up as "duh" and "why do developers continue to do things that make them money?)", she also is willing to sling a surprising amount of misinformation, as do many of those types, when it comes to certain "safe" targets.

Like how they all love to beat up on Old Lara Croft. Cracked just took another swing at her recently and boiled her down to "boobs boobs boobs." Not to mention Anita's hilarious "nice to wear a jacket in a Tomb Raider game" line which was.... do these people even play the video games they rail against?

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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2017-10-20 04:04pm

mr friendly guy wrote:
2017-10-19 06:46pm
1. I am pointing out what Thunderf00t did in that case is self defense. If you're going to take a feud off youtube videos into real life (because he criticises Anita) and try and get someone fired twice, gloat when you think you succeeded, then its self defense if he does it right back at you. Its very telling when one gives example of self defense and its spun by others as "you are arguing the other side does it too."
I'm ... not sure you know what "self-defense" means? And I mean this completely independently of who Thunderf00t and Anita are, or the specifics of their situation. What you are describing is not "self-defense", it is a "counter-offensive". That may seem like nitpicking, but there's a difference. "Self-defense" would be taking actions to stop whatever Anita may or may not have been doing in "real life", not returning those actions in kind. If somebody eggs your house, it isn't self-defense to go egg their house, too, regardless of how justified the egging in-and-of-itself might be.

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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by mr friendly guy » 2017-10-20 07:57pm

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
2017-10-20 04:04pm
mr friendly guy wrote:
2017-10-19 06:46pm
1. I am pointing out what Thunderf00t did in that case is self defense. If you're going to take a feud off youtube videos into real life (because he criticises Anita) and try and get someone fired twice, gloat when you think you succeeded, then its self defense if he does it right back at you. Its very telling when one gives example of self defense and its spun by others as "you are arguing the other side does it too."
I'm ... not sure you know what "self-defense" means? And I mean this completely independently of who Thunderf00t and Anita are, or the specifics of their situation. What you are describing is not "self-defense", it is a "counter-offensive". That may seem like nitpicking, but there's a difference. "Self-defense" would be taking actions to stop whatever Anita may or may not have been doing in "real life", not returning those actions in kind. If somebody eggs your house, it isn't self-defense to go egg their house, too, regardless of how justified the egging in-and-of-itself might be.
Well it did kind of work to stop some Anita supporters. Basically TF complained about them taking a feud into real life and trying to get him fired. Laughing witch had a good laugh saying since she is self employed so she can't fire herself. Hilarity ensured as TF proved he could take this into real life and then she apologised and now keeps the feud on YT. I can see the difference between "self defense" and "counter offensive" as you described them, but in this case the counter offensive actually works to "stop whatever his opponents may have been doing in real life". Sometimes knowing that your opponent can hit you back is enough to stop things escalating.

I also appreciate how you guys aren't sure whether the examples I give are true, hence the "may or may not have been doing," but when they post videos of themselves signing letters to TF boss, post videos gloating when they think they won, post videos saying boo hoo I can't be fired because I am self employed, post videos of the apology, its not just because TF says so. I don't agree with everything TF says, but AFAIK he confines his vitriol to making videos saying my opponent's arguments / my opponents suck.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Formless » 2017-10-20 10:11pm

mr friendly guy wrote:I am sorry that I don't have time to go reply to all your post at the moment (but rest assured I did read them)
No problem, its a long post.
I think you underestimate how many people don't see it when you say it speaks for itself. Frankly some of the criticism are no more than what Darth Wong levies out. And I don't still see what you're seeing, and I suspect a lot of people in the middle between the Left and the Right don't see it either.
You know, Mike is no saint and he never claimed to be one. But you know, there is a pretty huge contingent of people who have come to the conclusion that Dawkins is at minimum an Angry Old Man. And a lot more who would find Dawkins statements pretty obviously anti-Islam... because that is clearly his intent most of the time. Yeah, I know, he hates all religions. But he clearly states that he does not hate all of them equally these days. And anyway, his approach to criticizing religion in general is... ineffective. Because there is always malice in his approach, and he does not hide it. Mike just mocks people for being stupid. I've never known him to make the kinds of broad unqualified statements that Dawkins is well known for.

But anyway, what I was trying to say is that a formal definition, while possible, is a smokescreen. Like Porn, we can often identify bigotry without the need for one. Assuming we ourselves are not the bigots, of course. :wink:

The thing I like about that list I linked to is that one need not fit all the criteria listed to qualify as an Islamophobe. And its not exhaustive either. Any and all of those sentiments are problematic, in their own ways. Dawkins certainly treats Islam as a monolithic entity, which is criteria #1. I have never seen or heard of him considering the socio-political nuances of the Shia-Sunni divide. Which are important, because Islamic Terrorism and violence is closely linked to this religious split. It does not seem to be relevant to him. His statements about how much more dangerous it is than Christianity can be seen as a form of distancing it from western society and its values. That would be criteria #2. In general, he is more likely to talk about the very physical dangers it poses, the violence and such. But when criticizing Christianity, his criticisms are often more about things like the anti-intellectual aspects and the dangers it poses to science. In a roundabout way, that would fit criteria #3 and #4. Islam as he portrays it is more barbaric than the West, without respecting the historical context of how the West fucked up the Islamic world for its own ends. Which makes us look pretty fucking barbaric. #5 doesn't seem to apply to him, because of his political incompetence in general. I don't know if he's ever dismissed criticisms of the West coming from Muslims, but knowing him I really would not be surprised. He has, at one point, equated "multiculturalism" in Europe with letting Europe become overrun by Islam, which is pretty damn stupid. And another example of him being Islamophobic and not even bothering to hide it. For more information, see here (also includes examples of Sam Harris's islamophobia). And of course, like any phobia there is a component of fear, and Dawkins has certainly indicated he fears Islam every time he calls it dangerous. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. And like I said, Dawkins is definitely an Angry Old Man...
1. So you're saying if he gives an Islamic example of religious violence, he has to also give a Christian one like Klan rallies as well?
Not specifically, but if I were to post examples of religious violence I would indeed be a lot more diverse in my examples because I think that if religious violence is important enough to talk about, I should either be even handed or if I am going to be selective I'm going to pick the most relevant forms of such violence to where I actually live-- and that isn' Islamic terrorism despite how much attention it gets on TV. That's why later in my post I note the Avaliability Heuristic as one reason I think his reasoning is tainted by prejudice; Islamic terrorism is easy to recall because it is more visible in the news. But Christian violence is still very real, and never talked about by Dawkins anymore.
Most of Dawkins anti religious writings have been against Christians already. Is he obligated to give a buddhist example of religious violence as well as the Islamic one? Because this is what it sounds like to me reading your sentence, and its very hard to take criticism of Islamophobia seriously if that seems to be your argument.
You see, what you are missing is that there are multiple stereotypes I'm highlighting. The geographical stereotype, as I mentioned earlier-- he alludes to multiple kinds of violence but they don not come from the same parts of the Islamic world. And its not just that he put forth examples of stuff Islamic terrorists have done, he left out the part where "Islamic terrorism" isn't just a religious phenomenon despite the name. But he assumes that his audience will understand what he is talking about, given the kind of troll he's answering to (a guy who thinks atheists are violent-- certainly Dawkins rhetoric can leave that impression). Now, that's stereotype #1 in the post. Stereotype #2, and the bigger one...
2. The fact FGM precedes Islam doesn't mean we cannot draw associations with it. Lets do a quick thought experiement. Imagine a religion, lets call the Cult of Cyric, a religion which advocates capital punishment, and then its practioners become the majority and ruling class in the UK, US and China. Now these countries start or increase the existing rate of capital punishment and openly use religious justification instead of secular ones for capital punishment, are you going to say we can't blame that religion because capital punishment preceded that religion?

