I think as skeptics, it behooves us to be a bit more generous with others in disagreement, to be slower to vilify, and to engage in less scorched-earthing. I know it may be good for blog hits, but it is bad for skepticism and in my view, is antithetical to our values.He also thinks that we are too much engaging in groupthink:
And I do believe that much atheist and skeptic blogging engages in far too much in-group/out-group categorizing, us vs. them thinking.Basically, both sides are equally bad and should just stop. We also have to be nice to people who threaten women with violence that women calling them out are unfair.
So, let's see how actually both sides are equally bad and what the people engaged on the other side are actually making as arguments:
Note: This is intended to be an ongoing collection for handy reference. Please post your examples as comments with attribution.
Tube Worm on the CFI blog #166
It’s nice to see Watson, Myers, and their legions upon legions of fem-zombies continuing their project to hijack the skeptical movement to push their radical leftist political agenda. Over the last year I’ve seen this movement devolve into a PC-whitewash fest in which dissenters are tarred and feathered as “sexists” and “mysoginists, vitriole has come to replace reasoned debate, and fuzzy PoMo critical-theory reasoning has become a stand-in for science and evidence. If this keeps on, the skeptical movement will have to abandon science altogether, lest we offend anyone with “sexed” equations like E=mc^2, which clearly “privileges” (*vomit*) light over energy.And that's not the end of it.
Here's his characterization of the whole debate (#175):
If he could just do as he says...
Welcome to the Skeptical Movement’s version of the Cultural Revolution!
I’m not sure what happened, but at some point over the previous year, skepticism suddenly lost interest in science and critical thinking and suddenly began to resemble a freshman sociology class at a third-tier liberal arts college. Skeptical discussion became less of a reasoned debate about facts and evidence and more about upholding a far-left PC worldview and purging and ostracizing those who don’t toe the line. As in certain religious movements and cults, those who poke the new Sacred Cows (I.e deviating from the party line on issues of gender, sexuality, and leftist politics in general) become victims of online lynch mobs and character assassination—not unlike the way the Athiest Movement attempted to silence atheists who were opposed to a militant approach to discussion with people of faith.
At the heart of the shitstorm are certain personalities of questionable motives who are jockeying for leadership, control of the agenda and discourse, and who are attempting to purge the “old guard.” As usual, politics ruins everything and like you, I have lost all interest in participating or contributing to this movement.
Liam is very disappointed with us:
Wow, reading the reactions have left a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve always considered myself pro-feminist. But looking at the hysterical reactions in these blogs, the attempted character assassination, the extremely disappointing personal attacks in the blog post. And the extremely low level of discourse on a subject that really needs a rational consideration rather than succumbing to the heat of emotion that such subjects as these make it easy to fall into.Wilt informs us that it's all Rebecca's fault:
But it does seem that such a touchy and important subject like this in this self proclaimed skeptical community are not immune to these horrible non arguments and character attacks by community spokespeople and rank and file alike.
If these are the sort of tools we use in womens advocacy, then count me out.
Professional victim and blaming 50% of the population is not fair. Plus, it’s now “not my opinion, STFU”.He also informs us that (comment #4):
Rebecca has hurt more people. And turned off more women, that don’t want to associated or represented by the skepchicks, mainly Rebecca Watson. The quality of the posts and posters at Skepchick reflects this change. Yes, women need to be represented more and respected more. But not lectured and nagged… instead included and brought into the discussion.
Rebecca lives for the imagined sexist slant from anyone on her “hit list”. She can’t NOT keep looking for it. She can’t deal with it in a creative responsible way. She deals with the slights to women the way the CHURCH deals with slights to their theology. With GUILT and finger pointing. Ben, has crossed the Rebeca line, and must pay. I don’t know where she went to church but she learned her lessons well.And Ben Radford explicitly demands a rational and respectful discussion like this:
...and it's clear Rebecca enjoys being outraged at various things. It's often the case that outrage and insults substitute for truth and accuracy; it's easier to call someone stupid than it is to engage them respectfully.Collection ongoing...
Misronen, outraged that somebody could like Rebecca Watson better than Rick Gervais beats the straw rapist:
After being asked by janine: whether
“Is it because I do not have a problem with a rad-fem like Rebecca Watson. (Does that make me a rad-fem?)”the badly prosecuted misronen asnwers:
I honestly don’t know. Does the fact that I do make me a potential rapist / a rape apologist / full-fledged rapist (apparently on the loose)? I don’t know that either. Maybe I’m just confused.Huskvarna gets all upset because the readers of Blaghag gave Rebecca Watson an award. How could they, she did something stupid on the internet 3 years ago!
I'm not sure if Emil Karlson isn't a Poe:
Here’s a critique for you:
Rebecca accidentally got moderator privileges on JREF following the rescindment of a suspension. She then immediately abused those privileges by banning a bunch of people she didn’t like, then got permabanned by the JREF staff who understandably didn’t want Comrade Commissar Watson running around deciding what opinions people are allowed to have: