Will Misogyny Bring Down The Atheist Movement?

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#1
“I ran into Shermer in the hallway,” Smith said recently, speaking publicly for the first time about what happened that night. They began talking, and he invited her to a Scotch and cigar party at the Caesars Palace hotel. “He was talking about future articles we could write, and he mentioned this party and asked if I could come, and I said yes.” At the party, they began downing drinks. “At some point,” Smith said, “I realized he wasn’t drinking them; he was hiding them underneath the table and pretending to drink them. I was drunk. After that, it all gets kind of blurry. I started to walk back to my hotel room, and he followed me and caught up with me.”

On their way from Caesars to the Flamingo, where they were both staying, she chatted briefly with a friend on her mobile phone, she told me. They got to the Flamingo. “He offered to walk me back to my room, but walked me to his instead. I don’t have a clear memory of what happened after that. I know we had sex.” She remembers calling a friend from an elevator after leaving his room. “I was in the elevator, but didn’t know what hotel.”

Over the next couple days, word spread around the convention that they had hooked up — whether the rumors began with what she told people, what he told people, or what others oversaw, it isn’t clear. Shermer went into damage-control mode...

http://www.buzzfeed.com/markoppenheimer/will-misogyny-bring-down-the-atheist-movement#3bq0j6z
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#3
Is the movement growing fast?

My understanding is that there's been an ongoing contraction in JREF's revenue:

Is the change-up due to a dire financial position? On Twitter, Jim Lippard has posted the JREF's recent revenues, which have almost halved in the last 3 years (2011: $1.56M, 2012: $1.29M, 2013: $887.5K). JREF backer Rick Adams isn't short of coin though...but as a successful businessman, perhaps those figures necessitated change. Or perhaps there was a personality clash? All speculation at the moment...perhaps it's all amicable and pre-planned. Certainly doesn't seem like it at this point though...the burying of the lede in that statement is truly bizarre.
When I go to the local Sunday Assembly a lot of people seem to be trying to get away from what they call "angry" or "mean" atheists, so it seems people are departing the materialist evangelist side of things. Many are against religious infringement in gov't but not close-minded about immaterialism. Perhaps if you add in the people who consider themselves atheists and secular humanists one can claim the movement is growing, but that seems like an over-generalization.

I wonder if the author is only going by the presence of pseudoskeptics on the web. But it's hard to estimate the efficacy of misanthropes plying shaming tactics across internet forums. That seems to largely be a combination teenagers desperate to play tough guy on the internet and aging materialist fanatics seeking retrocausal revenge against religious people who negatively affected them in the past.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#5
Don't get me wrong - obviously there are people in the skeptical movement who are occasionally worth listening to such as Massimo. His evaluation of his fellows doesn't inspire much confidence in the rest of the pack though:

'I think the primary problem with the skeptic movement — of which I am and remain a proud member — is that too many people, both among the “leaders” and the rank-and-file, seem to be in it for the sheer pleasure of calling others out as idiots. Typically this contempt is reserved for religious people, believers in pseudoscience, etc., but occasionally we turn the guns on some of our own and shoot just as joyfully.'
-PZ Myers quits skeptic movement, should we care?

'I talked about the pessimistic meta-induction at TAM a couple of years ago, and Richard Dawkins approached me afterwards to let me know that — clearly — the Darwinian theory is the obvious exception to the meta-induction, thus displaying a surprising amount of ignorance of both the history of biology and the current status of evolutionary theory. Cue the onslaught of incensed comments by his supporters...'
-Surprise! Naturalistic metaphysics undermines naive determinism, part I (part two here)

'I would actually go so far as to charge many of the leaders of the New Atheism movement (and, by implication, a good number of their followers) with anti-intellectualism, one mark of which is a lack of respect for the proper significance, value, and methods of another field of intellectual endeavor.'
-New Atheism and the Scientistic Turn in the Atheism Movement

He also touches on the misogyny in the skeptical movement that IIRC led to the formation of Atheism+.

Beyond Massimo I think Romer offers an honest evaluation of the 'skeptical' movement - and why JREF might be seeing a decline in revenue - in this piece Gabriel previously linked to:

Is it time to give up on “Skepticism”?

I know a bit about ghosts. I know people experience ghosts. I’m still fairly ambivalent about what ghost experiences represent and whether science can currently explain them. (I think not all). I am therefore surely not a sceptic?: I am open to “paranormal” beliefs.

Or am I? Skip back to 2006 when I joined the JREF forum, Randi’s place. People were just as belligerent and rude there back then as today (and some, indeed many, just as ace) and I soon ended up trying to explain that I saw Scepticism as a methodology, a critical process of investigating facts and assessing evidence, rather than a simple process of nay saying. I argued many posters at the JREF were a priori skeptics” – that is that they knew say the paranormal was all bunk, therefore there was no need to address paranormal claims. (And such opinions still appear there today). APS, a priori skepticism can be defended as a tactic, but is irrational (in the technical sense) as an actual worldview.
 