There is a higher association of FGM in regions predominantly Muslim (note I say regions, because countries split with Muslim and Christian populations show a marked difference in FGM rates). It could be something to do with Islam, but we aren't going to be able to even look into it if people assume the current prevalence of something can't be due to x because it originally started from y.

3. Stereotyping. With Jihadists, and certain muslims who do engage in FGM sure. But he is referring to all all or most of them just from that one statement? Possibly, if you take a really uncharitable interpretation. The only clear generalisation he used is on atheists, ie they all won't do the actions described.
...is that FGM is associated with Islamic terrorism, and really, has much if anything to do with Islam at all. That's a stereotype, both outside of Islam and amazingly, within it. Your point is based on the misconception: there is no evidence that it became more prevalent after Islam than before, and the places where it is most prevalent are far away from Islam's origin point. We know Muhammad was aware of it because its mentioned in the Hadith, but it is NOT mentioned in the Quran. It was a cultural practice which attached itself to Islam after the fact. I had to have this misconception beaten out of my head by an actual anthropologist. Why did I ever believe that they were related? Because Islamophobes like Dawkins keep repeating this nonsense. And its a dangerous meme to repeat. The people practicing FGM... are mostly women. Not men. Women.

Christians in those countries also practice FGM. But no one makes the mistake of blaming their religion in that case. It seems all too few people even know the real reason they do it. Yes it is mentioned in the Hadith, but in actual studies, the occurrence of FGM correlates most closely to social obligations/social pressures, access to information and education, and male control over female sexuality. See, men in these areas actually dislike the smell of the vagina, dislike its appearance, and actually like that it causes vaginal dryness because that's how they like to have sex. I have no idea why. Of course, aesthetics are a cultural phenomenon... much like religion. Of course they also use it to enforce virginity and chastity, depending on the method of FGM practiced (and there are many). As for education, these are people who often think that it is somehow hygienic, and it has been shown that when they find out that the opposite is true-- that it causes medical problems for women-- their support for FGM goes right out the window. There is also a large misconception among Muslims in these countries that it is a religious obligation. This again is not true, because it is not mentioned once in the Quran. It is mentioned in the Hadith exactly once, but the Hadith is just a bunch of crap Muhammad said that was recorded for posterity. Setting aside how much or how little certain Muslims care about the Hadith in general, this mention is vague as to how it should be interpreted. I do not think FGM should even be a religious talking point per-say, because it is clear that pre-existing beliefs about women's chastity and hygiene attached themselves to a convenient religious excuse. Its actually the perfect example of my point about how the specific religious community is the most relevant thing to what an individual believes, because the interpretations vary greatly depending upon exactly where you are. For the most part, the worst you can say about the religion at large regarding FGM is that most scholars agree that it is permissible, even if they don't think it is required. They refuse to accept that Muhammad was an ignoramus on this point. But they aren't the ones responsible for actually perpetuating the act, and there are many Muslims now who reject it for the aforementioned reasons. In fact, a majority view seems to be that "harmful methods are to be avoided." Obviously unlike male circumcision there is no harmless method, but convincing them of that is the real issue.

But many of the women who practice FGM are illiterate. If they've never read the Quran, and everyone they know says that its required of a Muslim woman, that's what they are going to do. They don't know where in their religion it says they must practice it, they don't know that there is confusion as to how to interpret the Hadith. And it also explains some of the Christians who practice it, because when you ask them they also think its part of their religion! That of course is flat wrong. There is no mention of it in any Christian text at all. In all of these cases, it only continues because of illiteracy and cultural inertia. Period.

In fact, I would say that it is dangerous to associate it with Islamic Terrorism, because these are people who are actually highly influenced by what the West thinks and how it interacts with their religion. Currently only the Muslim Brotherhood If you want to deal with FGM, you have to deal with its practitioners with compassion and education, and that means entering a dialogue that is tolerant and understanding. NOT Full Frontal Richard Dawkins. You have to end it from inside their culture. Education, in general and on health specifically, and even engaging with religious scholars to convince them within their religious framework that it has no real place in society. And indeed, in Mauritania and northern Somalia there were even Fatwas signed by a bunch of Islamic scholars banning FGM so that people in those countries and regions could not use Islam as an excuse. Change on this issue can come from within... once it is recognized that it being a requirement in Islam is a stereotype and a misconception even within Islamic nations.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2017-10-21 07:57am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-10-19 08:01am
My own honest impression is that at least on this forum, we see the "drop rocks on blue alienoids" crowd getting mobbed and yelled at rather than supported, and the redpill types don't even bother to show up.
It certainly seemed different during different eras of the board, like during its heydays of mucho flamewaring.
I'm not saying the "angry nerd whose anger makes him susceptible to right-wing bullshit that appeals to his frustrated testosterone and sense of intellectual superiority" demographic isn't real, mind you.

But:

1) I don't think it's remotely accurate to say that those guys moved as a whole to the alt-right.

