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Riayn
13th December 2009, 09:44 PM
In effect, I did. It wasn't one of the specific examples I chose (although I did cite gays, so maybe one could give me the benefit of the doubt there), but the meaning was the same.

Now, really. If there was an official statement by the JREF, "The JREF is not a lesbian organization" with no other such disclaimers, would you really think that was perfectly innocent? Really? I wonder how many times women, and lesbian women, have had to face accusations that, "I think [you are] trying to look for discrimination where there is none." Does it still sound perfectly innocent to you?

Sorry, still not offended or feeling discriminated by that statement.

Belz...
14th December 2009, 03:43 AM
Very good.

Although in my book, that makes it not science. Just like 1+4=99 isn't maths.

Irrelevant. People can BE theists even if they use the tools of science, or even conclude that theism is true using the tools of science. It doesn't matter that you or I think they are wrong, they are welcome to discuss these isues here. I do believe this is what he meant.

Belz...
14th December 2009, 03:44 AM
That is, after all, a more correct position. Because it clearly can.

Hey, Mercutio! Haven't seen you in a while. Glad to see you back.

dglas
14th December 2009, 10:02 AM
As for the alleged thread topic... just as in science, one person's experience (in this case, mine) may be accurate or inaccurate, but the only thing one can do is to follow that evidence. I have dear friends I know are straight, dear friends I know are gay, dear friends I have no clue about (nor care)... in my personal experience, if I were hanging from a cliff, overhanging punji sticks guarded by deadly sharks with guns and bad attitudes, and I had to choose one person to pull me up through sheer strength of character, and could only choose one adjective to pick that person... my friends who happen to be gay are clearly the group to choose to give me the best chance of living. If my experience is any evidence (see how I tied the whole post together? nice, eh?), I can only hope Grothe is gay, for JREF's best interest.

As for the alleged tread topic?
This does not address the OP.
But, defense reflex noted. I know it well. THAT'S the point of the OP.

Really, just about everyone gets it. Now why won't they recognize it? Is it because it is James Randi who did it?

dglas
14th December 2009, 10:21 AM
DJ is totally going to unfriend you now.

That is his right, of course, but if he has the acuity I think he has, he'll recognize what I'm saying. But then ... I have been disappointed before.

Of course, he could check my profile and causes at any point to see where I stand on issues respecting homosexuality. In fact, mine is one of the very few "everyone can see" profiles (if I read the settings properly). Anyone could check.

Perhaps it of note that I do not intend to unfriend him.

Cavemonster
14th December 2009, 10:24 AM
dglas,
Can you link to where you first saw the published sentence that offends you so much?

The Central Scrutinizer
14th December 2009, 10:25 AM
That is, after all, a more correct position. Because it clearly can.

The tools of science require one to follow the evidence, no? They do not, however, provide the evidence. Evidence, of course, comes from the environment a given person is in. Variability being part of reality, it is conceivable, perhaps inevitable, that a given person, let alone a person whose environment is steeped in religion will not encounter the same evidence as any other given person. Indeed, it is conceivable, perhaps inevitable, that the preponderance of the evidence may be overwhelmingly convincing (depending on one's decision criteria) and utterly at odds with another person's.

We see this more commonly in less-explored areas of science, where theories compete and cultures surround each. As a behaviorist, I find it astonishing that so many generations of cognitive psychologists (let alone the other scientists who are not as close to the evidence) can conclude that we have a causal mind... and yet I see threads here, and arguments in the literature (for a given definition of "the literature", but there are certainly enough publications that a subculture can insulate itself well, and any given member be honestly convinced of the "evidence"), that dismiss behaviorism as reductionist, and assert boldly a causal mind, magic as that must be.

It is a part of science, and a strength of science, that competing cultures may arise. No one picks apart a paradigm like its opposition. We would like to think we can do it ourselves, but we are human; we defend our paradigms, we defend our pet theories, we defend our beliefs. It is a very good thing that a scientific community is big enough to foster some strong strains of iconoclasts and, frankly, outright kooks. In the long run, it is a strength. In the short run (and, in science, a short run can last for generations, depending on the question), yes, absolutely, the tools of science can lead to belief.

As for the alleged thread topic... just as in science, one person's experience (in this case, mine) may be accurate or inaccurate, but the only thing one can do is to follow that evidence. I have dear friends I know are straight, dear friends I know are gay, dear friends I have no clue about (nor care)... in my personal experience, if I were hanging from a cliff, overhanging punji sticks guarded by deadly sharks with guns and bad attitudes, and I had to choose one person to pull me up through sheer strength of character, and could only choose one adjective to pick that person... my friends who happen to be gay are clearly the group to choose to give me the best chance of living. If my experience is any evidence (see how I tied the whole post together? nice, eh?), I can only hope Grothe is gay, for JREF's best interest.

Well said.


Or in hipster parlance..... "lizard".

dasmiller
14th December 2009, 10:40 AM
So, let's review this thread...

You understand, I hope, that others view this thread very differently than you do. Have you considered the possibility that there may be merit in other peoples' viewpoints here, in the same way that you want other people to consider yours?

kuroyume0161
14th December 2009, 11:02 AM
Here is the meat of your OP:

So, with D.J. Grothe becoming the next president of the JREF, is the JREF a gay organization? Seems to me we need a policy statement from the JREF publicly confirming or refuting that.

Here is my answer:

"No, we do not."

Word games and contextual exercises aren't the hallmarks of being skeptical. :) The original 'offending statement' upon which this OP is based wasn't a 'policy statement' (and it wasn't Alan who alerted me to it - I read the original foray at the time it was happening). It was a clarification wherein one wasn't required but instead provoked. Sort of like your provocation (I get the idea). Your brevity and lack of reference in the OP to the original provocation just confused the matter for some and has put you into the light of being a bit disingenuous about the motivation for the post (whether rightfully or not).

I agree that the original 'foray' was not handled tactfully by the organization. But you should have made reference to the foray for those who may have had no knowledge of it and its connectivity to the OP. And, of course, the original provocation had the air of 'have you stopped beating your wife yet' about it which just oozed 'if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything'. Silence is sometimes golden. :D

zooterkin
14th December 2009, 11:51 AM
Now some suggest, and often in insulting language, there is another way of viewing the statement such that it is perfectly neutral - which, of course, is not to the point. I am perfectly capable of reading it that way, but realize it is disingenuous to do so.

So you know full well what the statement meant, but you choose to take umbrage at it?

The Atheist
14th December 2009, 12:19 PM
Irrelevant. People can BE theists even if they use the tools of science, or even conclude that theism is true using the tools of science. It doesn't matter that you or I think they are wrong, they are welcome to discuss these isues here. I do believe this is what he meant.

Fair enough, people believe all kinds of weird ****,

That is, after all, a more correct position. Because it clearly can.

This should be interesting, away you go....

The tools of science require one to follow the evidence, no? They do not, however, provide the evidence. Evidence, of course, comes from the environment a given person is in. Variability being part of reality, it is conceivable, perhaps inevitable, that a given person, let alone a person whose environment is steeped in religion will not encounter the same evidence as any other given person.

Ignorance is strength, to be sure, but one of the real commandments of the bible is seek and ye shall find.

If I'm looking for a lost kid, I'd be leaving no stone unturned; if I'm looking for a god, I'd be looking at the stones as well.

You have, however, outlined neatly why YECs exist - the evidence isn't necessarily that easy to find and if you don't bother looking too hard, you can kid yourself into thinking the earth is 6014 years old.

Avoiding science doesn't seem to be very relevant, but let's go on...

Indeed, it is conceivable, perhaps inevitable, that the preponderance of the evidence may be overwhelmingly convincing (depending on one's decision criteria) and utterly at odds with another person's.

"depending on one's decision criteria"? Doesn't sound any relation to science, although some AGW deniers could use it pretty well. Dean Radin's built a whole career on it, so I'll concur that it works, but it ain't science.

We see this more commonly in less-explored areas of science, where theories compete and cultures surround each. As a behaviorist, I find it astonishing that so many generations of cognitive psychologists (let alone the other scientists who are not as close to the evidence) can conclude that we have a causal mind... and yet I see threads here, and arguments in the literature (for a given definition of "the literature", but there are certainly enough publications that a subculture can insulate itself well, and any given member be honestly convinced of the "evidence"), that dismiss behaviorism as reductionist, and assert boldly a causal mind, magic as that must be.

Bold assertions do not a science make.

Thus far, you're great explanation of why people ignore large parts of science, refuse to accept evidence, make bold assertions and make stupid statements, but all you're doing is displaying an ignorance of what science actually is.

I'm probably not the best person to state fully what it is, but assertions, belief and argument aren't in it.

It is a part of science, and a strength of science, that competing cultures may arise. No one picks apart a paradigm like its opposition. We would like to think we can do it ourselves, but we are human; we defend our paradigms, we defend our pet theories, we defend our beliefs. It is a very good thing that a scientific community is big enough to foster some strong strains of iconoclasts and, frankly, outright kooks. In the long run, it is a strength. In the short run (and, in science, a short run can last for generations, depending on the question), yes, absolutely, the tools of science can lead to belief.

This is a surprising plea for ignorance as a defence. I don't believe there is such a thing as "short-run science". Calling scientific misconception "science" is pretty disingenuous, in my view.

