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Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

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Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  Pitchguest on Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:50 pm

Absolutely nothing!

(Kudos if you get the reference.)

To start off with a bang, to consecrate this non-safe space, I'll ask the nominal question: A+, do we need it?

It's a tough one. The people over at the main site certainly seems to think so, however in my opinion they seem to consider A+ as a limited membership club rather than the "safe space" it was meant as. One reason for this is perhaps the dubious logic from which the idea originated from, Jen McCreight dubbing the majority of movement atheism as old, privileged white men without a care for women -- as a cue from Natalie Reed -- and thus came this "need" for a "safe space." On the other hand, another reason could be that the moderators who took it upon themselves to create this "safe space" turned out to be demeaning and draconian as they silenced even the tiniest form of dissent, so suspicious of new members it felt like walking on eggshells and so incredibly rude to the new supplicants who made the tiniest of mistakes that the "safe space" wasn't so safe after all. The overeagerness to moderate helped with that, I imagine. That's probably why even though there's 2000+ members registered, not even a fraction of a fraction of that amount post regularly on the main site.

So what sparked this massive exodus? Apart from what I just stated, more than that most likely the inability to voice dissent. The inability to speak your mind. The moderators and the users that parrot them made sure of that. The point of the "safe space" was to ensure that you could speak your mind without being met with derision and insults (something which the main site has failed at miserably), so what's the point of talking about social justice issues if you can't add your opinion that isn't solely rooted in the tune that the moderators and the users that parrot them wants you to play?

My contention is this: The idea of A+ is a good idea. On paper. However, it creates several problems, especially considering the dubious nature from which it came about. First of all you have the obvious problem with the name -- Atheism+ -- and co-opting the word atheism for convenience. For some people adding dogma to the otherwise dogmaless word of atheism, simply a descriptor for a lack of belief in a god or gods. Then there's the slight problem with the logo, which has more than just a similarity with the logo for Non-believers Giving Aid. But the biggest problem is how the ability to speak your mind unfettered is suddenly put on a lock and therefore impugning on that ability. It stifles discussion, stops conversations right in their tracks and, as witnessed on the main site, makes you incredibly paranoid over the slightest remark that can be seen in the wrong light. So the forming of A+ because of a need for A+ has shown, contrary and perhaps unwittingly, that there is no need for A+. Because we're atheists and because we're marginalised, especially in places like the United States, instills the need for us to be able to speak our minds no matter the baggage that comes with it.

Addendum: I should add that it's probably why I vouch for this kind of setup more than the one over on the main site. I keep referring it to "the main site" since this is supposed to be an offshoot to the original, as it were, but if you can succeed to keep the moderation to an absolute minimum, lest for spammers, then I suspect that this site would be more inviting.

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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  Cuduggan2K2 on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:36 pm

Pitchguest wrote:To start off with a bang, to consecrate this non-safe space, I'll ask the nominal question: A+, do we need it?
Need is a strong word, I think the more important question is “Is A+ a good idea?”, to which I’d answer yes. As has been said countless times by countless others scepticism in the sense of “Hurrmeopathy is wrong and I’m smart because I can see that” Is rather limited and after a few years it just becomes a bit of a circle jerk. The skeptic/atheist movement needs to actually make a difference to the world. Spotting religion is loony isn’t all that hard, making the lives of ordinary people better is, but it’s worth it IMESHO

the inability to voice dissent. The inability to speak your mind. The moderators and the users that parrot them made sure of that.
You can voice dissent, just not in offensive terms. Here, no such non-offense is required.

The point of the "safe space" was to ensure that you could speak your mind without being met with derision and insults (something which the main site has failed at miserably)
No, the point in the safe space was that people who were harmed by being a minority group would be safe from the standard harms the majority inflicts on them, and in that goal it succeeds.

My contention is this: The idea of A+ is a good idea. On paper. However, it creates several problems, especially considering the dubious nature from which it came about.
But we can avoid the genetic fallacy by making this movement what it needs to be. I have to say I think Jen’s initial goals for the movement are solid and sound but that the movement became too tied to that one safe space

First of all you have the obvious problem with the name -- Atheism+ -- and co-opting the word atheism for convenience. For some people adding dogma to the otherwise dogmaless word of atheism, simply a descriptor for a lack of belief in a god or gods.
As a PR kinda guy I have to say that the name bugs me. It’s workable, the + is good for positive message branding etc but it’s a little late now to try and change it, it exists.
Then there's the slight problem with the logo, which has more than just a similarity with the logo for Non-believers Giving Aid.
Which of the several logos?
biggest problem is how the ability to speak your mind unfettered is suddenly put on a lock and therefore impugning on that ability. It stifles discussion, stops conversations right in their tracks and, as witnessed on the main site, makes you incredibly paranoid over the slightest remark that can be seen in the wrong light.
L:ets not conflate Atheism+ with that one board. That board is a hub of A+ and a safe space for A+ers but that forum is not the movement.

I should add that it's probably why I vouch for this kind of setup more than the one over on the main site. I keep referring it to "the main site" since this is supposed to be an offshoot to the original, as it were, but if you can succeed to keep the moderation to an absolute minimum, lest for spammers, then I suspect that this site would be more inviting.
We’ll see, I will think of that one as the main site, because as the issues get discussed and the tactics for achieving goals get decided, I suspect that people on this site will become more amenable to the safe space and therefore the two will be aligned. But only time will tell.

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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  Pitchguest on Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:23 am

Cuduggan2K2 wrote:
Pitchguest wrote:To start off with a bang, to consecrate this non-safe space, I'll ask the nominal question: A+, do we need it?
Need is a strong word, I think the more important question is “Is A+ a good idea?”, to which I’d answer yes. As has been said countless times by countless others scepticism in the sense of “Hurrmeopathy is wrong and I’m smart because I can see that” Is rather limited and after a few years it just becomes a bit of a circle jerk. The skeptic/atheist movement needs to actually make a difference to the world. Spotting religion is loony isn’t all that hard, making the lives of ordinary people better is, but it’s worth it IMESHO
As I said, it's a good idea - on paper. Manifested, however, is another matter (ha! physics humour) and as we've witnessed, if not in good hands it will be mishandled. And I don't agree with you that atheism needs to be a stepping stone in dealing with social justice issues. It's perfectly fine that one's belief -- or lack of belief -- in a god or gods shouldn't define how you are as a person. I'm heterosexual, but I don't propose to start a Heterosexual+ movement because I feel that most heterosexuals don't care for these specific variables. It's silly and irrelevant. But perhaps my vision has been impaired due to the actions of the self-proclaimed definers of the movement over on the other site, which is the official one according to Jen McCreight, and I just haven't given it the chance it deserves.

the inability to voice dissent. The inability to speak your mind. The moderators and the users that parrot them made sure of that.
You can voice dissent, just not in offensive terms. Here, no such non-offense is required.
What I mean is the moderators pounce on anything that would be deemed offensive, which has the consequence of creating this tense atmosphere. The conversation doesn't flow. And any comments that might seem out of place (like in that thread with Matthew Bailey, for example, in which a simple mistake a double-post sealed his fate) would be evicted momentarily. Reading up on the offenses on there, I don't get eager to add anything to the discussion - especially an unpopular one like mine.

The point of the "safe space" was to ensure that you could speak your mind without being met with derision and insults (something which the main site has failed at miserably)
No, the point in the safe space was that people who were harmed by being a minority group would be safe from the standard harms the majority inflicts on them, and in that goal it succeeds.
Hmmm.

My contention is this: The idea of A+ is a good idea. On paper. However, it creates several problems, especially considering the dubious nature from which it came about.
But we can avoid the genetic fallacy by making this movement what it needs to be. I have to say I think Jen’s initial goals for the movement are solid and sound but that the movement became too tied to that one safe space
The goals are solid and sound and I don't think many would disagree that yes, the goals themselves are admirable. However, the concept that sprang from Jen -- and Natalie Reed -- was that the sceptics/atheist community (I'm loathe of defining myself part of a "movement" to do with atheism or sceptics myself, but for the sake of argument) were devoid of compassion for women and social justice issues not to do with religion. That the "sceptic/atheist community" were just a bunch of privileged, old white men, who patted themselves on the back for figuring out homeopathy (and religion) for the umpteenth time and were simply spending their time acting smug. Nevermind that this is a massive generalisation of movement scepticism/atheism but she makes it out to be such, and then from the wreckage of what she has concluded deems the need for a new wave a la feminism - the so-called "third wave of atheism." It is from that dubious nature of the need for A+ -- this "safe space" -- that I doubt its authenticity. As for the group getting too tied to one spot, one that we can agree.

First of all you have the obvious problem with the name -- Atheism+ -- and co-opting the word atheism for convenience. For some people adding dogma to the otherwise dogmaless word of atheism, simply a descriptor for a lack of belief in a god or gods.
As a PR kinda guy I have to say that the name bugs me. It’s workable, the + is good for positive message branding etc but it’s a little late now to try and change it, it exists.
Agreed.

Then there's the slight problem with the logo, which has more than just a similarity with the logo for Non-believers Giving Aid.
Which of the several logos?
There's more than one? The only one I know of is this one and you can see the obvious similarity straight away. Frankly, there is no way they didn't know about the logo before they designed it and more likely than not a strategic choice - considering their poor relationship of late with Prof Dawkins.

biggest problem is how the ability to speak your mind unfettered is suddenly put on a lock and therefore impugning on that ability. It stifles discussion, stops conversations right in their tracks and, as witnessed on the main site, makes you incredibly paranoid over the slightest remark that can be seen in the wrong light.
L:ets not conflate Atheism+ with that one board. That board is a hub of A+ and a safe space for A+ers but that forum is not the movement.
Well, you have to forgive my conflation on that point. It just so happens it's been confined to that one space, the official site with its official forum. I didn't like it when the self-appointed proponents of A+ made their case for it, either. First it was Richard Carrier - who set the stage - and then came similar invective from the usual suspects at FTB. It's difficult to see the movement, a very specific and isolated movement (even according to its own commentariat) other than what have been conducted at its official forum. If it's a safe space for A-plussers, too, well, consider me maligned. However, I do not ever rule out the possibility that I could be wrong. I'm not going to put a spoke in that particular set of wheels, ever.

I should add that it's probably why I vouch for this kind of setup more than the one over on the main site. I keep referring it to "the main site" since this is supposed to be an offshoot to the original, as it were, but if you can succeed to keep the moderation to an absolute minimum, lest for spammers, then I suspect that this site would be more inviting.
We’ll see, I will think of that one as the main site, because as the issues get discussed and the tactics for achieving goals get decided, I suspect that people on this site will become more amenable to the safe space and therefore the two will be aligned. But only time will tell.

The way the moderators over there pounce on almost everything, I doubt change would occur lest for a change in moderators. Should the most vocal of posters get moderator privileges as well (for example, Grimalkin, Cipher, ceepolk, to name a few), you could pretty much consider that place dead and buried.

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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  Corke on Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:40 am

Pitchguest wrote:

the inability to voice dissent. The inability to speak your mind. The moderators and the users that parrot them made sure of that.
You can voice dissent, just not in offensive terms. Here, no such non-offense is required.
What I mean is the moderators pounce on anything that would be deemed offensive, which has the consequence of creating this tense atmosphere. The conversation doesn't flow. And any comments that might seem out of place (like in that thread with Matthew Bailey, for example, in which a simple mistake a double-post sealed his fate) would be evicted momentarily. Reading up on the offenses on there, I don't get eager to add anything to the discussion - especially an unpopular one like mine.

This.

That forum has to be the worst example of forum management I've seen in a long time. The rules don't apply, the mods post pretty harsh and unreasonable stuff, and anecdotes take priority over evidence. In short, it makes me want to both laugh and cry.

The idea of a separate safe space was initially shouted down, but I'm glad it's happened.

Also, how is "Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you" like that clown Laughing Coyote was posting, not deemed offensive?
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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  Pitchguest on Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:55 am

Corke wrote:
Pitchguest wrote:

the inability to voice dissent. The inability to speak your mind. The moderators and the users that parrot them made sure of that.
You can voice dissent, just not in offensive terms. Here, no such non-offense is required.
What I mean is the moderators pounce on anything that would be deemed offensive, which has the consequence of creating this tense atmosphere. The conversation doesn't flow. And any comments that might seem out of place (like in that thread with Matthew Bailey, for example, in which a simple mistake a double-post sealed his fate) would be evicted momentarily. Reading up on the offenses on there, I don't get eager to add anything to the discussion - especially an unpopular one like mine.

This.

That forum has to be the worst example of forum management I've seen in a long time. The rules don't apply, the mods post pretty harsh and unreasonable stuff, and anecdotes take priority over evidence. In short, it makes me want to both laugh and cry.

The idea of a separate safe space was initially shouted down, but I'm glad it's happened.

Also, how is "Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you" like that clown Laughing Coyote was posting, not deemed offensive?

Indeed.

The times when Grimalkin, Cipher and ceepolk were given free reign to spew their vitriol over new members and in general, seemingly with impunity, instantly made me wonder just how that place is moderated. Now with the inclusion of more members, like Laughing_Coyote, and the comparative response given to them and their victims, I'm beginning to think it's deliberate. It's certainly not consistent with their idea of a "safe space" and moreover not consistent with their concept of scepticism being applied to everything.

Oh, and I'm glad this happened, too. Definitely.

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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  Skavau on Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:07 am

Need is a strong word, I think the more important question is “Is A+ a good idea?”, to which I’d answer yes. As has been said countless times by countless others scepticism in the sense of “Hurrmeopathy is wrong and I’m smart because I can see that” Is rather limited and after a few years it just becomes a bit of a circle jerk. The skeptic/atheist movement needs to actually make a difference to the world. Spotting religion is loony isn’t all that hard, making the lives of ordinary people better is, but it’s worth it IMESHO
I agree, though embedding a new emergent social justice group into atheism seems... problematic. Especially as when the words "social justice" are used here we're only really talking specifically about social justice as understood and advocated by only a select group of people contained on a forum and the celebrity bloggers involved in the movement from Free Thought Blogs. At the very least if you are going to push for social justice in a specific community (and also society at large) then you need to prepare your arguments*, make them and apply them to those who would query and argue over their applicability, requirement and relevance.

*The creation of this forum is a good start for that.

You can voice dissent, just not in offensive terms. Here, no such non-offense is required.
From what I have personally observed on the reddit and seen on the forums, I disagree. The very fact that terms such as "JAQing off", "tone trolling", "concern trolling" and such exist as used terms to sneer and dismiss critical points of view is enough for me. In no other context have I ever seen such used and it is startling to see them used so often in a supposedly skeptic fronted group.

The constant insistence of "privilege" being used to dismiss someone's point of view, or "'mansplaining" (which comes across as very hucksterish and in this context sexist) to dismiss a specifically males point of view or "chill girl" to dismiss a females point of view is also concerning.


No, the point in the safe space was that people who were harmed by being a minority group would be safe from the standard harms the majority inflicts on them, and in that goal it succeeds.
This is interesting, because this probably explains the problems I alluded to above. The A+ forums always advertised themselves as a safe space for disassociated members of society to come and explain their sympathies and receive a warm welcome. A place for people with very real mental, physical problems and/or psychological issues caused by bad experiences. This very slogan and moderating policy has obviously attracted many of these people to become regular members. The problem that this causes though is that they, whether they realise it or intend it or not inadvertently call the shots. The moderators find themselves catering to the welfare of a very damaged group of people very obviously incapable of objectively analysing insult and very easily taking offense. The slightest, most mildest form of criticism is taken as something much more sinister or where not applicable the member presumed guilty of some sinister motive. Even support if done by someone not in that group is presumed to be too condescending or patronising and the member too new member too new to allowed such enthusiasm. This makes the group by consequence extremely insular and forces it to answer and accomodate people who I'm afraid are not objective or fair enough to answer criticism fairly.

To summarise the members I refer to can't operate where they aren't a minority. They are psychologically incapable of it, for whatever reasons and their very prejudice (they have very blatant prejudice if you read the 'lacking privilege' thread topic) causes them to unfairly judge and condemn new members who are members of a majority.

The idea of also of civility in the sense of respecting someone's gender or race or sexuality or disability but not in the case of just general insults is just laughable. It doesn't do the movement good at all to see regular posters and moderators insult people.




L:ets not conflate Atheism+ with that one board. That board is a hub of A+ and a safe space for A+ers but that forum is not the movement.
Currently it is. The Atheism+ forum is currently the most active part of A+. It is where discussions for what to do exist, where discussions of meta-issues happen and discussions of global affairs happen. The A+ Reddit itself is completely insignficant in comparison and the Freethought blogs network calls itself officially independent. There are certainly no leaders in A+ and I appreciate that but the movement itself is mostly conducted from that forum.
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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  mood2 on Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:31 am

I agree that A+ (and yes, terrible name!) being in effect confined to one group of mostly inward looking people who feel under siege and are suspicious of newbies isn't the way you'd want to start a broad-based movement. And you need a broad base if you want to achieve anything significant outside of forming a support group. However, I also recall when McCreight announced A+, and got the sense that a lot of the people who cheered then were hoping it would be a way out of the hostilities and on into something more positive. It's not exactly how things have worked out at the original board, partly because of the ongoing hostilities and trolling, but I'll bet there's still a thirst for that amongst some people there.

I'm another one who thought it was a good idea in principle, mostly lurked, but was ready to walk away in frustration. This place is as much as anything a way to see if broader discussion and activism still has legs. It's been built, will they come - who knows. Standing under the banner of A+ will help get attention, but it will also put a lot of people off. If people do come it might just be for an enormous bun fight. Smile. But so far there's a feeling of wary interest here, which is as good as you could realitically hope for I think considering the wars that have been raging.

As regards the link between atheism and social justice, I think it's tenuous, but I'm not that bothered about it myself. Atheism as a 'movement' has never appealed to me, I'm taking a pragmatic approach that if the upsurge in interest in new atheism can be channeled into doing something useful which does interest me, why not? Having said that there is a link between some real world oppressive practices and certain religious beliefs, and that niche could be a good fit for A+. And it's worth making the case that if you believe you have special access to some divine, unchanging truth then there's an inbuilt resistance to progressive ideas. Hence some of the anachronistic attitudes to women, disability, caste and LGBTQ people some religions lumber themselves with. Of course those attitudes affect all groups one way or another, and permeate a culture to an extent.

So overall I'd say... it's complicated. Smile. Deciding how to focus on what would be effective would need some thought.

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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  AliRadicali on Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:33 am

Cuduggan2K2 wrote:
Pitchguest wrote:To start off with a bang, to consecrate this non-safe space, I'll ask the nominal question: A+, do we need it?
Need is a strong word, I think the more important question is “Is A+ a good idea?”, to which I’d answer yes. As has been said countless times by countless others scepticism in the sense of “Hurrmeopathy is wrong and I’m smart because I can see that” Is rather limited and after a few years it just becomes a bit of a circle jerk. The skeptic/atheist movement needs to actually make a difference to the world. Spotting religion is loony isn’t all that hard, making the lives of ordinary people better is, but it’s worth it IMESHO
Atheists are like cats, there's too much diversity of opinion on matters non-religious for us to be herded in one direction. Atheism is a lack of belief, it doesn't inform you of all the various positive beliefs someone might have.
There are plenty of secular or atheist organisations promoting a specific agenda, but they don't say "oh by the way you're not a "real" atheist if you don't support our agenda or happen to disagree with our policies".

the inability to voice dissent. The inability to speak your mind. The moderators and the users that parrot them made sure of that.
You can voice dissent, just not in offensive terms. Here, no such non-offense is required.
And the problem is that "offensive" is defined in such a way that simple disagreement can be called offensive. The moderators and forumites alike go out of their way to paint any type of critical examination of their group, any request for a debate, like an act of malice, an invasion, an attack.
Dissent IS offensive to these people.

The point of the "safe space" was to ensure that you could speak your mind without being met with derision and insults (something which the main site has failed at miserably)
No, the point in the safe space was that people who were harmed by being a minority group would be safe from the standard harms the majority inflicts on them, and in that goal it succeeds.
The system prevents people from "being harmed" by content which would offend them, by cowing everyone into silence on controversial issues. To not toe the party line is deemed "offensive", thus everyone is intimidated via hostility and immoderate moderation into toeing the party line.

My contention is this: The idea of A+ is a good idea. On paper. However, it creates several problems, especially considering the dubious nature from which it came about.
But we can avoid the genetic fallacy by making this movement what it needs to be. I have to say I think Jen’s initial goals for the movement are solid and sound but that the movement became too tied to that one safe space
I disagree. Many of their feminist policies (schrodinger's rapist, patriarchy in atheism, anyone?) are based on unscientific propaganda and hearsay. The fact that they focus on feminism rather than egalitarianism says enough, IMO.
A main part of the criticism they are receiving is that they can't substantiate their claims of widespread female suppression(within atheism or western society) and instead paint the people who point this out as misogynists or brainwashed victims of patriarchy.
There are ACTUAL problems with gender inequality, both for men and women, and the proper way to deal with issues is on an individual, case-by-case basis (based on reason and evidence!), not by declaring that men are always suppressive and women are always victims, and declaring anyone who disagrees with the dogma suppressive.


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Hooollllyyy crap

Post  Argyle on Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:40 am

OK, so Ali, just saying...
Your grasp of feminist discourse seems to be very lacking. So I am going to offer to help you understand a bit better if you are willing to listen, because I think a lot of your objections are to misunderstandings rather than actual policies.

For example:
Schrodinger's Rapist does not say what you seem to think it does.
Patriarchy does not mean what you seem to think it does.

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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  AliRadicali on Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:39 pm

Argyle wrote:OK, so Ali, just saying...
Your grasp of feminist discourse seems to be very lacking. So I am going to offer to help you understand a bit better if you are willing to listen, because I think a lot of your objections are to misunderstandings rather than actual policies.