2) I don't like the attitude that we can just push a few 'nerd stereotype' buttons and use them to prove anything we want about anybody. Among other things, because creating a culture where the left gets bonus points when it decides to make fun of nerds is going to be bad in the long run
I think to be able to perceive this type of demographic and critique it would make the critic someone who's been around the scene for a while, who's seen a lot and who most certainly ain't a casual (like randos who see a Milo Yianopopopoopylous video and nod without knowing who the guy is) and who can make this observation... are mega nerds in themselves.
Yeah, but it's like trying to compress all feminism into the one-dimensional "look at these cases of people being slandered and humiliated unfairly by Tumblr feminists" and spending all your time going lolololol about Ess-Jay-Double-Yous without actually bothering to engage or discuss with any feminist arguments of substance. It's so convenient a way of avoiding having to pay serious attention to someone whose opinions you dislike that it just seems... wrong... to me.
Is this article, or people's approach towards alt-right redpillers, really just the alternative of going "omg SJWs na-na-na-na"? Because from what I've seen, while this article isn't a step by step refutation of morons (it's more like charting the scene), elsewhere people DO do detailed takedowns of alt-right redpill dark enlightenment talking points in more meaningful ways than their counterparts at Brietbart or whatever.

I mean, shit, once upon a time I read and laughed at Maddox' articles shitting on feminists so.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-10-23 10:53am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
2017-10-21 07:57am
Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-10-19 08:01am
My own honest impression is that at least on this forum, we see the "drop rocks on blue alienoids" crowd getting mobbed and yelled at rather than supported, and the redpill types don't even bother to show up.
It certainly seemed different during different eras of the board, like during its heydays of mucho flamewaring.
Perhaps so.
I'm not saying the "angry nerd whose anger makes him susceptible to right-wing bullshit that appeals to his frustrated testosterone and sense of intellectual superiority" demographic isn't real, mind you.

But:

1) I don't think it's remotely accurate to say that those guys moved as a whole to the alt-right.

2) I don't like the attitude that we can just push a few 'nerd stereotype' buttons and use them to prove anything we want about anybody. Among other things, because creating a culture where the left gets bonus points when it decides to make fun of nerds is going to be bad in the long run
I think to be able to perceive this type of demographic and critique it would make the critic someone who's been around the scene for a while, who's seen a lot and who most certainly ain't a casual (like randos who see a Milo Yianopopopoopylous video and nod without knowing who the guy is) and who can make this observation... are mega nerds in themselves.
I don't think it's quite that simple. There are a lot of people who can say "look at those angry neckbeards" who are NOT themselves members of the group being stereotyped as "neckbeards."
Yeah, but it's like trying to compress all feminism into the one-dimensional "look at these cases of people being slandered and humiliated unfairly by Tumblr feminists" and spending all your time going lolololol about Ess-Jay-Double-Yous without actually bothering to engage or discuss with any feminist arguments of substance. It's so convenient a way of avoiding having to pay serious attention to someone whose opinions you dislike that it just seems... wrong... to me.
Is this article, or people's approach towards alt-right redpillers, really just the alternative of going "omg SJWs na-na-na-na"?
I feel like this specific article is, but other actions taken by other people in other times and places are not.

This specific article is about how the alt-right redpillers are such nasty angry nerds, because it's still socially acceptable to make fun of nerds. As a nerd, I don't appreciate that, even if it's being used as a weapon against a political group I despise.

It's like, if you were a medieval Jew, and you saw a prominent local politician ranting about Jewish moneylenders, using customary anti-Jewish sterotypes, you might be a little worried, even if you yourself hate moneylenders of all religions and wish they would all go play hopscotch in a minefield (or, this being medieval times, caltrop-field I guess).

Because it is not a large step from using casual anti-Jewish stereotyping against the moneylenders to using it against all Jews, including the ones who have never lent money, don't intend to lend money, and in fact hate moneylenders. No matter how much you despise the moneylenders, you cannot be comfortable having them be targeted using stereotypes that apply to your own subgroup.

Now, unlike medieval Jews, nerds are not in danger of being pogromed to death. However, when the wrath of activism is fully armed and operational, it CAN cause people to lose their jobs, be publicly humiliated and threatened, and shut down their entire social circle and activities. It is not the ultimate power, but it is a power. And seeing that power being aimed by people who use anti-nerd stereotypes as part of their targeting data troubles me.
Because from what I've seen, while this article isn't a step by step refutation of morons (it's more like charting the scene), elsewhere people DO do detailed takedowns of alt-right redpill dark enlightenment talking points in more meaningful ways than their counterparts at Brietbart or whatever.
Sure, but I am specifically critiquing this article, this particular thing in this time and place. Not some overall culture or practice in which many people do many different things at different times in different places.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-10-23 01:07pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-10-23 10:53am
Now, unlike medieval Jews, nerds are not in danger of being pogromed to death. However, when the wrath of activism is fully armed and operational, it CAN cause people to lose their jobs, be publicly humiliated and threatened, and shut down their entire social circle and activities. It is not the ultimate power, but it is a power. And seeing that power being aimed by people who use anti-nerd stereotypes as part of their targeting data troubles me.
Yes, I'm not exactly crying for angry doods on the Interwebs (or even myself), but I'm laughing at all these tweets and articles about how these poopsocking losers nerds who can't get laid are the worst ever because they have the power of "nerdrage" on the Interwebs. So, you've got Pro Football players talking about how we need to beat them up and all this other jazz and I'm just laughing since it's like Revenge of the Nerds in reverse. I mean, those guys were dipshits because "Hollywood" what with the illegal video cameras and "date-rape" bullshit.

But it's like "Nerds found a place they can be the bully, SHUT IT DOWN!" And I think, if I had little going on in real life, I'd be like "Fuck You. I was here first."

I'm not justifying anything, just kind of explaining: "Nerds" dove into the Internet because it was a place they could congregate in numbers to get away from a general populace that didn't like them and they didn't share many interests with. Most of my friends didn't give two fucks about Shadowrun, but damn they loved some football. So, aside from 2-3 friends, I found most of my interactions in that vein on them Interwebs.

And now normal people are diving into the Internet in droves and they run into nerds. And those normal people are like "beat up the nerds, they like things I don't like. The medium they dumped millions into is now ours, stop making anything I don't like."

Normal people just ruin fucking everything. There were so many good FPS games in the past. And they were distinctly different even at a glance. But you really think nerds got us through over a decade of CoD and Battlefield rehashes? And it's not limited to just that. Two words: "Reality Television."

I've never really bought the idea that even "neckbeards" were all that much more racist, sexist, or just angry than the average normal person. Especially on the Internet. These Nerds just seem more capable of doing damage since they can be much more technically competent and understand how the Internet works in more than a "click to Like this post" sort of way.