I would have bet you were smarter than that, so you've cost me a dollar.

You've made a great case for misuse of science excusing belief.

As for the alleged thread topic... just as in science, one person's experience (in this case, mine) may be accurate or inaccurate, but the only thing one can do is to follow that evidence. I have dear friends I know are straight, dear friends I know are gay, dear friends I have no clue about (nor care)... in my personal experience, if I were hanging from a cliff, overhanging punji sticks guarded by deadly sharks with guns and bad attitudes, and I had to choose one person to pull me up through sheer strength of character, and could only choose one adjective to pick that person... my friends who happen to be gay are clearly the group to choose to give me the best chance of living. If my experience is any evidence (see how I tied the whole post together? nice, eh?), I can only hope Grothe is gay, for JREF's best interest.

While it's on-topic to the OP, no part of my argument involves gay analogies, so I'll leave it for dglas.

The Atheist
14th December 2009, 12:28 PM
And speaking of being gay, am I the only one that sees that The Atheist has a huge crush on Jeff Wagg? I can empathize -- I used to harp on this girl's every word in 5th grade, it was crazy. Don't let the rejections deter you, man. It'll pay off. I'm sure you've cracked harder eggs than Mr. Wagg. :D

Wagg has eggs?

Is he/she a hermaphrodite, or whatever the politically correct form of address is nowadays; intersex?

I'll have to change my approach; maybe I'm being too direct?

Doubt
14th December 2009, 03:48 PM
dglas,

You have stated that people who disagree with you are closed minded. IIRC, you have also stated that we are not thinking.

Okay, teach us. Build a syllogism that supports your reasoning. Be prepared to defend it.

quixotecoyote
14th December 2009, 05:10 PM
dglas, I do not see where I attacked you.

My response is below. Please let me know how that is a personal attack, any more than implying I'm, um, stupid, is.

If I did attack, or even be as rude to you as you were to me, show me. I apologize in advance, as it was not my intention. I just think you're wrong.

The "is everyone wrong but you" line wasn't exactly the most blossoming olive branch I've ever seen, but I'm not 100% sure I'd call it a personal attack.

It is wrong though. I've said before that I disagree with the atheist comment. I don't find it exclusionary so much as that I agree with The Atheist in that evidence-based rational skepticism only leads one place, religiously speaking.

Geek Goddess
14th December 2009, 05:22 PM
It is wrong though. I've said before that I disagree with the atheist comment. I don't find it exclusionary so much as that I agree with The Atheist in that evidence-based rational skepticism only leads one place, religiously speaking.

I agree, and think that people who find science leads them to god are doing it wrong, but I'm willing to be proven wrong. In anything.

quixotecoyote
14th December 2009, 05:27 PM
I agree, and think that people who find science leads them to god are doing it wrong, but I'm willing to be proven wrong. In anything.

Forgive me, but I don't see why you used the word 'but' in that sentence.

dasmiller
14th December 2009, 05:32 PM
I don't find it exclusionary so much as that I agree with The Atheist in that evidence-based rational skepticism only leads one place, religiously speaking.

I agree that based on the evidence we have today, this is true.

However, let's suppose that tomorrow some incontrovertible evidence of a divine creator manifested itself.

If JREF is truly a skeptical organization, it keeps right on going with its goal of getting everyone to make evidence-based decisions.

If JREF is truly an atheist organization, it either stubbornly sticks to atheism despite the new evidence or, more likely, simply goes away.

I like to think that JREF would keep going strong. Cthulhu's appearance over San Francisco wouldn't suddenly make homeopathy effective, nor would it invalidate the fossil and genetic evidence for evolution, etc.

So in my preferred view of the world, JREF is not a fundamentally atheist organization. Atheism is a reasonable, provisional conclusion based on JREFs tenets, but that's all.

Geek Goddess
14th December 2009, 05:33 PM
Forgive me, but I don't see why you used the word 'but' in that sentence.

"and" ?

I don't think science will ever prove god exists. It would have, by now.

Unlike Fundies, I will change my mind if ever presented with sufficient evidence. However, I shall not being holding my breath.

quixotecoyote
14th December 2009, 05:46 PM
If JREF is truly an atheist organization, it either stubbornly sticks to atheism despite the new evidence or, more likely, simply goes away.

That only works if you define atheists as idiots who take non-belief as faith and deny evidence that contradicts it.

I don't.

I think the skeptical position now is atheism. If the evidence changes (hah) then the skeptical position will change.

@GeekGoddess: I was just wondering why you thought that being open to new evidence served as a qualifier to your agreement. If it didn't, that's cool.

Mercutio
14th December 2009, 05:48 PM
This is a surprising plea for ignorance as a defence. I don't believe there is such a thing as "short-run science". Calling scientific misconception "science" is pretty disingenuous, in my view.

I would have bet you were smarter than that, so you've cost me a dollar.

You've made a great case for misuse of science excusing belief.

My science deals with real people in a real world; real people recognize ignorance in hindsight, if at all (otherwise it wouldn't be ignorance, would it?). "Scientific misconception" is a nice term; do you have a way, other than hindsight, by which you identify it? Could you tell us which current experimental results are actually type I error, and which are true results? Cos that's pretty much what you are asking of scientists.

dasmiller
14th December 2009, 05:50 PM
That only works if you define atheists as idiots who take non-belief as faith and deny evidence that contradicts it.

I don't.

I think the skeptical position now is atheism. If the evidence changes (hah) then the skeptical position will change.

I agree. And that's why I consider JREF to be a fundamentally skeptical organization and not fundamentally an atheist organization. If atheism and skepticism were in conflict, we'd go with skepticism.

quixotecoyote
14th December 2009, 06:11 PM
I agree. And that's why I consider JREF to be a fundamentally skeptical organization and not fundamentally an atheist organization. If atheism and skepticism were in conflict, we'd go with skepticism.

Yet once again you raise the specter of the fundamentalist atheist. Such a creature has yet to be spotted, so it's doubtful an organization could subscribe to their philosophy.

The Atheist
14th December 2009, 07:26 PM
My science deals with real people in a real world; real people recognize ignorance in hindsight, if at all (otherwise it wouldn't be ignorance, would it?). "Scientific misconception" is a nice term; do you have a way, other than hindsight, by which you identify it? Could you tell us which current experimental results are actually type I error, and which are true results? Cos that's pretty much what you are asking of scientists.

No, you're now just moving further away from the point.

What you're after is something along the lines of the AGW debate where there is clear disagreement between scientists and while you or I might make a coherent case for AGW being real and verifiable, it's quite forgiveable that some people get confused. It is, however, not particularly relevant.

In the case of god/s, we've had several thousand years of claims, every single one of which has been thoroughly investigated and failed - as regards physical claims anyway.

The question was "what science leads to theism".

You've failed to answer it, instead presenting a miasma of obfuscation showing that faux science can lead to theism.

Instead of me finding what category 1 errors have occurred, either give some real world examples of how science leads to theism, or you just avoid the subject like the others who have accepted the premise without any evidence whatsoever.

Riayn
14th December 2009, 08:08 PM
Dglas, I think you raised an interesting question about the statement that JREF is not an atheist organisation being taken the wrong way by some atheists and implying that they are not welcome. I don't share your viewpoint, but it would have been an interesting discussion.

Unfortunately, you chose to demonstrate your viewpoint in way that came across as extremely inflammatory and homophobic. Therefore, the credibility you might have had was immediately lost resulting in forum members responding to you in the way that they did, myself included.

Sometimes it is useful to shock people to get them thinking about in a different way about a topic, but most of the times it backfires. Here it has backfired in a spectacular fashion.

not daSkeptic
14th December 2009, 08:14 PM
Sometimes it is useful to shock people to get them thinking about in a different way about a topic, but most of the times it backfires. Here it has backfired in a spectacular fashion.

And how.

MikeSun5
14th December 2009, 08:26 PM
No, you're now just moving further away from the point.

Translation: "I think you're beginning to derail my derail." :D

Sometimes it is useful to shock people to get them thinking about in a different way about a topic, but most of the times it backfires. Here it has backfired in a spectacular fashion.

:clap: :clap: :clap:

Mercutio
14th December 2009, 08:38 PM
Instead of me finding what category 1 errors have occurred, either give some real world examples of how science leads to theism, or you just avoid the subject like the others who have accepted the premise without any evidence whatsoever.
If only there were some nationally known figure, say the director of the NIH or something, who had written something about how scientific discovery represents an opportunity to worship, and whose progress was scientist first, becoming religious.

If there were, I am sure he would eat his porridge the wrong way, or there would be some other way to dismiss his self description.

But if someone like that existed, you would never need to ask for examples.

dasmiller
14th December 2009, 09:23 PM
Yet once again you raise the specter of the fundamentalist atheist. Such a creature has yet to be spotted, so it's doubtful an organization could subscribe to their philosophy.

Please re-read. I am "raising the specter" of atheist organizations and I believe that there is strong evidence for exactly such things.

arthwollipot
14th December 2009, 09:38 PM
I agree. And that's why I consider JREF to be a fundamentally skeptical organization and not fundamentally an atheist organization. If atheism and skepticism were in conflict, we'd go with skepticism.Yet once again you raise the specter of the fundamentalist atheist. Such a creature has yet to be spotted, so it's doubtful an organization could subscribe to their philosophy.Please re-read. I am "raising the specter" of atheist organizations and I believe that there is strong evidence for exactly such things.Sorry, quixotecoyote, but I agree with dasmiller here. The phrase "a fundamentally skeptical organisation" is not the same thing as "a fundamentalist atheist". One can still use the adverb "fundamentally" without referring to fundamentalist beliefs. It's like me saying "I am a fundamentally lazy person". That says nothing about my beliefs, only the extent to which I am lazy.

KoihimeNakamura
14th December 2009, 11:53 PM
Yet once again you raise the specter of the fundamentalist atheist. Such a creature has yet to be spotted, so it's doubtful an organization could subscribe to their philosophy.

There are fundamentalist atheists. They're sometimes called militant atheists.

arthwollipot
14th December 2009, 11:55 PM
There are fundamentalist atheists. They're sometimes called militant atheists.Yes, but dasmiller wasn't talking about them.

The Atheist
15th December 2009, 12:47 AM
If only there were some nationally known figure, say the director of the NIH or something, who had written something about how scientific discovery represents an opportunity to worship, and whose progress was scientist first, becoming religious.

If there were, I am sure he would eat his porridge the wrong way, or there would be some other way to dismiss his self description.

But if someone like that existed, you would never need to ask for examples.

This is just getting silly. You're deliberately incorrectly conflating a scientist and science. I'm waiting for C S Lewis to pay a visit.

Anyone can assert something, and you've certainly provided evidence of that as well. I think now would be the time for you to join Wagg, Arthwollipot and Belz in avoiding the subject entirely.

Pretty sure I've made my point several times over.

arthwollipot
15th December 2009, 03:17 AM
I'm not avoiding the subject specifically or with intent, I just consider it not worth discussion. For reasons that I've already outlined.

TokenMac
15th December 2009, 07:10 AM
"The JREF is not an Atheist Organization"

Might be a poor choice of words, if they were printed by themselves on a sign, if they were the sole content of a press release, or if they were in any way presented on their own by the JREF with no additional content.

That's not the case. There has been no posting from the JREF including this phrase that did not also go on to explain it's meaning, that the JREF includes both theists and atheists.

dglas,

Can you link to where you've read the statement that offends you so much?
I've never seen it made except in context of a longer explanation that makes the meaning quite clear.

Bump for dglas

quixotecoyote
15th December 2009, 08:24 AM
Yes, but dasmiller wasn't talking about them.

Actually he was. His argument was that JREF can't be a fundamentally atheist organization because then it wouldn't change its position if evidence for god (hah) suddenly appeared.

I call nonsense on that. If you represent an organization dedicated to evidence-based rational skepticism and you're going to make any statement on atheism/theism, the further you distance yourself from atheism, the further you distance yourself from evidence-based rational skepticism.

quixotecoyote
15th December 2009, 08:26 AM
There are fundamentalist atheists. They're sometimes called militant atheists.

Different thing entirely. Show me an atheist who says believes in the lack of deity as a fundamental article of faith, rather than as a result of the evidence and lack thereof.

Bill Thompson
15th December 2009, 03:25 PM
I hope it is.

Maybe I can get some questions answered, like:


What do gay teens say for slang when they describe something is bad?
If something is "gay" is it good?
If something sucks, to they have to say "it sucks, but in a bad way"?

arthwollipot
15th December 2009, 09:53 PM
Actually he was. His argument was that JREF can't be a fundamentally atheist organization because then it wouldn't change its position if evidence for god (hah) suddenly appeared.

I call nonsense on that. If you represent an organization dedicated to evidence-based rational skepticism and you're going to make any statement on atheism/theism, the further you distance yourself from atheism, the further you distance yourself from evidence-based rational skepticism.Except that he didn't use the phrase "a fundamentally atheist organisation". He used the phrase "fundamentally an atheist organisation". I just went back and re-read the post to make sure.

I don't want to be a grammar nazi here (too late), but the placement of the article significantly changes the meaning of the phrase.

quixotecoyote
16th December 2009, 06:45 AM
Except that he didn't use the phrase "a fundamentally atheist organisation". He used the phrase "fundamentally an atheist organisation". I just went back and re-read the post to make sure.

I don't want to be a grammar nazi here (too late), but the placement of the article significantly changes the meaning of the phrase.

Ok, so maybe I'm just slow this week, but how does that change the meaning?

modecom
16th December 2009, 10:39 AM
I am not saying the JREF should decree itself an atheist organization. I am saying the JREF should not specifically point at atheists and loudly proclaim, "Not us!" This is what it has done.


dglas, I totally agree with you. I too was very disappointed when the JREF made that "Not us!" statement.

GimmePepsi
16th December 2009, 05:20 PM
Except that he didn't use the phrase "a fundamentally atheist organisation". He used the phrase "fundamentally an atheist organisation". I just went back and re-read the post to make sure.

I don't want to be a grammar nazi here (too late), but the placement of the article significantly changes the meaning of the phrase.

I tend to agree it changes the technical meaning. However, dasmiller said it both ways in separate posts (267 and 271). I suspect he meant it the same way in both places.

arthwollipot
16th December 2009, 05:48 PM
Ok, so maybe I'm just slow this week, but how does that change the meaning?I may be just nitpicking here, especially given GimmePepsi's post (I haven't gone back to check the other post) but the difference is whether "fundamentally atheist" is the adjective, or just "atheist". If I may paraphrase a little:

The JREF is a fundamentally atheist organisation. The word "fundamentally" modifies the adjective "atheist", implying that "fundamentalist atheism" is different from regular common-or-garden atheism.

The JREF is, fundamentally, an atheist organisation. (I've added commas to make it clearer.) The word "fundamentally" modifies the noun phrase "an atheist organisation". It intensifies the sentence rather than modifying the word "atheist". It could be substituted with words like "in principle" or "ultimately" or "basically", like so:

The JREF is basically an atheist organisation.

This may or may not have been the intent, but it is how I read the post, and why I responded the way I did. The position of the article suggested one thing to me, another thing to someone else.

I didn't really want to nitpick this far, so I'll leave it at that. But you asked. I'm very sorry for the derail. Can we get back to the subject at hand now please?

Alan
16th December 2009, 05:53 PM
Ok, so maybe I'm just slow this week, but how does that change the meaning?
I'll show why I think they are different. I'm not saying that these apply to the JREF.

"fundamentally an atheist organisation" = [fundamentally] [an atheist organisation] = The fact that the organisation is made up of atheists is important to the organisation.

"a fundamentalist atheist organisation" = [a fundamentalist atheist] [organisation] = It is an organisation of "fundamentalist atheists".

EDIT: I was beat to it.

quixotecoyote
16th December 2009, 07:17 PM
I didn't really want to nitpick this far, so I'll leave it at that. But you asked. I'm very sorry for the derail. Can we get back to the subject at hand now please?

If you insist.

I think the JREF is uber-gay, and it makes me tingle in funny places.

arthwollipot
16th December 2009, 09:54 PM
If you insist.

I think the JREF is uber-gay, and it makes me tingle in funny places.Thanks. Me too.

Moochie
17th December 2009, 06:19 AM
I once worked for a company where the President was from the Netherlands.

I slaved for this damn organization for years and I still don't have a Dutch passport.


Did they teach you to seduce children using Edam and how to cut doors and curtains in half?


M.

Moochie
17th December 2009, 07:16 AM
There absolutely is, and I have been trying to point it out since the JREF issued that hateful statement: "The JREF is not an atheist organization." It is profoundly sad that it took such a pointed parody to prove it, since the people committing the tragic error could not be reasoned with - their minds closed to any discussion.

It is profoundly unfortunate that the people, enlightened and sensitive to issues of discrimination, could not be caused to see the tragic error they were making.

I am not saying the JREF should decree itself an atheist organization. I am saying the JREF should not specifically point at atheists and loudly proclaim, "Not us!" This is what it has done.

People in this thread exhibited the ability to recognize prejudicial thinking when the subject matter was homosexuals, and yet are perfectly, perhaps deliberately, oblivious when the subject matter is atheists.

That suggests the lesson hasn't been learned at all.

I think I understand what you're saying, but the JREF saying it isn't a/an <insert relevant descriptor here> doesn't bother me. I also think I understand why such a statement would be made, even if I wouldn't have chosen to make it myself, for reasons similar to what you are describing. Under what circumstances was this statement made, and by whom?


M.

Moochie
17th December 2009, 07:33 AM
I think it was episode 8.

Saying "don't touch me" could have nothing to do with homophobia whatsoever. Perhaps the person was an aspie? Or valued his personal space?


Good point, Alan. How some people misconstrue the actions and behavior of others is something that has fascinated me for a long time. Your post reminded me of someone known to my family who happened to see me and other family members among the throngs in a crowded shopping center, although we didn't see him. Later, when we met up with him, he accused us of deliberately ignoring him, and seemed quite outraged, despite our explanation that we hadn't seen him. When we asked why he hadn't come nearer to catch our attention he could only reiterate that he'd called out several times. The place was very noisy and we simply hadn't heard him nor seen him, but he wouldn't be assuaged.


M.

Piscivore
17th December 2009, 09:01 AM
I think I understand what you're saying, but the JREF saying it isn't a/an <insert relevant descriptor here> doesn't bother me. I also think I understand why such a statement would be made, even if I wouldn't have chosen to make it myself, for reasons similar to what you are describing. Under what circumstances was this statement made, and by whom?


M.

Dglas reminds me of Homer Stokes.

Please stay on topic and be civil. Thank you.

specious_reasons
17th December 2009, 04:19 PM
That is his right, of course, but if he has the acuity I think he has, he'll recognize what I'm saying. But then ... I have been disappointed before.

Of course, he could check my profile and causes at any point to see where I stand on issues respecting homosexuality. In fact, mine is one of the very few "everyone can see" profiles (if I read the settings properly). Anyone could check.

Perhaps it of note that I do not intend to unfriend him.


I guess I needed a smiley for that.

BTW: Like Cavemonster , I am also curious what exactly Randi said that upset you.

BazBear
17th December 2009, 08:43 PM
Yes, it's decidedly gay and not a moment too soon. This place could use a hair cut.

Just curious, is the US a black organization now?

Well just the helicopters, and maybe the sorts of guys Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones fictionally portrayed...but I've said too much already :wide-eyed

BazBear
17th December 2009, 09:03 PM
No, not even close, actually.

Aside from the obverwhelmingly obvious fact that you're making a category error confusing scientists with science, a list of clowns who are creationists but have a PhD in a scientific discipline just proves that people with PhDs can be as insane as the next person.

One PhD guy, with a Nobel Prize no less, believes that AIDS doesn't exist, while others are full-on 9/11 conspiracy nuts.

You've made no attempt to answer the question and instead post gibberish. Surprising lack of cynicism with an over-abundance of apologetics.

I absolutely agree with you that any real tool of science can't be used to support a religious, theist point of view. But the counter point to that is that science can't prove the negative either. I am an atheist, but I know several people who are theists, who can critically think, and are skeptics. I think the difference with such people is their ability to separate their spiritual philosophy (which for whatever reasons they hang on to; it matters not to me) from the reality of how the world works. In many cases it also depends what sort of dogma they subscribe to. But I'll not throw all folks of faith into the same pile..

BazBear
17th December 2009, 09:34 PM
Well, whether atheism is a destination or not depends upon what one's definition of it is, but that aside, for the sake of consistency, if we are to view atheism as a destination, then we must view theism as a destination. So, again we end up asking why there is a disclaimer about one and not the other.

Where is the JREF public policy statement that it is not a theist organization?
Surely there is no more and no less content in that than in the "is not an atheist organization" statement. If it is all so innocent as assumed by some (those who would paint laughing dogs as open explorations :D ), why the need for it? Why not include theism in a "not our business" statement? We wouldn't want to suggest one destination when we eschew others from simple omission - especially if the understood claim is that destinations are not the purpose.

I have read and even appreciated a fair bit of Randi's work, actually. This is why I recoiled so dramatically from that awful statement, "The JREF is not an atheist organization."

There are a number of ways of understand the MDC - open exploration (as you depict it here), satire, rhetorical weapon, etc. Ever wonder why it is presented as a challenge rather than an offer? To be honest, it is not open exploration to request scientific experimental evidence from people whose ideas are based on innately unverifiable/refutable "effects." This is not to say I do not favour science (I've written lengthy posts in the past about my recommendation of science as the most wildly successful tool humanity has ever crafted - some will say "trolling for science," I suppose :rolleyes: ) - so, please let's stay on topic here.

A wording that indicated atheism/theism was not the business of the JREF would have suited me perfectly, but to point specifically at one, atheists, and loudly proclaim "not us." Unacceptable.

Using your own reasoning, the JREF's statement cuts off a destination. Unfortunately, with the simplistic dichotomous understanding of theism/atheism, that means promoting the alternative. This is not an understanding I necessarily hold, but it is held by many. If the JREF is not about destinations....

I'll cut to chase here. JREF is also not about people taking things out of context. It's not about people with an ax to grind, with a bee in their bonnet over something that maybe could have been worded better. Boy oh boy, I while I can see where you are coming from, I can't agree in any way, and I think your point of view is terribly misguided. You've taken offense in a way some theists would, IMHO. It's almost as if atheism IS a faith to you, with the fervor you've shown; and you continue to defend your original position with a zeal that only reinforces my opinion.

BazBear
17th December 2009, 09:42 PM
Well now. That wasn't so hard, now was it?

Okay, I guess you get it; but jeez man, nothing like hammering a point that didn't need to be made?:)

Piscivore
18th December 2009, 10:41 AM
It's almost as if atheism IS a faith to you, with the fervor you've shown; and you continue to defend your original position with a zeal that only reinforces my opinion.
I call myself an anti-theist
Bears repeating.

kuroyume0161
18th December 2009, 11:28 AM
I call myself an anti-theist.
Bears repeating.

That's funny.

a: without
anti: opposed, against
theist: one who believes in god or gods.

What that says is that you (dglas) are against/opposed to belief in god (or gods) which appears to be a more militant/zealous position. Atheism just says that one is without belief in god (or gods) which isn't militant/zealous by definition.

Piscivore
18th December 2009, 03:13 PM
What that says is that you (dglas) are against/opposed to belief in god (or gods) which appears to be a more militant/zealous position.

Oh, that boy's got all kinds of hate he ain't burned up yet.

Bill Thompson
18th December 2009, 05:32 PM
Yubaba's Bathhouse. I like that.

MikeSun5
18th December 2009, 06:34 PM
I absolutely agree with you that any real tool of science can't be used to support a religious, theist point of view. But the counter point to that is that science can't prove the negative either. I am an atheist, but I know several people who are theists, who can critically think, and are skeptics. I think the difference with such people is their ability to separate their spiritual philosophy (which for whatever reasons they hang on to; it matters not to me) from the reality of how the world works. In many cases it also depends what sort of dogma they subscribe to. But I'll not throw all folks of faith into the same pile..

You brought up some interesting points in this post. Science can't disprove theism, but the burden of proof belongs to the theists, doesn't it?

The Atheist makes a solid argument saying that science doesn't provide the tools to "discover" a God, but I think you raise a good point with what you said about people's (in)ability to separate spiritualism from reality. I think most skeptical, rational people that believe in God do so purely for comfort. I'm as skeptical as they come, but I'd really like to see my dead friends and family again, you know? Even Mr. Randi himself admitted that he told his dying father that he'd see his relatives in the afterlife.

So I guess we won't really know whether or not science can lead to theism until science can somehow accurately measure stuff like comfort, compassion, and love...

godofpie
19th December 2009, 01:37 PM
You brought up some interesting points in this post. Science can't disprove theism, but the burden of proof belongs to the theists, doesn't it?

The Atheist makes a solid argument saying that science doesn't provide the tools to "discover" a God, but I think you raise a good point with what you said about people's (in)ability to separate spiritualism from reality. I think most skeptical, rational people that believe in God do so purely for comfort. I'm as skeptical as they come, but I'd really like to see my dead friends and family again, you know? Even Mr. Randi himself admitted that he told his dying father that he'd see his relatives in the afterlife.

So I guess we won't really know whether or not science can lead to theism until science can somehow accurately measure stuff like comfort, compassion, and love...

QFT
And I might add that I model our skeptics group, FACT (http://www.meetup.com/f-a-c-t/), on the JREF premise. My dad (bio chemist) Eric Carlson (Physicist and prelim-tester for JREF MDC) Tony Layng(Anthropologist and contributor to several national skeptics periodicals) plus 2 new members (a new member from last month brought a friend from his church this month) are all "believers" to some degree. They are an asset to our organization. Much more so then me and I consider myself fortunate and glad to have them. I forgot that we also have a WFU divinty student and a Universalist Unitarian minister. And let's not forget Anita, our paranormal claimant. Frequently people find our group because of the "atheist" tag and the majority of our members are atheist/agnostic. Skepticism need to be as big a tent as possible. As long as someone is willing to examine their beliefs and be open minded and teachable I see no reason to put labels on ourselves. Labels and absolutes are divisive and should be avoided.

KoihimeNakamura
20th December 2009, 12:40 AM
kuroyume: What artist is that?

kuroyume0161
20th December 2009, 07:59 AM
kuroyume: What artist is that?

Kiyoharu (Mori) from the now-defunct bands Kuroyume and SADS. Currently going solo.

cj.23
20th December 2009, 09:19 AM
Leaving the unbecoming "loonies" snarkiness aside.

"...shall we also just modify it to "the JREF is not a religious or atheist organization""

That would be an interesting experiment actually. Needs to be a little more specific though. Some will claim that "religion" does not necessarily mean "theistic."

In no way was loonies mean to mean posters on the board dglas: apologies if that could be inferred from my words. What I meant was there might be people who could actually be confused -- I have met people who believe football teams are part of a freemasonic conspiracy. :( I think that making it clear would do not harm at all.

cj x

dglas
21st December 2009, 03:10 PM
I'm not avoiding the subject specifically or with intent, I just consider it not worth discussion. For reasons that I've already outlined.

Most of our society, and the entire atheist community, sees it as a topic worthy of discussion. Feel free to join us when you get your head out of the sand.

dglas
21st December 2009, 03:12 PM
So you know full well what the statement meant, but you choose to take umbrage at it?