For example:
Schrodinger's Rapist does not say what you seem to think it does.
Patriarchy does not mean what you seem to think it does.

How is this helpful. Your entire post is an elaborate way of saying: "No, you're wrong. Cuz I say so"


Schrodingers rapist explicitly tells us that it's OK or even necessary for women to treat (unknown) men as potential rapists:
"Well, no. But do you think about it all the time? Is preventing violent assault or murder part of your daily routine, rather than merely something you do when you venture into war zones? Because, for women, it is. When I go on a date, I always leave the man’s full name and contact information written next to my computer monitor. This is so the cops can find my body if I go missing. My best friend will call or e-mail me the next morning, and I must answer that call or e-mail before noon-ish, or she begins to worry. If she doesn’t hear from me by three or so, she’ll call the police. My activities after dark are curtailed. Unless I am in a densely-occupied, well-lit space, I won’t go out alone. Even then, I prefer to have a friend or two, or my dogs, with me. Do you follow rules like these?

So when you, a stranger, approach me, I have to ask myself: Will this man rape me?"
http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger%E2%80%99s-rapist-or-a-guy%E2%80%99s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/

And yes this is ridiculous because when you look at the objective facts, the vast majority of rapes are committed by people who are acquainted with the victim, often in the home of either rapist or victim(and not in a public place) and a very large portion of rapes are commited by women. Rape by an unknown man is comparatively rare, especially at atheist conventions (body count: 0?)

Expecting women to obsess over the possility of rape by unknown men, compared to say the statistical probability of being run over in a traffic accident, is nonsensical... unless there's an agenda. On the feminists' part, it's a way to reinforce the narrative of female victimisation by male oppressors (which is the justification for why we need to treat women better than equals). On the part of what you could call an actual patriarchy (the family values christians, for example) it's a great tool to reinforce the gender narrative of "weak, helpless women and big burly men whose role it is to protect them". And it's a scare tactic, simply used for publicity and to rally the base. It's no different from FOX news telling us the arab terrorists are coming to blow you up 24/7, except instead of uniting americans against arabs, it unites women together in the delusion of being helpless and suppressed, unites them into spouting misandrist propaganda in the vain belief that they're rationally, skeptically, fighting for equality.

Again, I'm not denying the fact that there are instances if sexism, inequality and abuse, especially in individual cases. What I'm objecting to is the idea that there is some sort of large, malicious, intentional mechanism, systemically keeping the women in subordination. Or the idea that such problems can't befall someone with a Y chromosome.
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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  rEvolutionist on Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:48 am

Good thread! I am ejecta from that other place like a number of others here. Not sure how much I'll post here, but was heartened to read the good discussion going on here, so decided to join up and see what happens. There's lots I could say about the A+ forum, but for the moment I will suffice to say that the idea that that place is a safe space is laughable. It's clear to me it is intentionally run as a place for the supposedly bullied to go and be bullies. I am very interested in humanism and social justice and activism. That place gives all three of those things a bad name. It's also arguably a damaging environment for many people, being immersed in so much hate and bullying. Anyway, I'm trying to fit too many thoughts into a short post. May comment more later.

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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  B-Lar on Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:58 am

"A (practically) unmoderated space for atheists who want to discuss social justice"

not

"A place where we can all go and bitch about how much the A+ people were mean to us because we couldnt be bothered to listen"

First Pick: SR

schrodinger's rapist is not about how all men are rapists. That would be a strawman. If someone is trying to claim that all men are rapists then they are obviously wrong. It doesnt say it is fine to treat all men like rapists. it does not draw conclusions.

schrodinger's rapist is about how a women cannot know if you are a rapist or not when she meets you. it is about giving you an opportunity to go "wait a minute, OH MY GOD I AM HAVING... A THOUGHT! YES! IT TURNS OUT THAT WOMEN MIGHT HAVE TO THINK ABOUT SHIT THAT I NEVER HAVE TO THINK ABOUT!". It is an observation.

Also to anyone who thinks that the most important element of SR is its name, you fail.

Second Pick:

"A+ isnt a safe space because I went there and all i did was state my ill informed opinion and I got told to fuck off lolwut" [/paraphrase]

Safe space doesnt mean you can say whatever you like and you will be safe from reprisals. Just like free speech doesnt mean being able to say what you like and avoid the consequences. There are people that suffer actual harrasment for simply being. the safe space is for them. if you turn up and claim to know whats up when you very clearly do not know whats up then you should expect to receive the disgust you deserve. If you have a problem with this, then you have empathy failiure and should consult your local medical professional.

Third and final pick:

"They defined disagreement as offensive. I cant even dissent there now. Groupthink! Freespeech! Dogma!" [/paraphrase]

Dont be an idiot. if you arent eqipped to clearly state the reasons why you disagree, and/or arent equpipped to recognise that some of your reasons are going to be ego-fuelled bullshit which veterans are going to see through faster than the speed of thought then your "dissent" will be treated with all the contempt it deserves. Hitchens suggests that contrarianism is worthwhile for its own sake because it brings new ideas to the table, and playing devils advocate is a helpful excercise in skepticism. If your puny disagreement has been patiently rebutted thousands of times, you are not a contrarian. You are a guy who cant be bothered to use google to learn how to swim before jumping in the deep end. ie a guy who will shortly drown.


YOU ARE NOT A PRECIOUS FUCKING SNOWFLAKE.

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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  Atheist Dude on Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:16 am

B-Lar wrote:"


YOU ARE NOT A PRECIOUS FUCKING SNOWFLAKE.