But I cannot tell you the number of friends and acquaintances I've been like "Holy shit, that's.... incredibly racist/sexist. I had no idea he/she was like that" once they hammered me with a Facebook friends request from them. It's like how we thought Counter-Strike was the worst online attitudes could get. Then XBLive came out and anyone with two brain cells to rub together could now game online and the world was that much poorer for it.

And for the record, Counter-Strike WAS the XBLive of it's day as it was (relatively) an easy game to install, find a server, and could run on a toaster. So, that pushed a lot of it's popularity and it became the goto for "not gamers."

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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Civil War Man » 2017-10-24 12:00pm

I'm also largely with Shroom on this, since I see a lot of overlap between the New Atheist and Anti-Feminist mindsets. There is some stereotyping going on, but I think less than some in this thread suspect, since there is often an incorrect conflating of atheism and Atheism, as if the two are the same thing. The former is a descriptor, the latter is an identity. An atheist simply lacks belief in a god. They are usually not particularly invested in the topic beyond maybe an academic curiosity, and do not begrudge someone who chooses to believe what they do not as long as that other person is not obnoxious about it. Meanwhile, an Atheist, since non-belief is one of the central pillars of their identity, more often than not rejects belief in a god, and frequently becomes evangelical in their Atheism out of a desire to destroy the beliefs of others. At this point, they will frequently demonize those they deem insufficiently ideologically pure, and a distressingly large number have latched onto women and/or racial minorities as their chosen enemies.

You can actually see this with a lot of things, where a benign descriptor mutates into a completely different creature once it becomes the central part of someone's identity. See, for example, white vs White, gamer vs Gamer, etc.

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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-10-24 07:45pm

The thing is, the collective force of the left-wing Internet and its political activists...

Yeah, it isn't actually going to try to beat up on "atheism," because that includes a pretty significant chunk of its own membership that isn't religious and/or views religious institutions with suspicion.

But by golly it can beat up on nerds! Because even if it does have nerds within its own ranks, that won't matter; it seldom if ever stops the jocks and queen-bee types from beating up on the nerds.

So while I don't have a problem with people calling out alt-righters for being alt-righters, I do dislike the attempt to paint them as extra-nerdy nerdariffic nerds all stereotypically smug in their supposed intellectual superiority. Simply because I'm worried that shit may splash farther than it was meant to by the person flinging it.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Gandalf » 2017-10-24 07:49pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
2017-10-21 07:57am
Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-10-19 08:01am
My own honest impression is that at least on this forum, we see the "drop rocks on blue alienoids" crowd getting mobbed and yelled at rather than supported, and the redpill types don't even bother to show up.
It certainly seemed different during different eras of the board, like during its heydays of mucho flamewaring.
Change out "blue people" for Jesus and "drop rocks" for some super duper (not cancelled by McNamara) missile. Because it fit the board's orthodoxy so perfectly, people leaped to be a part of what was essentially a strange atheistic wank where superscience defeats puny gods.

"Defeat dumb people with the gods of MILITARY SCIENCE" may as well be the motto of the board. :P
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-10-24 11:49pm

To be fair, the demons and angels getting trashed in the Salvation War fics were pretty nasty characters, not a bunch of innocent alienoids who happened to be living on top of some rocks we wanted.

There's a gap between enjoying a story where aggressive but weak antagonists are readily defeated (or defeated after a prolonged stalemate of "we can't get to them," as with the second story Stuart did), and enjoying a story where genuinely innocent non-aggressive groups are crushed for the lulz or the dominance or whatever.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2017-10-25 12:11am

mr friendly guy wrote:
2017-10-20 07:57pm
Well it did kind of work to stop some Anita supporters. Basically TF complained about them taking a feud into real life and trying to get him fired. Laughing witch had a good laugh saying since she is self employed so she can't fire herself. Hilarity ensured as TF proved he could take this into real life and then she apologised and now keeps the feud on YT. I can see the difference between "self defense" and "counter offensive" as you described them, but in this case the counter offensive actually works to "stop whatever his opponents may have been doing in real life". Sometimes knowing that your opponent can hit you back is enough to stop things escalating.
You still aren't getting it. Let's continue with the house egging example, since you are apparently too emotionally invested in this weird feud (seriously, do you really think calling one party in this a 'laughing witch' is going to strengthen or endear anyone to your position?).

If you walk outside your front door, and somebody is egging your house, and you throw something at them to get them to stop egging your house at that moment, that is self-defense. If you walk outside your front door, and somebody is egging your house, and then you go and egg THEIR house, that is not self-defense. Your bizarre insistence that escalation in and of itself is "enough to stop things escalating" is truly bizarre.
mr friendly guy wrote:
2017-10-20 07:57pm
I also appreciate how you guys aren't sure whether the examples I give are true, hence the "may or may not have been doing," but when they post videos of themselves signing letters to TF boss, post videos gloating when they think they won, post videos saying boo hoo I can't be fired because I am self employed, post videos of the apology, its not just because TF says so.
This sentence is actual gibberish. It's just a run-on with no apparent subject or predicate.

Anyway, it's clear you are just way too emotionally wrapped up in this issue to actually have a sensible discussion on it. I took pains to abstract my last post to not make ANY specific claims about EITHER party in the debate, simply to contest your characterization of it as self-defense. Yet, you somehow managed to interpret that as some sort of attack on TF's credibility (I think that's what you are saying, but the above quoted sentence is such a mess I can't really understand what point you are making other than RARGH HOW DARE YOU).

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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by mr friendly guy » 2017-10-25 07:16am

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
2017-10-25 12:11am

You still aren't getting it. Let's continue with the house egging example, since you are apparently too emotionally invested in this weird feud (seriously, do you really think calling one party in this a 'laughing witch' is going to strengthen or endear anyone to your position?).
Er, I had a good laugh at what happened for a few days like a couple of other youtuber's who kept up with "youtube drama" and then moved on and didn't really bring it up until this thread. I am not sure what you mean by too emotionally invested in it given what happened. And the poster actually used the name "Laughing Witch," as her youtube handle. I used it to indicate who I am talking about, not to endear my argument to anyone. I mean, what should I call her but by her own chosen youtube handle?
If you walk outside your front door, and somebody is egging your house, and you throw something at them to get them to stop egging your house at that moment, that is self-defense. If you walk outside your front door, and somebody is egging your house, and then you go and egg THEIR house, that is not self-defense. Your bizarre insistence that escalation in and of itself is "enough to stop things escalating" is truly bizarre.
I find it mind boggling you don't think that in some cases escalation stops the other side escalating further. Even if you ignore every example of counter offensives in military campaigns, or ignore the game theory logic behind MAD, in this particular case TF got what he wanted. The other person apologised and keeps criticism on youtube instead of taking it into real life. Thus proving my "bizarre" point.

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
2017-10-25 12:11am
Anyway, it's clear you are just way too emotionally wrapped up in this issue to actually have a sensible discussion on it. I took pains to abstract my last post to not make ANY specific claims about EITHER party in the debate, simply to contest your characterization of it as self-defense. Yet, you somehow managed to interpret that as some sort of attack on TF's credibility (I think that's what you are saying, but the above quoted sentence is such a mess I can't really understand what point you are making other than RARGH HOW DARE YOU).
Ok my mistake. Got you mixed up with Dragon Angel who posted something alone the lines "but let's just assume you are entirely correct that there was no justification and no substance for her actions". Sorry, my bad.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-10-25 12:13pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-10-24 07:45pm
But by golly it can beat up on nerds! Because even if it does have nerds within its own ranks, that won't matter; it seldom if ever stops the jocks and queen-bee types from beating up on the nerds.
I guess the love affair between trendy assholes and nerds is done. It's claimed to have started around the time Big Bang Theory came out, but I recall it starting earlier than that.

This also reminds me of the whole GamerGate fiasco in that there's a lot of intellectual cowardice in not wanting to take a swing at "normal people."

If we distill all the bad eggs into a stereotype we can attack, we placate one side without pissing off another. WRT GamerGate: I'm sorry, for every "neckbeard" behind it, there's probably 2 Bud Light swilling Texans Fan who also love to cuss people out in CoD matches. "Neckbeards" didn't just start out-breeding everyone and dominate the demographic.

Society kind of fell in love with the loveable nerd loser we've learned about from all those teen movies. Though people still don't like dealing with actual nerds. My wife likes Skyrim, but has no interest in talking about the insanity of the Lore or even the more mundane stuff like the basis for the Civil War. It's not her thing. Me trying to talk about it annoys her. That's fine.

But like with "Gamers," she's lumped into the same group as me. Which is also fine. DudeBros are as well. Also fine. However, then people are saying sexist and racist shit online. What's the problem? Obviously not the normal woman and normal guy. It's this caricature fat poopsocking loser nerd who got too big for his britches and needs to be put back in his place. Quick Quick, ditch the "We are all Gamers" buzz-phrase and start finding someone we can blame all this shit on. "I don't want to analyze issues with society at large! GET ME SOMEONE I CAN RANT ABOUT and without offending anyone who gives me money!"

Then we can talk about how all our problems are caused by this small subset of society who are juggernauts on them Interwebs. I mean, it's not like men with power in the real world go around molesting men and women constantly or anything. Nope, "normal people" are great.

tl;dr: It's just funny to me because you can look at near any slice of society's "bad eggs" (especially in Entertainment and Politics) and it's near always the "Good, honest, handsome, normal-ass normal-people" just fucking everything up.

But somehow, the Internet gets involved and it's these Dark Web nerds even though the advent of Facebook (the monolithization (sic) of the Internet, really though) means normal people and business have hit the Internet is droves and basically own the fucking thing now. And things are getting worse and worse, but hey, there's no way they could be part of the problem. Good God Fearing Folk. Every one of them.

I'm not even saying those people aren't a large part of the problem. But they still need "boots on the ground." On those boots come from somewhere. And you need a lot more soldiers than you do leaders.

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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2017-10-26 03:14am

On one hand I don't think casual people are less likely to be racists or whatever, but when it comes to obsessively lurking on the net and spending hours on flamewars or explaining their nonsense pseudo-science on why there's only two genders or fixating on whatever dirt they can come up with Horrible People who dare to blog about Feminism in Games or something, that's something beyond the scope of a "normie" - and let's face it, that degree of fixation is typical for nerd communities, whether it's constructive or benign or... not.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-10-24 07:45pm
The thing is, the collective force of the left-wing Internet and its political activists...

Yeah, it isn't actually going to try to beat up on "atheism," because that includes a pretty significant chunk of its own membership that isn't religious and/or views religious institutions with suspicion.

But by golly it can beat up on nerds! Because even if it does have nerds within its own ranks, that won't matter; it seldom if ever stops the jocks and queen-bee types from beating up on the nerds.
But I really think that it's very similar - you say that it's not truly beating up on general "atheism" cause a lot of them are atheists... but it's the same damn thing with "nerds."

What kind of jocks would there be in left-wing political activism anyway?
So while I don't have a problem with people calling out alt-righters for being alt-righters, I do dislike the attempt to paint them as extra-nerdy nerdariffic nerds all stereotypically smug in their supposed intellectual superiority. Simply because I'm worried that shit may splash farther than it was meant to by the person flinging it.
I don't think it's quite that simple. There are a lot of people who can say "look at those angry neckbeards" who are NOT themselves members of the group being stereotyped as "neckbeards."
As a neckbeard I pretty much agree with it though. It's like me getting tired of dour SDNWers for being nerds. Or nerdy Testingstanis getting smarmy at The Smartest Board in the Internet intellectual crucibloids. :lol:

Sure, you can say that a lot of non-nerds can use this as a bludgeoning tool. But, screw it, liberal Christians, liberal Muslims, etc. can likewise have their critiques on fundamentalist sects be misused by New Atheists and ____-phobes. :D
It's like, if you were a medieval Jew, and you saw a prominent local politician ranting about Jewish moneylenders, using customary anti-Jewish sterotypes, you might be a little worried, even if you yourself hate moneylenders of all religions and wish they would all go play hopscotch in a minefield (or, this being medieval times, caltrop-field I guess).

Because it is not a large step from using casual anti-Jewish stereotyping against the moneylenders to using it against all Jews, including the ones who have never lent money, don't intend to lend money, and in fact hate moneylenders. No matter how much you despise the moneylenders, you cannot be comfortable having them be targeted using stereotypes that apply to your own subgroup.

Now, unlike medieval Jews, nerds are not in danger of being pogromed to death. However, when the wrath of activism is fully armed and operational, it CAN cause people to lose their jobs, be publicly humiliated and threatened, and shut down their entire social circle and activities. It is not the ultimate power, but it is a power. And seeing that power being aimed by people who use anti-nerd stereotypes as part of their targeting data troubles me.
I would say that there's been a normalization of nerdiness - the whole world is now obviously being shaped by nerds and it's undeniable for normies and they've gotta get nerdy in order to feed themselves and appreciate the biggaton blockbusters on air - and I think there's a more accurate description than your medieval Jew example, that would be modern Israeli occupation policies, the furor over "Zionism," and how this can veer into outright anti-Semitism and yet at the same time the critiques can also come from Jewish people themselves.