I understand how it will be taken by the theistic community.

dglas
21st December 2009, 03:16 PM
You understand, I hope, that others view this thread very differently than you do. Have you considered the possibility that there may be merit in other peoples' viewpoints here, in the same way that you want other people to consider yours?

Yes, and I have considered that and rejected it, because of the history of similar such statements in a social context. Is there any particular reason you have assumes I haven't? This is not a topic I approached only moments ago.

Lothian
21st December 2009, 03:27 PM
This is not a topic I approached only moments ago.How long has it been in your closet?

Geek Goddess
21st December 2009, 04:04 PM
You seem to think that someone disagreeing with you, or telling you your opinions are wrong, is a personal attack.

arthwollipot
21st December 2009, 10:00 PM
Most of our society, and the entire atheist community, sees it as a topic worthy of discussion. Feel free to join us when you get your head out of the sand.ORLY? The only place I can see it being discussed is right here in this thread. And you're the only one who appears to have any problem with it.

Where else is it being discussed, please?

zooterkin
22nd December 2009, 12:24 AM
I understand how it will be taken by the theistic community.

So you're choosing to be upset by something you actually understand because you think you know how people you disagree with will interpret it?

Sorry, it's just get more and more ludicrous. Do you believe the JREF is an atheist organisation? If not, then I still fail to see the problem. It is not the same as saying it is not a gay organisation because the circumstances are different

Given your fixation on atheists being persecuted, wouldn't it have been worse if the statement had said (in defiance of the facts) that the JREF is an atheist organisation?

Darat
22nd December 2009, 12:41 AM
Quite a few posts moved to AAH for being off-topic. If you wish to discuss moderation issues do so in the correct section i.e. Forum Management.

Lothian
22nd December 2009, 01:01 AM
Most of our society, and the entire atheist community, sees it as a topic worthy of discussion. Feel free to join us when you get your head out of the sand.I have told you a million times before. Stop exaggerating.

dglas
22nd December 2009, 07:17 AM
I have told you a million times before. Stop exaggerating.

Read the news. You aren't making yourself loo clever here with this denial of reality.

Lothian
22nd December 2009, 07:25 AM
Read the news. You aren't making yourself loo clever here with this denial of reality.If the reality is "Most of our society, and the entire atheist community, sees it as a topic worthy of discussion".

You will have no problem pointing out where most of our society are discussing this point and where the entire atheist community are having their worthy discussion.

All I see is a few people in this thread pointing out why you have got hold of the wrong end of the stick.

As for making myself 'loo clever'. I have been potty trained for some time.

Piscivore
22nd December 2009, 08:21 AM
Read the news. You aren't making yourself loo clever here with this denial of reality.


If the reality is "Most of our society, and the entire atheist community, sees it as a topic worthy of discussion".

You will have no problem pointing out where most of our society are discussing this point and where the entire atheist community are having their worthy discussion.

Or even just one news story where a group that does not consider quality X to be a condition of membership- but nevertheless has a majority of members that possess or embrace quality X- that says "we are not an X organisation" and anyone else takes that to be discriminatory against the "X"s.

ETA: I guess three days will give Our Mr. Dglas plenty of time to find lots of examples.

MikeSun5
22nd December 2009, 05:55 PM
I'm confused. What exactly is the topic of this thread now? My posts pertaining to the OP keep getting moved for being off topic...

Darth Rotor
23rd December 2009, 08:03 AM
Well, whether atheism is a destination or not depends upon what one's definition of it is, but that aside, for the sake of consistency, if we are to view atheism as a destination, then we must view theism as a destination. So, again we end up asking why there is a disclaimer about one and not the other.
For the simple reason that nobody has ever mistaken the JREF for a religious, or theistic, organization. It is an organization dedicated to critical thinking, where as Answers in Genesis seem to be an organization devoted to a religious spin on how the earth came to be what it is.

DR

arthwollipot
24th December 2009, 03:56 AM
As for making myself 'loo clever'. I have been potty trained for some time.I don't really want to be seen as someone who laughs at a tupo, but this was just too good a reply! :newlol

dglas
29th December 2009, 12:08 PM
Oh, that boy's got all kinds of hate he ain't burned up yet.

Piscivore's got all kinds of stupid he ain't burned up yet.


What? He's allowed to say hateful, condescending, irelevant, uneducated, meaningless, off-topic crap like that. Exact same form, just changed the descriptor and the subject.

Piscivore
29th December 2009, 01:55 PM
Piscivore's got all kinds of stupid he ain't burned up yet.
That's why I'm here. Why are you?

dglas
29th December 2009, 03:23 PM
That's why I'm here. Why are you?

It shows. I'd say you have much work to do.

Personally, I'm trying to advance the subject matter.

Of course, I don't have benefit of haphazard creative editing to help me.



I will admit that you were right about one thing though: there is not a snowball's chance in hell I would ever GM for you.

Piscivore
29th December 2009, 03:34 PM
It shows. I'd say you have much work to do.
Undoubtably.

Personally, I'm trying to advance the subject matter.

I was talking about in the larger sense, beyond this thread and the phrase that offends you so. What do you want out of this forum?

Tricky
30th December 2009, 08:08 AM
Please limit the discussion to the topic and not each other.

dglas
30th December 2009, 12:05 PM
Please limit the discussion to the topic and not each other.

Please check your targets.

arthwollipot
30th December 2009, 05:43 PM
Please check your targets.No target specified.

Jeff Corey
30th December 2009, 06:08 PM
Hey, sailor, what's a tupo?

dglas
3rd January 2010, 11:25 PM
Like any other despised group, we atheists need to become sensitive to the language, to raise awareness, of when we are being discriminated against, verbally or otherwise. We need to recognize exclusivist language and policies. If we don't, we are giving the theists control of the language - control they WILL use.

When theists get organizations to make a special proclamation that they are "not atheist" organizations, it is a use of language to discriminate against atheists - in connotation and perception.it accepts a negative perception and reinforces it. Why make such a proclamation? Was there something wrong with atheists that they need special dissociation?

KoihimeNakamura
3rd January 2010, 11:51 PM
... Uhm... what? Seriously, what? I think you're just reading into this waay too much.

dafydd
4th January 2010, 12:17 AM
Have you heard about the gay burglars? They break into your house and rearrange the furniture.

dasmiller
4th January 2010, 08:10 AM
Like any other despised group, we atheists need to become sensitive to the language, to raise awareness, of when we are being discriminated against, verbally or otherwise.

Ah - so we're victims. I'd missed that part.

I'm a member of many despised groups. Offhand, I'm despised for being American, male, conservative or liberal (depending on who's despising me at the moment), a "pawn of the corporate death merchants who are exporting wholesale slaughter while feeding at the public trough" (or "working in the aerospace industry"), for owning a Canon camera, for using a Windows PC, for my taste in music, for having various nerdy hobbies, and, yes, for my views on the origin and purpose of the universe. I don't spend a lot of time contemplating how oppressed I am, but maybe I'm doing it wrong.

We need to recognize exclusivist language and policies. If we don't, we are giving the theists control of the language - control they WILL use.

I don't see the JREF statement as being exclusivist. Instead, I think it indicates that atheists don't have a preferred standing in JREF, and won't get special treatment.

When theists get organizations to make a special proclamation that they are "not atheist" organizations, it is a use of language to discriminate against atheists - in connotation and perception.it accepts a negative perception and reinforces it.

Was JREF pressured by theists into adding the 'not an atheist organization' line? I hadn't heard that.

Why make such a proclamation? Was there something wrong with atheists that they need special dissociation?

Actually, I thought that I and others had addressed this specific point several times. I believe it's because JREF has a lot of atheist members, and there could easily be confusion about whether it is an atheist organization, so a clarifying statement was added.

Geek Goddess
4th January 2010, 08:16 AM
When theists get organizations to make a special proclamation that they are "not atheist" organizations, it is a use of language to discriminate against atheists - in connotation and perception.it accepts a negative perception and reinforces it. Why make such a proclamation? Was there something wrong with atheists that they need special dissociation?

As an atheist, and a financial supporter of JREF, I don't see this at all.

A better way to say it may have been 'JREF is not an organization for the promotion of atheism, it is for....blah blah blah'

I founded a skeptics group in my city. I occasionally have people inquiring if we are atheist, or sometimes speakers who want to talk specifically about atheism. I refer them to the several atheist/secular orgs in town for that topic, and emphasize instead discussions about skepticism in general, paranormal or pseudoscience, and so on.

Piscivore
4th January 2010, 08:45 AM
Instead, I think it indicates that atheists don't have a preferred standing in JREF, and won't get special treatment.
:jaw-dropp Say it ain't so. :covereyes

Geek Goddess
4th January 2010, 09:46 AM
Being Polite and Being Right (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2010/01/04/being-polite-and-being-right/)

dglas
4th January 2010, 01:07 PM
Being Polite and Being Right (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2010/01/04/being-polite-and-being-right/)

Above: Being off-topic and being irrelevant, as well as presenting personal attacks as argument.

The tone, the source or the intent have no bearing on the veracity of the content. Intro logic. Kinda slow to learn I won't let this slimy rhetoric pass, ain'tcha?

Darth Rotor
4th January 2010, 01:29 PM
Above: Being off-topic and being irrelevant, as well as presenting personal attacks as argument.