My Mommy said I was, and she's less privileged than you, so she's right and you're wrong. cheers

I AM A PRECIOUS FUCKING SNOWFLAKE!

p.s. That was the only opinion you stated, that even came close, to being worthy of a response.


Last edited by Atheist Dude on Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  Skavau on Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:48 am

"A (practically) unmoderated space for atheists who want to discuss social justice"

not

"A place where we can all go and bitch about how much the A+ people were mean to us because we couldnt be bothered to listen"
Fair enough.

There's nothing stopping A+ members representing A+ promoting and defending it here. The demographics currently vastly favour those dismayed or affronted in some fashion by A+ and that's to be expected given the sheer amount that are and the bunker-esque atmosphere of A+ proponents.

schrodinger's rapist is not about how all men are rapists. That would be a strawman. If someone is trying to claim that all men are rapists then they are obviously wrong. It doesnt say it is fine to treat all men like rapists. it does not draw conclusions.
Schrodinger's Rapists is about the supposedly prevalent (as A+ contends) fear in women that strange men they encounter might be rapists. It excuses them to treat all strange men as if they are. It directly implies that all men are to be assumed or suspected of being rapists until demonsrated otherwise and suggests men adjust their behaviour to reassure women of their intent.

schrodinger's rapist is about how a women cannot know if you are a rapist or not when she meets you. it is about giving you an opportunity to go "wait a minute, OH MY GOD I AM HAVING... A THOUGHT! YES! IT TURNS OUT THAT WOMEN MIGHT HAVE TO THINK ABOUT SHIT THAT I NEVER HAVE TO THINK ABOUT!". It is an observation.
It is a far less incredible observation than anyone thinks. I remain suspect subconsciously that anyone approaching me might mean me some harm in some general way, but that's just normal.

Safe space doesnt mean you can say whatever you like and you will be safe from reprisals. Just like free speech doesnt mean being able to say what you like and avoid the consequences. There are people that suffer actual harrasment for simply being. the safe space is for them. if you turn up and claim to know whats up when you very clearly do not know whats up then you should expect to receive the disgust you deserve. If you have a problem with this, then you have empathy failiure and should consult your local medical professional.
It also, in the case of A+ means that you cannot criticise anything they say or do that relates to any opinion on social justice or their experiences. There are countless examples of this.

The mildest of criticism, observation, suggestion, inquiry, opinion towards any minority group, situation or social justice issue is taken in the worst possible way and the user told to "Fuck off" repeatedly. The bunch of people that do that on there are completely soiling the forum's reputation and the reputation of A+. If A+ is ever going to grow it needs to deal with those anti-social elements.

Dont be an idiot. if you arent eqipped to clearly state the reasons why you disagree, and/or arent equpipped to recognise that some of your reasons are going to be ego-fuelled bullshit which veterans are going to see through faster than the speed of thought then your "dissent" will be treated with all the contempt it deserves.
I will put this down to bias. People do express they reason why they disagree and are told that their reasons aren't good enough, or invalid, or concern/tone trolling, or JAQing off, or whatever and then told to fuck off in big red bold letters in full caps.
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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  AliRadicali on Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:49 am

B-Lar wrote:"A (practically) unmoderated space for atheists who want to discuss social justice"

not

"A place where we can all go and bitch about how much the A+ people were mean to us because we couldnt be bothered to listen"
Well apparently, if you stop censoring people and telling them to go away if they disagree, apparently if you don't do that, you end up with a lot of people who don't quite agree with your policies and ideas.

Funny how that works.

First Pick: SR

schrodinger's rapist is not about how all men are rapists. That would be a strawman. If someone is trying to claim that all men are rapists then they are obviously wrong. It doesnt say it is fine to treat all men like rapists. it does not draw conclusions.
schrodinger's rapist is about how a women cannot know if you are a rapist or not when she meets you. it is about giving you an opportunity to go "wait a minute, OH MY GOD I AM HAVING... A THOUGHT! YES! IT TURNS OUT THAT WOMEN MIGHT HAVE TO THINK ABOUT SHIT THAT I NEVER HAVE TO THINK ABOUT!". It is an observation.
What you've presented as a strawman is, in fact, a strawman. Fail more.

The argument isn't that SR says all men are rapists, it's that SR tells women (and men) to treat men as thogh they were rapists. Do you see the difference? No?
Maybe if I use a lovely counterexample of your reasoning:" Most people incarcerated for drug offenses are black. Therefore, it's justified to treat black people as though they are drug dealers, and black people should be aware of this and should try to make other people feel less anxious about being around black people by taking steps to show that they aren't, in fact, drug dealers."



And no, please don't use the line of "oh, well SR doesn't say people shoudl treat men like rapists". Oh please:
"When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist. You may or may not be a man who would commit rape. I won’t know for sure unless you start sexually assaulting me. I can’t see inside your head, and I don’t know your intentions. If you expect me to trust you—to accept you at face value as a nice sort of guy—you are not only failing to respect my reasonable caution, you are being cavalier about my personal safety.

Fortunately, you’re a good guy. We’ve already established that. Now that you’re aware that there’s a problem, you are going to go out of your way to fix it, and to make the women with whom you interact feel as safe as possible."

If that's not a justification for preemptively treating/viewing men as rapists until proven otherwise, please share your marvolous gift of reading comprehension with the rest of humanity.


Second Pick:
"A+ isnt a safe space because I went there and all i did was state my ill informed opinion and I got told to fuck off lolwut" [/paraphrase]
Safe space doesnt mean you can say whatever you like and you will be safe from reprisals. Just like free speech doesnt mean being able to say what you like and avoid the consequences. There are people that suffer actual harrasment for simply being. the safe space is for them. if you turn up and claim to know whats up when you very clearly do not know whats up then you should expect to receive the disgust you deserve. If you have a problem with this, then you have empathy failiure and should consult your local medical professional.
Lovely, lovely unskiptical dogmatism here. So apparently, if you disagree with A+ dogma, your opinion MUST be "ill informed", and you "deserve disgust". If you think that's unreasonable, you have "empathy failiure".

What you fail to realise is that all the charges you drummed up are ad hominem fallacies to dismiss the arguments/criticisms of a poster, unless you logically demonstrate A+ to be valid. And that's where you completely fail too meet the burden of proof. For all the posing and posturing as "rationalists" and "skeptics", you refuse to discuss your ideas and ideology, and hound out and ban anyone with the audacity to try to do so.

B-Lar wrote:
Third and final pick:
"They defined disagreement as offensive. I cant even dissent there now. Groupthink! Freespeech! Dogma!" [/paraphrase]

Dont be an idiot. if you arent eqipped to clearly state the reasons why you disagree, and/or arent equpipped to recognise that some of your reasons are going to be ego-fuelled bullshit which veterans are going to see through faster than the speed of thought then your "dissent" will be treated with all the contempt it deserves. Hitchens suggests that contrarianism is worthwhile for its own sake because it brings new ideas to the table, and playing devils advocate is a helpful excercise in skepticism. If your puny disagreement has been patiently rebutted thousands of times, you are not a contrarian. You are a guy who cant be bothered to use google to learn how to swim before jumping in the deep end. ie a guy who will shortly drown.
YOU ARE NOT A PRECIOUS FUCKING SNOWFLAKE.

Wow, great projection there at the end. Once again you demonstrate your lack of skepticism by showing that the operating assumption over at A+ is "disagree = stupid/ignorant or biased". If you're going to dismiss any criticism as inherently flawed based on assumed character traits of the person making the argument, you're arguing fallaciously.
I've seen this "rebutted a million times over" argument mor ethan once on my brief tenure in "safe space", yet amazingly, when I asked for people to link me to these amazing rebuttals, all I got was the FAQ. And when i decided to give concrete examples of where I disagreed with the FAQ, I got tempbanned for "doubling down" and told to change my attitude or go away.


What do you call an organisation with a set of idea(l)s that may not be questioned, where the litmus test of acceptance in the group is unquationing adherence to these rules and tenets? A religion or a cult.
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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  ateisten on Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:00 am

AliRadicali wrote:The argument [... is that ...] SR tells women (and men) to treat men as thogh they were rapists.
I'd be interested to know where in SR it says that. You can answer in the SR thread.

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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  AliRadicali on Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:00 am

ateisten wrote:
AliRadicali wrote:The argument [... is that ...] SR tells women (and men) to treat men as though they were rapists.
I'd be interested to know where in SR it says that. You can answer in the SR thread.

As I quickly added to that post to avoid accusations of strawmanning, here are some snippets from the infamous SR article which more than make my point (namely that SR tells people to treat men like rapists preemptively):

"When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist. You may or may not be a man who would commit rape. I won’t know for sure unless you start sexually assaulting me. I can’t see inside your head, and I don’t know your intentions. If you expect me to trust you—to accept you at face value as a nice sort of guy—you are not only failing to respect my reasonable caution, you are being cavalier about my personal safety.

Fortunately, you’re a good guy. We’ve already established that. Now that you’re aware that there’s a problem, you are going to go out of your way to fix it, and to make the women with whom you interact feel as safe as possible."

The author presents a false dichotomy, whereby the unknown man is either "a good guy" worthy of trust, or someone who should be treated like a rapist. I'm not arguing that women should trust every stranger as they would their husbands, fathers and uncles (clearly such trust needs to be earned), but to act like the only alternative to complete trust is utter distrust and paranoia, is over the top and yes, hysterical.

I believe it is courteous to treat any stranger with tentative trust. That is to say, don't make any assumptions about that person, don't compromise yourself or your safety, but DO treat them with civility unless they give any indication of not deserving it. And no, I don't think "not crossing the street" is a good excuse to treat someone like a rapist.
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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  uncrystal on Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:32 am

Quote from SR:
Gentlemen. Thank you for reading.

Let me start out by assuring you that I understand you are a good sort of person. You are kind to children and animals. You respect the elderly. You donate to charity. You tell jokes without laughing at your own punchlines. You respect women. You like women. In fact, you would really like to have a mutually respectful and loving sexual relationship with a woman...

The fifth and last point: Don’t rape. Nor should you commit these similar but less severe offenses: don’t assault. Don’t grope. Don’t constrain. Don’t brandish. Don’t expose yourself. Don’t threaten with physical violence. Don’t threaten with sexual violence.

I have no clue how Ms. Starling feels about ALL men, but she clearly feels the "good sort of men" need to be "taught" not to rape.

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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  AliRadicali on Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:54 am

uncrystal wrote:Quote from SR:
Gentlemen. Thank you for reading.

Let me start out by assuring you that I understand you are a good sort of person. You are kind to children and animals. You respect the elderly. You donate to charity. You tell jokes without laughing at your own punchlines. You respect women. You like women. In fact, you would really like to have a mutually respectful and loving sexual relationship with a woman...

The fifth and last point: Don’t rape. Nor should you commit these similar but less severe offenses: don’t assault. Don’t grope. Don’t constrain. Don’t brandish. Don’t expose yourself. Don’t threaten with physical violence. Don’t threaten with sexual violence.

I have no clue how Ms. Starling feels about ALL men, but she clearly feels the "good sort of men" need to be "taught" not to rape.