I think it's blurry.
Sure, but I am specifically critiquing this article, this particular thing in this time and place. Not some overall culture or practice in which many people do many different things at different times in different places.
I'd say that this article is just build on that pre-exsting environment or direction of critique, hence the lack of "coordinate establishment" or something.

Baffler's an art critique site too, so I think it's nerd as fuck.

So, I don't really know. I mean we have everyone from Hayao Miyazaki to comic book creators who are minorities, critique nerd culture's pathologies - bemoaning otaku, etc. Coming from people who've actually made or shaped a fair portion of the nerd landscape. So I've been mulling over it since forever. I'm more than used to "it" coming from within the community, even from big established figures of that community, so maybe I'm thicker-skinned towards the "oh no the jocks."

I really think this is more like a secular or moderate or liberal Jewish person becoming alarmed at - and critiquing severely - the likes of Netanyahoos and those women-assaulting penguin-dressed orthodox fundamentalists and other lunatic warmongerers and diet ethnic cleansers who, if we go at length on, will result in our violation of IvP rules. :lol:

Or responsible gun-owners contrasting with shitty gun-owners and gun culture fallout. And organized NRA's utter irresponsibility towards the gun issue.

Yes, that's it. Nerd R-something Association.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Jub » 2017-10-26 05:49am

Formless wrote:
2017-10-20 10:11pm
The thing I like about that list I linked to is that one need not fit all the criteria listed to qualify as an Islamophobe. And its not exhaustive either. Any and all of those sentiments are problematic, in their own ways. Dawkins certainly treats Islam as a monolithic entity, which is criteria #1.
When you dislike the entire idea of a religion why should you need to go into details about it? If I were to attack Christianity by going after the Bible and what is written there, why should I have to talk specifically about the Catholic-Protestant divide and the later divergences from that split? To go even further, if I were to attack a religion by going after the teachings of its core holy writ, why should I even have to touch on how it is/has actually been worshipped at all?
In general, he is more likely to talk about the very physical dangers it poses, the violence and such. But when criticizing Christianity, his criticisms are often more about things like the anti-intellectual aspects and the dangers it poses to science.
If Christianity was in the news for the same scale of organized violence that ISIS has been known for I'm sure he would talk about that. He's not making the same arguments for each is justified by the fact that followers of one system are engaged in acts that followers of the other are not.

Your argument is like complaining that reviews of two packages for the same car aren't the same when one package is known to catch fire and the other is simply an uncomfortable noisy fuel guzzler. The second set of points may apply to the first package in equal or greater measure, but one can be forgiven for instead focusing on the fact that it catches fire.
Islam as he portrays it is more barbaric than the West, without respecting the historical context of how the West fucked up the Islamic world for its own ends. Which makes us look pretty fucking barbaric.
Is this ignoring that the Islamic world had done the same to the West at other points in history and only failed to keep doing so once the West secured a large advantage in economy and technology, or are you going to gloss over the things that make the Islamic World look barbaric?
Not specifically, but if I were to post examples of religious violence I would indeed be a lot more diverse in my examples because I think that if religious violence is important enough to talk about, I should either be even handed or if I am going to be selective I'm going to pick the most relevant forms of such violence to where I actually live-- and that isn' Islamic terrorism despite how much attention it gets on TV. That's why later in my post I note the Avaliability Heuristic as one reason I think his reasoning is tainted by prejudice; Islamic terrorism is easy to recall because it is more visible in the news. But Christian violence is still very real, and never talked about by Dawkins anymore.
Or you could pick the third option and go after the most visible example in hopes of using it to sway your target audience the furthest with time and effort you have at your disposal. This is a pretty common sense approach to most forms of public debate and this board is guilty of the same things. For example, we post more about the police shooting people than the police themselves getting shot and by your measure that should be far more equal. It isn't, and likely will never be, because only one side of that pair makes the news and circulates here.
You see, what you are missing is that there are multiple stereotypes I'm highlighting. The geographical stereotype, as I mentioned earlier-- he alludes to multiple kinds of violence but they don not come from the same parts of the Islamic world.
If he's attacking a religion and not a region why should he care where each data point comes from geographically? Muslims are, or have very recently, committed mass murder in the name of Islam on a scale that hasn't been done in the name of Christ in hundreds of years. FGM is mostly practiced in Muslim nations so even if Christians do it too that doesn't change the fact that it's happening in a Muslim nation and often due to a mistaken belief that their religion requires it. I could go on but the key point is that when attacking a religion one needn't confine their arguments to any one geographic region.
...is that FGM is associated with Islamic terrorism, and really, has much if anything to do with Islam at all. That's a stereotype, both outside of Islam and amazingly, within it. Your point is based on the misconception: there is no evidence that it became more prevalent after Islam than before, and the places where it is most prevalent are far away from Islam's origin point. We know Muhammad was aware of it because its mentioned in the Hadith, but it is NOT mentioned in the Quran. It was a cultural practice which attached itself to Islam after the fact. I had to have this misconception beaten out of my head by an actual anthropologist.
You're the one conflating FGM and terrorism. It sounds to me like Dawkins was just listing off shitty things that go hand in hand with Islam and you're reading into it.
Christians in those countries also practice FGM. But no one makes the mistake of blaming their religion in that case.
That's like saying that people in Canada tend to speak some English in that of course people living in a place where a thing is common will also do that thing.
Yes it is mentioned in the Hadith,

...Which is a major component of most Muslim belief systems. You can't argue that Dawkins isn't looking at the whole religion while at the same time ignoring that the Hadith is a part of most Islamic beliefs.
There is also a large misconception among Muslims in these countries that it is a religious obligation.
By your own argument doesn't this make it a part of the religion? If, as you say, most people don't know a holy text word for word, isn't their personal or communal interpretation of what they do recall as much their religion as what is written in a specific text? Again, you can't have this both ways, either a religion is just the text and can be attacked without concern for geographic and political nuance or the text matters only in so far as it informs the actions of its followers and thus a religion can be attacked by point out the flaws of those who follow it. So which is it? If it is both, then is it not fair that both be attacked even by the same person?
It is mentioned in the Hadith exactly once, but the Hadith is just a bunch of crap Muhammad said that was recorded for posterity. Setting aside how much or how little certain Muslims care about the Hadith in general, this mention is vague as to how it should be interpreted. I do not think FGM should even be a religious talking point per-say, because it is clear that pre-existing beliefs about women's chastity and hygiene attached themselves to a convenient religious excuse.
Which is different from how other religions have evolved regionally how exactly? This is like arguing that the practices of a black church in the southern US aren't religious because they piggybacked some current practices off of the various cultures that the slaves brought with them from Africa. In short this argument is meritless.
the worst you can say about the religion at large regarding FGM is that most scholars agree that it is permissible, even if they don't think it is required. They refuse to accept that Muhammad was an ignoramus on this point.
And this alone damns them. You don't get to claim your religion is good when it finds FGM permissible.

As much as I dislike the other Abrahamic cults, at least you won't hear the Pope arguing anything other than FGM being disgusting. The same goes for pretty much any Pastor or even Rabbi one might care to name.
But they aren't the ones responsible for actually perpetuating the act
Nor was the withholding of condoms by the Catholic church directly spreading AIDs in Africa but that didn't stop this very board for ripping into them for it. Why should Islam get a pass for doing something equally disgusting when they have the power to enable a positive change?
But many of the women who practice FGM are illiterate. If they've never read the Quran, and everyone they know says that its required of a Muslim woman, that's what they are going to do. They don't know where in their religion it says they must practice it, they don't know that there is confusion as to how to interpret the Hadith. And it also explains some of the Christians who practice it, because when you ask them they also think its part of their religion! That of course is flat wrong. There is no mention of it in any Christian text at all. In all of these cases, it only continues because of illiteracy and cultural inertia. Period.
The practices of those who follow a religion, especially when that practice is done in the name of said religion, are part of that religion even if it is not a part of the religious text.
In fact, I would say that it is dangerous to associate it with Islamic Terrorism, because these are people who are actually highly influenced by what the West thinks and how it interacts with their religion. Currently only the Muslim Brotherhood If you want to deal with FGM, you have to deal with its practitioners with compassion and education, and that means entering a dialogue that is tolerant and understanding.


Why are we expected to bend a knee to them when it is clear that they are in the wrong? For all that our actions have or haven't influenced them, they are still the ones mutilating women of their own volition. They are forsaking education in much the same way.
You want stereotyping? You want exaggeration? You want hysteria? Richard Dawkins, my friend:
tell me this isn't stereotypical wrote:Oh yes, I was forgetting. All those atheists beheading people, setting fire to them, cutting off their hands, cutting off their clitorises.

If you think atheists are violent you don't know what violence means.
Is his comparison somehow false just because you disagree with the tone? Because it seems to me that you're just looking to white knight for a barbaric religion.
So this is what kinds of religious violence he thinks of off the top of his head, huh?
Why shouldn't he when this violence is in the news and, until very recently, the Klan was not.
Oh, and by the way, FGM hasn't got a thing to do with Islam, it predates the religion. It has to do with traditional African folk beliefs, and is practiced far, far away from Syria and Afghanistan. But it doesn't take an idiot to know he's referencing ISIS and Al Qaeda when he talks about beheadings and cutting people's hands off. You know its stereotyping when the person can't even get their facts and context right.
Isn't the Muslim Brotherhood which does practice FGM also in that region and partaking in actions that could be viewed as terrorism? It seems to me like when looked at his statement is not at all untrue even when only looking at a small region.
tell me this isn't hysterical wrote:Anyone who believes that what is written in a holy book is true even if the evidence is against it is dangerous. Christianity used to be the most dangerous religion. Now Islam is. Of course that doesn't mean more than a small minority of the world's Muslims. But it only takes a few if their beliefs are sufficiently strong, fanatical and unshakeable.
So, attacking the entire religion because of the crimes of the few? And outright admitting to it?
When one thinks that even the most moderate follower of a religion is at best misguided why should it surprise you that it's worst acts color that same person's views disproportionately?
How can it be more dangerous than a religion everyone takes for granted at home?
Perhaps, because in terms of practitioners it is a close second in terms of followers and many of those followers are more hardcore than the average Christian. Add in that there are very few Christian nations where the church makes laws while there are many Muslim nations where this is true. Toss in the terrorism angle and I can see why one might see Islam as the most dangerous religion in the world. I am surprised that you do not see this.
Oh, and by the way, I'm betting he's never surveyed Muslims on their day to day knowledge of the contents of the Quran. Sure, those who can memorize it are no doubt proud, but its not a small book. I have a copy (in English, granted, but surprisingly given to me at a mosque). Its at least the size of a good novel, and no one actually remembers a novel word for word. They are simply too long, so you end up remembering the important bits by abstraction; the plot, the characters, the themes, etc. But that leaves a lot of room to forget specifics, like how that scene didn't actually make sense, or how the writing felt forced to make one character the hero. Same goes for religious texts. Few people memorize them verse-for-verse. I bet you most Muslims don't know about most of the things that Dawkins finds so objectionable in the Quran.
How does that make the religion any less dangerous? All it takes is a shift in how the religion is taught to place emphasis on the more deplorable parts and suddenly the religion is exactly as bad, if not worse, than Dawkins makes it out to be.
WE often forget that believers have in reality a hodgepodge of beliefs that may or may not have anything to do with what is religious canon. Hell, the mosque I went to has a guy who deals with public relations, and what was interesting was that somehow he felt the need to justify so many of their traditions regarding prayer methods and fasting based on (junk) science. He hears that God wants what is good for us, therefore resting your head on the ground during prayer must be good in some way, right? But how, especially given that it hurts your damn ankles? Well, according to this guy, "science" has proven that putting your head on the ground releases "negative energy" from your body. Yes, really. New Age Woo is just as much a part of that guy's belief system as what is in his holy book. Go figure.
Then those beliefs as well as what is written in the actual holy text are both religion and both equally open to attack. This makes your argument weaker not stronger.
I would put it to you that what is truly dangerous are demagogues who lack self-reflection. Dawkins is one of those people. What makes him an Islamophobe is the inability to distinguish between Islam as it exists in real life, and the Straw Monster that exists in his head.
So ISIS didn't happen then? It seems to me like fear is justified when the things one fears are literally happening.

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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-10-26 06:56am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
2017-10-26 03:14am
Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-10-24 07:45pm
The thing is, the collective force of the left-wing Internet and its political activists...

Yeah, it isn't actually going to try to beat up on "atheism," because that includes a pretty significant chunk of its own membership that isn't religious and/or views religious institutions with suspicion.

But by golly it can beat up on nerds! Because even if it does have nerds within its own ranks, that won't matter; it seldom if ever stops the jocks and queen-bee types from beating up on the nerds.
But I really think that it's very similar - you say that it's not truly beating up on general "atheism" cause a lot of them are atheists... but it's the same damn thing with "nerds."

What kind of jocks would there be in left-wing political activism anyway?
Literal jocks, maybe not so much- but I bet you can find a fair number of feminists on social media who would make pretty good 'queen bees' of their high school social scenes. The basic point remains that bullying nerds is a popular pastime that can easily distract from dealing with a real problem. Though you do have a point that there are some categories of intensive Internet debate that basically only nerds would even participate in, such that if you see intensive Internet debate, you can reasonably suspect the role of Dark Side nerd-ery.
As a neckbeard I pretty much agree with it though. It's like me getting tired of dour SDNWers for being nerds. Or nerdy Testingstanis getting smarmy at The Smartest Board in the Internet intellectual crucibloids. :lol:

Sure, you can say that a lot of non-nerds can use this as a bludgeoning tool. But, screw it, liberal Christians, liberal Muslims, etc. can likewise have their critiques on fundamentalist sects be misused by New Atheists and ____-phobes. :D
Sure, but at that point you're reprising a class of argument we can see a lot when talking about minority politics. When a group that is marginalized elsewhere in society gets people attacking the nastiest sliver of the group, they are vulnerable. When a group with a lot of mainstream power gets that kind of attack, their numbers and status provide protection.

Liberal Christians in the US don't have to fear what can happen to their social status because of Richard Dawkins, let alone a bunch of Internet atheists. They just don't have that kind of social muscle. Liberal Muslims in the US DO have to worry about people singling out and aggressively going after "Muslim terrorists," because they are fewer in number, and therefore more vulnerable to being tarred with the same brush.

[EDIT: There is an analogy here, it involves whales, but I can't write it into this post, I'll have to come back to it. Kind of thing you might be interested in]
I would say that there's been a normalization of nerdiness - the whole world is now obviously being shaped by nerds and it's undeniable for normies and they've gotta get nerdy in order to feed themselves and appreciate the biggaton blockbusters on air - and I think there's a more accurate description than your medieval Jew example, that would be modern Israeli occupation policies, the furor over "Zionism," and how this can veer into outright anti-Semitism and yet at the same time the critiques can also come from Jewish people themselves.

I think it's blurry.
Yeah, but extending that analogy isn't necessarily reassuring. Remember what happened to the Jews as Europe industrialized. Areas Jews had been historically successful in (commerce and finance, for instance) became normalized as things everyone had to deal with in order to feed themselves. As Jews were allowed out of their ghettos and permitted to intermarry with gentiles and otherwise treated as more or less normal members of society (albeit second-class ones, or at least 1.5th-class ones).

It was nice and liberalizing for a while. Then all the residual anti-Semitism from premodern times, that had never really gone away, kicked in...

And then, in much of Europe, came the Worst Pogrom Ever.

Because sometimes, the fact that the mainstream has come to grudgingly accept your weird out-group as part of society just makes them angrier and more abusive when they have an excuse to turn on you.

I do get what you're saying about a lot of this criticism being nerd-on-nerd; it's this exact article that's concerning me because I view "go after the nerds" as a deeply troubling angle of attack for reasons that have little to do with the content of this exact article.
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Re: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-10-26 08:29am

Okay, so the analogy I wanted to make is kind of a tangent, but I think Shroom may find it interesting. It's a bit rambling, so if you get irritated at rambling analogies, please just stop reading now.

Basically, the point being that there are categories of problem that you'd think are symmetrical and should affect everyone equally, but in fact have almost no effect on large things while being very effective against small ones.

Peto's Paradox

Basically, it comes down to, why don't whales get cancer and die? Assume that all animal cells (or at least, all animal cells from the same kind of tissue) to be equally likely to mutate so as to get cancer.

Now, a whale might weigh, say, thirty tons- as much as several hundred humans. A whale's weight in human beings would be a population of several hundred, and out of that population we can confidently expect at least a few of them to have cancer. Since cancer is very lethal without elaborate treatment, you'd expect every whale to have, on average, one or more tumors, and for those tumors to rapidly grow out of control and kill the whale. But this does not happen on the whole- not that whales are literally immune to cancer, but it's much rarer than you'd expect.

By the same token, a human's weight in mice would include quite a number of mice with cancer; mice are significantly less cancer-resistant than humans.

...

So there are several explanations for this. One is that large organisms evolve more cancer-resistance, precisely because when you're a big animal, cancer is a bigger threat. Another is structural- bigger animals may have individually bigger cells that reproduce less often, resulting in fewer opportunities for cancer mutations to occur.

But the interesting speculation here is that the whale's physical size provides a measure of protection by itself. Compare a tumor in a whale to a tumor in a mouse. To be a credible threat to the whale's survival, the whale-tumor probably has to grow larger than the mouse's whole body, let alone the mouse's tumor.

The thing is, there's a maximum practical size for tumors. Cancer cells don't cooperate very well and they don't coordinate; if they were "team player" cells they wouldn't BE cancer cells. The cancer cells compete among themselves for resources and start choking each other out. So even if a whale gets cancer, they have a good chance of surviving just because the tumor can't grow large enough to be a threat. To get that large, the tumor would need its own internal circulatory system and resource regulation and so on, and that isn't something tumors can do. Instead, the tumor gets individual strains of 'cheater' cells that grow at the expense of their fellow cancer cells.

So basically, whales don't die of cancer in part because they're so big that their tumors get cancer and die before growing large enough to kill the whale. Weird.

...

Extending this to social issues, a very large social institution has a lot of resistance to being berated and having a horrible little sliver of the original group that gets targeted and bombarded. The Catholic church has a constant stream of people throwing rocks at it over pedophile priests to the point where this is basically a meme throughout the developed world... but the Catholic Church isn't going away any time soon. It's so big that any one scandal has negligible effect, and no reasonable number of scandals can fully discredit the institution.

Meanwhile, if some exotic minority religion that a lot of people already think of as a cult developed a reputation like that, it would suffer very heavily in very short order.

In the US, mainstream Christianity has this kind of protection. No number of secretly gay homophobic preachers and corrupt televangelists will discredit the whole religion across the board.

Nerd groups, as a whole, do NOT have this kind of protection, or have a lot less of it. It's a lot easier to imagine a series of Gamergates convincing everyone to stop listening to male gamers, than it is to imagine a series of pedophile scandals convincing everyone to stop listening to bishops.
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