The tone, the source or the intent have no bearing on the veracity of the content. Intro logic. Kinda slow to learn I won't let this slimy rhetoric pass, ain'tcha?

http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=5461728&postcount=333

remirol
4th January 2010, 01:31 PM
The tone, the source or the intent have no bearing on the veracity of the content. Intro logic.

Intro social skills: If nobody will listen to you, it doesn't matter how right you are.

dglas
4th January 2010, 01:38 PM
Ah - so we're victims. I'd missed that part.

I'm a member of many despised groups. Offhand, I'm despised for being American, male, conservative or liberal (depending on who's despising me at the moment), a "pawn of the corporate death merchants who are exporting wholesale slaughter while feeding at the public trough" (or "working in the aerospace industry"), for owning a Canon camera, for using a Windows PC, for my taste in music, for having various nerdy hobbies, and, yes, for my views on the origin and purpose of the universe. I don't spend a lot of time contemplating how oppressed I am, but maybe I'm doing it wrong.

Have you been told you may not run for office in your local constituency because of these. Have you been voted in and immediately had lawsuits threatened and enacted against you because of these?

Have you been told you should not be considered citizens of your own nation because of these things?

Do you have texts of thoroughly hateful and murder-prescribing (your murder) material given special protection under the law in your nation because of these?

Have you seen your president pressured and publicly criticized for including you as a person in your state because of these?

Didn't think so.

Your comparisons are invalid and so profoundly off-target that they are laughable. Don't make this profound mistake again.


I don't see the JREF statement as being exclusivist. Instead, I think it indicates that atheists don't have a preferred standing in JREF, and won't get special treatment.

Yeah. Preferred standing. Like not being the only group singled out for a special disclaimer - a special dissociation.


Was JREF pressured by theists into adding the 'not an atheist organization' line? I hadn't heard that.

Nor will you - officially. But again, there is a reason these kinds of special disclaimers are made (they don't just spontaneously and magically happen, you know). It is because people who don't like the excluded group want to ensure the organization expresses a special disclaimer - in exchange for which there is publicity and funding. Honestly, it's like you folks think the JREF was asked whether it is an atheist organization by some 4 year old little girl as a passing, perfectly innocent moment of curiosity. Are you really this painfully naive? Or are you just virulent apologists, happy to see this special dissociation in place?



Actually, I thought that I and others had addressed this specific point several times. I believe it's because JREF has a lot of atheist members, and there could easily be confusion about whether it is an atheist organization, so a clarifying statement was added.

No, actually, you haven't. I realize that folks here consider derision, ad hominems attacks and sarcasm "valid argument" and "addressing something," but most folks with any education in logic. however small, or debate realize that those are just irrelevant rhetorical ploys - almost invariably fallacies, actually.

The point I am making, and it still remains unanswered, is that special provision was publicly expressed to distance the organization from atheists. It doesn't do this with any other group, nor should it. For exactly the same reason it shouldn't with respect to atheists either. If someone, for whatever reason, wants to know if the JREF is an atheist organization (as if that question were even interesting without a context of conflict), that it is not exclusively so can be expressed in a neutral way - unless a neutral statement doesn't serve the purposes of the questioner. Providing a disclaimer just adds, aids and abets the public negative connotation of atheism.

I am not interested in what Randi intended to say. I am interested in what he said, because THAT is what the public sees. If what he said does not clearly reflect what he meant to say, then revise it. It's really not that difficult. You'd think someone like Randi might just be able to do this very simple thing (and that he might actually have an interest in how his public expressions fail to express his intent. I would be perfectly happy to offer alternatives that do not single out any one group. Have done, several times already.

Not looking for any special status for atheism here, so you can cut that crap right now. Just looking for the same basic respect ANYONE else gets. It is only atheists who don't get it.

dglas
4th January 2010, 01:41 PM
http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=5461728&postcount=333

When she does, I will.

Why didn't you say this to her?

I wonder...

Darth Rotor
4th January 2010, 01:45 PM
Why didn't you say this to her?

Here is why
When she does, I will.
See also: http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=5477319&postcount=341
As an atheist, and a financial supporter of JREF, I don't see this at all. A better way to say it may have been 'JREF is not an organization for the promotion of atheism, it is for....blah blah blah'

I founded a skeptics group in my city. I occasionally have people inquiring if we are atheist, or sometimes speakers who want to talk specifically about atheism. I refer them to the several atheist/secular orgs in town for that topic, and emphasize instead discussions about skepticism in general, paranormal or pseudoscience, and so on.
I wonder...
Wonder no longer.

Happy New Year. :)

DR

not daSkeptic
4th January 2010, 01:54 PM
If what [Randi] said does not clearly reflect what he meant to say, then revise it. It's really not that difficult.

Your argument only works if one assumes that Randi considers said error to be an issue of enough significance so as to warrant issuing a correction. He may not.

Darth Rotor
4th January 2010, 01:54 PM
Have you been told you may not run for office in your local constituency because of these. Have you been voted in and immediately had lawsuits threatened and enacted against you because of these?

Have you been told you should not be considered citizens of your own nation because of these things?
Have you?
Do you have texts of thoroughly hateful and murder-prescribing (your murder) material given special protection under the law in your nation because of these?
Example?
Have you seen your president pressured and publicly criticized for including you as a person in your state because of these?
Example?
Your comparisons are invalid and so profoundly off-target that they are laughable. Don't make this profound mistake again.
Please go back and see what remirol stated in his intro to social skills.
Yeah. Preferred standing. Like not being the only group singled out for a special disclaimer - a special dissociation.
Only group? You have had explained to you why this appears to have been done, and you are still angry/upset about it. We are nine pages into it, and it is obvious your frustration/anger won't be soothed by any answer.

Why do you bother to keep this discussion alive? You have taken a "take no prisoners" attitude on the topic, and in pursuing it have seemingly created more adversaries than allies to your cause. What does this show you about how your message has been packaged, particularly considering that numerous of these adversaries are atheists?
Nor will you - officially. But again, there is a reason these kinds of special disclaimers are made (they don't just spontaneously and magically happen, you know). It is because people who don't like the excluded group want to ensure the organization expresses a special disclaimer - in exchange for which there is publicity and funding.
To survive in the real world, how do you propose a non-profit function? With fewer or more funds? :confused: (Were you around when we discussed at length the decisions on the banners for fund raising? I think you were, but I don't recall).
Honestly, it's like you folks think the JREF was asked whether it is an atheist organization by some 4 year old little girl as a passing, perfectly innocent moment of curiosity. Are you really this painfully naive? Or are you just virulent apologists, happy to see this special dissociation in place?
Virulent apologists.

Great way to win people to your way of thinking.

See again, remirol and social skills intro.
The point I am making, and it still remains unanswered, is that special provision was publicly expressed to distance the organization from atheists.
Not as I saw it. It was to differentiate itself from groups who were specifically organized as advocates for and promoters of atheism, and where atheism is a generally good fit. There is a subtle distinction, and a reason big tent is a worthwhile platform.
It doesn't do this with any other group, nor should it. For exactly the same reason it shouldn't with respect to atheists either. If someone, for whatever reason, wants to know if the JREF is an atheist organization (as if that question were even interesting without a context of conflict), that it is not exclusively so can be expressed in a neutral way - unless a neutral statement doesn't serve the purposes of the questioner. Providing a disclaimer just adds, aids and abets the public negative connotation of atheism.
Well said, and in accordance with what Geek Goddess posted a few posts up, and which you didn't seem to note. (Maybe noting agreement isn't a good use of your time, but only argumentation is. Confused, I am).
I am not interested in what Randi intended to say. I am interested in what he said, because THAT is what the public sees. If what he said does not clearly reflect what he meant to say, then revise it.
Also well said.
It's really not that difficult. You'd think someone like Randi might just be able to do this very simple thing (and that he might actually have an interest in how his public expressions fail to express his intent. I would be perfectly happy to offer alternatives that do not single out any one group. Have done, several times already.
And I wonder why your recommendations weren't adopted.

1. Poor sales job
2. Other reason
3. Randi has distaste for atheists
4. "Not invented here" syndrome

Not looking for any special status for atheism here, so you can cut that crap right now. Just looking for the same basic respect ANYONE else gets. It is only atheists who don't get it.
Amazing. The word "woo" leaps to mind as a particularly careless usage thrown about in the JREF discussion forums, at pretty much anyone but atheists.

Funny. Or not.

DR

Geek Goddess
4th January 2010, 03:32 PM
Above: Being off-topic and being irrelevant, as well as presenting personal attacks as argument.

The tone, the source or the intent have no bearing on the veracity of the content. Intro logic. Kinda slow to learn I won't let this slimy rhetoric pass, ain'tcha?

It is on topic, it is a discussion of how to be polite in getting your ideas across, with atheism as the topic. There is nothing personal about this article. The only names mentioned are those referring to authors of other linked articles.

Intro social skills: If nobody will listen to you, it doesn't matter how right you are.

dasmiller
4th January 2010, 03:51 PM
In fairness, Darth Rotor covered a lot of this, but:

Have you been told you may not run for office in your local constituency because of these. Have you been voted in and immediately had lawsuits threatened and enacted against you because of these?

I've never run for office, nor do I wish to.

Have you been told you should not be considered citizens of your own nation because of these things?