#6
So basically the radfem version of "misogyny" where everything that isn't having a panel of blood tests and forms filed in triplicate counts as unfairness to women.

Has it occurred to anyone that people who care about their health shouldn't be drunk in public? Willfully putting oneself in a position to be easily exploited is negligence and stupid.
 
#7
So basically the radfem version of "misogyny" where everything that isn't having a panel of blood tests and forms filed in triplicate counts as unfairness to women.

Has it occurred to anyone that people who care about their health shouldn't be drunk in public? Willfully putting oneself in a position to be easily exploited is negligence and stupid.
Many things may be preserved in alcohol. Dignity is not one of them. (Can't recall the source).
 
#11
So basically the radfem version of "misogyny" where everything that isn't having a panel of blood tests and forms filed in triplicate counts as unfairness to women.

Has it occurred to anyone that people who care about their health shouldn't be drunk in public? Willfully putting oneself in a position to be easily exploited is negligence and stupid.
Oh, right. It's the woman's fault for being drunk. She was probably wearing suggestive clothing too. She deserved it. Why should men control their impulses? Got daughters?

Oh. And I forgot. No doesn't mean no if she's drunk. Right, guys. Wink. Wink.
 
#12
So basically the radfem version of "misogyny" where everything that isn't having a panel of blood tests and forms filed in triplicate counts as unfairness to women.
What counts as misogyny is failing to address legitimate complaints of sexual abuse. I disagree with some of the radfem examples, but the part which matters is whether Shermer ignored her lack of consent.

Has it occurred to anyone that people who care about their health shouldn't be drunk in public? Willfully putting oneself in a position to be easily exploited is negligence and stupid.
Would you suggest that a thief be protected in their position of prominence because their victims made it easy for their pockets/purses to be picked?

A woman isn't at risk of rape, no matter how drunk, if she is with men who behave with common decency.

Linda
 
#13
I put forward the idea that ANYONE who gets overly intoxicated near a group is setting themselves up for problems of some sort, even if it's just the embarrassment of vomiting all over the bar or something. Hence why getting drunk is always a net negative.

Anyway, it intrigues me how situations like this and the formation of groups like Athiesm+ is basically setting up athiesm to end up being divided into combative sects arguing with each other, sort of like the religions they hate so much. I enjoy the irony of the situation that is shaping up greatly.

I have no taste for misogynists any more than I do for misandrists or racists or anyone like that. My philosophy is to hate everyone equally basically ignore such traits as race and gender and treat people, particularly those I don't know, in a neutral manner. But when I hear people like Rebecca Watson claiming that males coming to her YouTube channel in search of content on science and skepticism(presumably the reason they're looking at her videos to begin with)and aren't all that interested in her feminist ideas are somehow therefore inherently worse than rape threats, that's when I start having problems. Oh, and if anyone wants proof that she said that, I am more than happy to post a link when I get back home.
 
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#14
But when I hear people like Rebecca Watson claiming that males coming to her YouTube channel in search of content on science and skepticism(presumably the reason they're looking at her videos to begin with)and aren't all that interested in her feminist ideas are somehow therefore inherently worse than rape threats, that's when I start having problems. Oh, and if anyone want proof that she said that, I am more than happy to post a link when I get back home.
Ooh, yes, please do. Sounds deliciously silly. :)

Linda
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#16
I think Linda has the right of it. If Shermer deliberately pretended to drink, but was in fact lowering her ability to consent while remaining sober, that does put him in the category of rapist IMO.

If they both got really drunk and had sex that's a much more grey area.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
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#17
Randi: I’ve just heard that he misbehaved himself with the women, which I guess is what men do when they are drunk.

Yeah, when us men get drunk, we think about ways of raping women.
 
#19
Randi: I’ve just heard that he misbehaved himself with the women, which I guess is what men do when they are drunk.

Yeah, when us men get drunk, we think about ways of raping women.
Yeah, that seems to get lost in these discussions. The garden-variety decent man thinks about ways of getting sex. It takes a creep to think of ways of raping women. Making this about crass behaviour while drunk misses the point.

Linda
 
#20
Oh, right. It's the woman's fault for being drunk.
There appears to be no evidence that she was forced in to intoxication. Alcohol intoxication has been objectively proven to cause lapses in judgement.

Oh. And I forgot. No doesn't mean no if she's drunk. Right, guys. Wink. Wink.
She rescinded her rape claim and said it was "not exactly rape", apparently. Which means what is more likely to have happened is that she willfully consumed alcohol, consented, and then felt regret about it in the morning and decided post-hoc that it wasn't consensual after all.

There is a mile of difference between forcing oneself upon a person at gunpoint and the whole "she was drunk so 'yes' doesn't count" problem.
 
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