Which IMO comes back to the point that apparently Ms. Starling sees ALL men as potential rapists, even the ones who "..are kind to children and animals, respect the elderly, donate to charity, tell jokes without laughing at your own punchlines, respect women and like them."

I mean, to me liking and respecting women is not compatible with being a rapist. But hey, that's just little ol' privileged white cisgendered male me, what do I know about men, right?
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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  Pitchguest on Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:15 pm

AlRadicali: A Don Hertzfeldt avatar? Brownie points!

By the way, let's try to remain polite to eachother, even if we disagree. Very Happy


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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  Atheist Dude on Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:37 pm

B-Lar wrote:"A (practically) unmoderated space for atheists who want to discuss social justice"

not

"A place where we can all go and bitch about how much the A+ people were mean to us because we couldnt be bothered to listen"

First Pick: SR

schrodinger's rapist is not about how all men are rapists. That would be a strawman. If someone is trying to claim that all men are rapists then they are obviously wrong. It doesnt say it is fine to treat all men like rapists. it does not draw conclusions.

schrodinger's rapist is about how a women cannot know if you are a rapist or not when she meets you. it is about giving you an opportunity to go "wait a minute, OH MY GOD I AM HAVING... A THOUGHT! YES! IT TURNS OUT THAT WOMEN MIGHT HAVE TO THINK ABOUT SHIT THAT I NEVER HAVE TO THINK ABOUT!". It is an observation.

Also to anyone who thinks that the most important element of SR is its name, you fail.

Second Pick:

"A+ isnt a safe space because I went there and all i did was state my ill informed opinion and I got told to fuck off lolwut" [/paraphrase]

Safe space doesnt mean you can say whatever you like and you will be safe from reprisals. Just like free speech doesnt mean being able to say what you like and avoid the consequences. There are people that suffer actual harrasment for simply being. the safe space is for them. if you turn up and claim to know whats up when you very clearly do not know whats up then you should expect to receive the disgust you deserve. If you have a problem with this, then you have empathy failiure and should consult your local medical professional.

Third and final pick:

"They defined disagreement as offensive. I cant even dissent there now. Groupthink! Freespeech! Dogma!" [/paraphrase]

Dont be an idiot. if you arent eqipped to clearly state the reasons why you disagree, and/or arent equpipped to recognise that some of your reasons are going to be ego-fuelled bullshit which veterans are going to see through faster than the speed of thought then your "dissent" will be treated with all the contempt it deserves. Hitchens suggests that contrarianism is worthwhile for its own sake because it brings new ideas to the table, and playing devils advocate is a helpful excercise in skepticism. If your puny disagreement has been patiently rebutted thousands of times, you are not a contrarian. You are a guy who cant be bothered to use google to learn how to swim before jumping in the deep end. ie a guy who will shortly drown.


YOU ARE NOT A PRECIOUS FUCKING SNOWFLAKE.

Our first troll!

Welcome!!
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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  rEvolutionist on Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:53 pm

B-Lar wrote:{snip}

Sorry, didn't even read your post once I saw how much shouting there was in it. So my response to you is:

I CAN HAZ SHOUTING TOO?!!


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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  rEvolutionist on Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:00 pm

uncrystal wrote:Quote from SR:
Gentlemen. Thank you for reading.

Let me start out by assuring you that I understand you are a good sort of person. You are kind to children and animals. You respect the elderly. You donate to charity. You tell jokes without laughing at your own punchlines. You respect women. You like women. In fact, you would really like to have a mutually respectful and loving sexual relationship with a woman...

The fifth and last point: Don’t rape. Nor should you commit these similar but less severe offenses: don’t assault. Don’t grope. Don’t constrain. Don’t brandish. Don’t expose yourself. Don’t threaten with physical violence. Don’t threaten with sexual violence.

I have no clue how Ms. Starling feels about ALL men, but she clearly feels the "good sort of men" need to be "taught" not to rape.

Yeah, it's logic and reasoning failure, right off the bat, before one even gets into more detailed issues.

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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  uncrystal on Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:12 pm

B-Lar wrote:
"A place where we can all go and bitch about how much the A+ people were mean to us because we couldnt be bothered to listen

I don't think most of your post needs a response, but I would like to address this one point..

Firstly, there is quite a bit of bitching about your forum (I'm assuming you are a member since you came here to defend) that goes on here. Whether or not that is helpful or productive could be argued, but I've seen no personal attacks on anyone from your forum (if I'm wrong someone please correct me). Every complaint has been about something specifically said or done on the forum or about its general tone.

Personally, I waffle between finding the forum humorous, disgusting, and bizarre.

My one legitimate concern has nothing to do with the way I was treated (as I had some idea what the A+ forum was before posting and I am not in need of safe place), but with the general disregard anyone you find it easy to "other" is treated.

What happens when one or several of you "mislabel" someone as "privileged" and pile on? Your forum is touted as a safe place. What happens if that "ignorant" mislabeled person is just as much in need of safe place as all of you?. Pigasm told a rape survivor that they would be better off having been raped and murdered rather than just raped. What if that person weren't in a place where they could handle such a comment?

If you want to be a club that just "reverse bullies" everyone you think is privileged enough to deserve their own medicine fine, but don't be sanctimonious about it and don't misrepresent yourself to people who may go there wanting a "safe place" (whether their interpretation of what a safe place is or should be is correct or not).

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Re: Wha! Huh? Yeah? What is it good for?

Post  ateisten on Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:27 pm

AliRadicali wrote:...snippage...
Can you please respond with SR stuff in the SR thread?

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