Admittedly not. Is this common in the US?

In other countries, perhaps, but there are countries that frown on membership for Christians and Jews, too.

Do you have texts of thoroughly hateful and murder-prescribing (your murder) material given special protection under the law in your nation because of these?

There's special protection for text suggesting murder of atheists in the US?

Certainly, there is a lot of constitutionally-protected text out there that includes people calling for deaths of all Americans. The phrase "pawn of the corporate death merchants who are exporting wholesale slaughter while feeding at the public trough" suggests a certain indifference to my well-being. I've seen letters suggesting the some of my political views would justify my murder.

Have you seen your president pressured and publicly criticized for including you as a person in your state because of these?
Didn't think so.

I'm really not sure what this is referring to. The president is responsible for state citizenship? Wouldn't that be a governor?

Your comparisons are invalid and so profoundly off-target that they are laughable. Don't make this profound mistake again.

No promises, partly because I'm not quite sure what comparison I made.

Yeah. Preferred standing. Like not being the only group singled out for a special disclaimer - a special dissociation.

Because this is a common point of confusion.

Nor will you - officially. But again, there is a reason these kinds of special disclaimers are made (they don't just spontaneously and magically happen, you know).

To resolve a common point of confusion?

It is because people who don't like the excluded group want to ensure the organization expresses a special disclaimer - in exchange for which there is publicity and funding.

Seriously, do you have any evidence that JREF was pressured into this by "people who don't like" atheists? If so, provide it and we can debate whether or not JREF should have caved to their demands. If not, then don't use it as an argument.

Honestly, it's like you folks think the JREF was asked whether it is an atheist organization by some 4 year old little girl as a passing, perfectly innocent moment of curiosity. Are you really this painfully naive? Or are you just virulent apologists, happy to see this special dissociation in place?

Okay, I'm given a choice of being "painfully naive" or a "virulent apologist." I'm not quite sure what a "virulent apologist" is but I'll assume it's unflattering. And that leads to:

No, actually, you haven't. I realize that folks here consider derision, ad hominems attacks and sarcasm "valid argument" and "addressing something," but most folks with any education in logic. however small, or debate realize that those are just irrelevant rhetorical ploys - almost invariably fallacies, actually.

Can you show anywhere that I've made an ad hom attack? I'll concede that my "ah, we're victims" remark was sarcastic, but I did make an effort to follow up with a reasoned response. Go ahead, I know you're going to say it . . .


Anyway, your rebuttal to the point about the JREF/Atheism thing being a common point of confusion is "Are you really this painfully naive? Or are you just virulent apologists . . ?" So, once more, accuse me of an ad hom.

The point I am making, and it still remains unanswered, is that special provision was publicly expressed to distance the organization from atheists. It doesn't do this with any other group, nor should it. For exactly the same reason it shouldn't with respect to atheists either.

First, I'd say that JREF is distancing itself a bit from atheism, not from atheists, but that's probably a small semantic point. Which doesn't mean that we probably won't spend another 40 posts debating it.

Anyway, the reason for the special mention of atheism is that this is a common point of confusion. We may simply have to agree to disagree on whether that is sufficient reason to include the 'not-an-atheist-organization' line.

But I'm going to guess that you're not an "agree to disagree" kind of guy.

If someone, for whatever reason, wants to know if the JREF is an atheist organization (as if that question were even interesting without a context of conflict), that it is not exclusively so can be expressed in a neutral way - unless a neutral statement doesn't serve the purposes of the questioner. Providing a disclaimer just adds, aids and abets the public negative connotation of atheism.

As has been observed, not everyone agrees that the statement implies a lower status for atheism.

Not looking for any special status for atheism here, so you can cut that crap right now. Just looking for the same basic respect ANYONE else gets. It is only atheists who don't get it.

Are you seriously suggesting that atheists aren't getting basic respect from JREF?

By taking a rather belligerent stance, you may well be alienating a lot of people who might have agreed with you. Suggesting, say, "'JREF is neither theistic nor atheistic' could be perceived in a more neutral manner" probably wouldn't have pissed anyone off; the whole "Are you really this painfully naive? Or are you just virulent apologists . . .?" thing is counterproductive.

arthwollipot
4th January 2010, 07:15 PM
Admittedly not. Is this common in the US?There's that one quote attributed to George Bush Sr. saying that he didn't consider atheists to be patriots, and didn't believe that they should be citizens.

Darth Rotor
5th January 2010, 05:00 AM
There's that one quote attributed to George Bush Sr. saying that he didn't consider atheists to be patriots, and didn't believe that they should be citizens.
While I have suspected that this was an urban legend, that attribution is in some question, but here's a link for the claim:

http://www.robsherman.com/information/liberalnews/2002/0303.htm

I don't know if VP Bush made any disclaimer, or if this is he said she said, or if Mr Sherman is absolutely correct. Given the context of the remarks, I give the benefit of the doubt to Mr Sherman.

DR

arthwollipot
5th January 2010, 05:04 AM
Most likely an urban legend, that attribution is in question.

DRYes, but it's the only one I can think of that supports dglas' assertion.

Darth Rotor
5th January 2010, 05:09 AM
Yes, but it's the only one I can think of that supports dglas' assertion.

Sorry, arth, I ETA'd.

I think that dglas is on reasonably firm ground in wondering if that attitude sustained over time in the term of Pres Bush 41, (he appears to have made the remark in 1987) in terms of decisions and policies. Also, did that attitude reflect more than political dimness on the VP's part. It is worth asking, given that the VP was on the record, and still made such comments.
While his general theme was "I am not real popular among atheists," if Mr Sherman recalls the exchange correctly, then it shows that GWH Bush has, or at least had, a serious attitude problem.

To answer the mail, I am and American, and a Christian, and I find that remark offensive and way out of line. We are free to worship, or not, as we choose here. For that line to be taken strikes me as either baldly pandering to the religious right, or the sign of someone whose needs a quick lesson in the Constitution. Either way, it reflects badly on VP Bush.

DR

remirol
5th January 2010, 05:16 AM
Bush was a fundamentalist Christian, so it's not really surprising that he would hold that attitude. But fundamentalism isn't reflective of the majority of Christianity -- just the loudest portion. It's worth noting that the right-wing was resoundingly unelected in '08 despite having put YEC Palin on the ticket at the last minute, so I don't see any reason to extrapolate GW's attitude or views across the rest of the population -- just a particular minority.

Darth Rotor
5th January 2010, 05:59 AM
Bush was a fundamentalist Christian, so it's not really surprising that he would hold that attitude. But fundamentalism isn't reflective of the majority of Christianity -- just the loudest portion. It's worth noting that the right-wing was resoundingly unelected in '08 despite having put YEC Palin on the ticket at the last minute, so I don't see any reason to extrapolate GW's attitude or views across the rest of the population -- just a particular minority.
GHW Bush is not a Fundy. He's an old style, East Coast Blue Blood Protestant/WASP sort.

His son, GW, might be classified as Fundy. I'd be less surprised to see GWB voice those sentiments than GHW Bush. But we digress. This is about JREF not being an atheist organization, nor a gay organization, and the problems this poses for _____________ .

DR

remirol
5th January 2010, 06:23 AM
GHW Bush is not a Fundy. He's an old style, East Coast Blue Blood Protestant/WASP sort.

His son, GW, might be classified as Fundy. I'd be less surprised to see GWB voice those sentiments than GHW Bush. But we digress. This is about JREF not being an atheist organization, nor a gay organization, and the problems this poses for

Oops. Misread, didn't see you were talking about Bush Sr. -- and yes, _he_ is a classic Protestant. This should conclude the mini-derail, though it does have relevance in one area -- dglas' perception of atheists being excessively persecuted compared to all other minority groups. As such, I note that while the quote is an example of intolerance, I do not think (the quote) accurately reflects the current or majority attitude towards atheism.

Moochie
6th January 2010, 08:02 AM
FWIW, I don't believe U.S. or Australian politicians who advertise their "faith" in prime or any other time. There are good reasons for this.


M.

AvalonXQ
6th January 2010, 08:14 AM
The Bush quote is, in fact, an urban legend. A total fabrication, but useful for militant atheists with a victim mentality.

Piscivore
6th January 2010, 08:42 AM
The Bush quote is, in fact, an urban legend. A total fabrication, but useful for militant atheists with a victim mentality.

Evidence?

zooterkin
6th January 2010, 08:59 AM
Evidence?

http://www.robsherman.com/advocacy/060401a.htm

Although it might not be what AvalonXQ is hoping for.

AvalonXQ
6th January 2010, 09:28 AM
Evidence?

You can't prove a negative. The burden of proof is on those who insist Bush said it.

Moochie
6th January 2010, 09:58 AM
You can't prove a negative. The burden of proof is on those who insist Bush said it.

Cheap shot: Bush didn't say it, he did it.


M.

dasmiller
6th January 2010, 10:10 AM
http://www.robsherman.com/advocacy/060401a.htm

Although it might not be what AvalonXQ is hoping for.

Even if we take Bush's quote at face value (which I'm inclined to do), it's still a remark made 22 years ago by a member of a political party that's no longer in power.

So I'm not feeling all that threatened.

Piscivore
6th January 2010, 10:24 AM
You can't prove a negative. The burden of proof is on those who insist Bush said it.

I meant, what evidence leads you to believe he didn't say it when it was reported he did.

Moochie
6th January 2010, 10:47 AM
I believe Bush was as human as you and I. What makes anyone think he was different?


M.

MikeSun5
7th January 2010, 05:44 AM
I realize that folks here consider derision, ad hominems attacks and sarcasm "valid argument" and "addressing something..."

...so the proper reaction is to respond with insults and condescension? :confused:

See again, remirol and social skills intro.

Thirded. (post #346, btw)

The point I am making, and it still remains unanswered, is that special provision was publicly expressed to distance the organization from atheists.

First off, your point is not a question. The title of this thread is, and the answer is no. Your point is correct, but your anger is misplaced and your argument is an exercise in hyperbole.

dglas
7th January 2010, 08:48 PM
...so the proper reaction is to respond with insults and condescension? :confused:

I give what I get. I was civil. Then I was attacked. Turns out the yapping jackals can dish it out, but can't take it. I can go back to the subject matter at any time.


Thirded. (post #346, btw)

Irrelevant and off topic. Claims that the subject matter is changed due to perceived incivility are contrary to basic logic.


First off, your point is not a question. The title of this thread is, and the answer is no. Your point is correct, but your anger is misplaced and your argument is an exercise in hyperbole.

"First off, your point is not a question. "
Is this what you consider a point of argument? You really are desperate for something to pick at, rather than deal with the subject matter in question, aren't you? Here's a freebie for you: I will now misspell "keyboard." Keebord. You can now leap on that as an argument point. :rolleyes:

My anger actually arises from much-too-high expectations of my detractors' ability to conduct a civil discussion. Even as late as the OP, I was still presenting the argument in a civil fashion. The responses, including yours, however, dragged the conversation down - which is exactly what they were intended to do. That is akin to kittening, posting recipes, mindless quips, and all the other cheap rhetorical tactics wielded by those without an argument.

TokenMac
7th January 2010, 09:30 PM
"The JREF is not an Atheist Organization"

Might be a poor choice of words, if they were printed by themselves on a sign, if they were the sole content of a press release, or if they were in any way presented on their own by the JREF with no additional content.

That's not the case. There has been no posting from the JREF including this phrase that did not also go on to explain it's meaning, that the JREF includes both theists and atheists.

dglas I don't know about Cavemonster, but I still would like an answer to this.

remirol
8th January 2010, 04:42 AM
Claims that the subject matter is changed due to perceived incivility are contrary to basic logic.

This is a strawman. Nobody has claimed the subject matter changes; however, people are not computers, and their willingness to listen is based on the method in which you approach them. You have consistently approached the subject matter with "I am right and everyone else is wrong", and you have been abusive and condescending in your replies. This has caused many people to tune you out, as there isn't much point in arguing with someone whose mind is closed and isn't willing to listen.

I repeat again: if nobody is willing to listen, does it matter how right you are?

Understanding this is a key component of critical thinking.

Let's consider the primary benefits of critical thinking for a moment, shall we? In general, applying it where possible to our actions will tend to provide a number of tangible benefits. We (critical thinkers) will tend to spend money efficiently, on things which provide actual return for value; we will use medical treatments which work, rather than unproven woo; and we will not waste great lengths of time and effort catering to an invisible sky fairy, instead enjoying our lives. OK. So in short, one of the benefits is the ability to accomplish what we need efficiently for whatever circumstances.

Now, let's apply this to my above statement. You have a specific circumstance where you would like people to listen to and agree with a point you are trying to make. Yet you are intentionally selecting an approach that causes people to avoid listening to you and avoid taking you seriously, even when several people have told you that your approach is the problem, rather than your subject matter.

I contend that you are not applying critical thinking to this circumstance; rather, you are thinking emotionally and irrationally, and this is the primary cause of your frustration.

As much as many of us would like to believe that logic is enough, this simply isn't ever going to be true when dealing with anything but a computer. A minimum of social skills and persuasive speaking are necessary to win people over to your side, no matter how "right" you are on the facts. There is a reason criminal attorneys are well-spoken, well-dressed, and comport themselves in an extremely professional manner; they need the juries to want to listen to what they're saying.

Right now, nobody wants to listen to what you're saying, because you're going out of your way to be as abusive and obnoxious as possible. You've even garnered several rule 12 infractions in the process. I suggest that your approach is obscuring any message you are attempting to get across, and that until you change that approach, you will not see any improvement.

Your call.

Cavemonster
8th January 2010, 10:46 AM
dglas I don't know about Cavemonster, but I still would like an answer to this.

Oh, I would love to see dglas link to where he saw the phrase used by the JREF without a clear explanation of exactly what was meant, but I'm not holding my breath.

specious_reasons
8th January 2010, 03:43 PM
Oh, I would love to see dglas link to where he saw the phrase used by the JREF without a clear explanation of exactly what was meant, but I'm not holding my breath.

This is what I remember:
http://www.randi.org/jr/080505potential.html#14
I want this fully understood: the James Randi Educational Foundation is not an atheist organization; it is an organization dedicated to offering down-to-Earth, rational, explanations and discussions of the so-called paranormal, supernatural, and occult happenings and claims with which we are constantly bombarded by the media and by groups – including religious groups – who try to convince us of such matters. While I, as JREF president, and those presently working in our office, are declared atheists, there is no bar against others taking positions with us, appearing on our web page or forum, doing business with us, or attending any of our functions. My personal stance is that religious claims are of the same nature as any other claims made without supporting evidence, that is, they are superstitious claims; if those claims come up for examination by the JREF, they must undergo the same sort of analysis as any others.

(bolding mine) When I read this, I thought it was clear and easy to understand. I suppose one could quote-mine this to someone else's displeasure, but in my opinion this wouldn't even fall into the top 10 of Randi's gaffs.

dglas
8th January 2010, 04:35 PM
...their willingness to listen is based on the method in which you approach them.

Displaying evidence is not a method that works with this crew, apparently.

The evidence of the impact of negative language has been provided. You are clutching at straws - anything to avoid the point.

... there isn't much point in arguing with someone whose mind is closed and isn't willing to listen.


That you are standing on form rather than content is why I am dismissing you.

Since you exemplify this, I will no longer respond to you.

TokenMac
8th January 2010, 05:02 PM
This is what I remember:
http://www.randi.org/jr/080505potential.html#14


(bolding mine) When I read this, I thought it was clear and easy to understand. I suppose one could quote-mine this to someone else's displeasure, but in my opinion this wouldn't even fall into the top 10 of Randi's gaffs.

Thanks specious,

When ever I looked for the offending quote that page was the only thing I could find too. I guess I was just hoping that dglas had seen some thing that wasn't coming up in a google search.

So dglas your concerns were answered over 4 years before you had them, may be now you could apologize to the JREF for taking there words out of context, and accusing them of plotting against atheist.

remirol
9th January 2010, 05:29 AM
Displaying evidence is not a method that works with this crew, apparently.

Handwaving doesn't work either. When you feel like displaying evidence rather than ranting abusively, let us know.

The evidence of the impact of negative language has been provided.

And yet you wilfully ignore the impact of your own negative language... another fine display of emotional, irrational non-logic.

Your responses or lack thereof don't change the validity of my points. But your unwillingness to attempt to understand them simply underlines what I have to say and casts it forever in letters of gold.

arthwollipot
9th January 2010, 07:05 AM
I repeat again: if nobody is willing to listen, does it matter how right you are?

Understanding this is a key component of critical thinking.

...

I contend that you are not applying critical thinking to this circumstance; rather, you are thinking emotionally and irrationally, and this is the primary cause of your frustration.

...

Right now, nobody wants to listen to what you're saying, because you're going out of your way to be as abusive and obnoxious as possible. You've even garnered several rule 12 infractions in the process. I suggest that your approach is obscuring any message you are attempting to get across, and that until you change that approach, you will not see any improvement.Quoted For Truth.

Oh, and Nominated.

Hawk one
9th January 2010, 07:46 AM
Oh, I would love to see dglas link to where he saw the phrase used by the JREF without a clear explanation of exactly what was meant, but I'm not holding my breath.

I would also love to see that. I mean, where I've seen the phrase used by JREF, it's been painfully obvious to me that it was about clearing up a common misconception, but hey, English is only my second language, so what do I know? And of course, even if that wasn't obvious in itself, the clarification's always followed immediately anyway, meaning only quote-miners can take it to mean that JREF could possibly be discriminating against atheists.

Of course, when Jeff -repeated- this (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=5401675#post5401675) - in a most perfectly polite manner, as is evident - he too was met with more condencension (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=5403969#post5403969) and of course the continued insistence that this clearing up hadn't been provided earlier. Which shows that dglas is lying when he says he only "gives what he gets" in terms of civility. In fact, that is only one of many example in this thread where people who have tried to argue civilly with him have only gotten condencention and insults in return.

But hey, dglas, you still have a chance to redeem yourself: Show some evidence that the JREF has ever mentioned that it's "not an atheist organisation" without immediately explaining what they mean with this (and show some evidence that this explanation differs in from Jeff's post), and I'm willing to listen.

MikeSun5
9th January 2010, 10:14 AM
My anger actually arises from much-too-high expectations of my detractors' ability to conduct a civil discussion.

Wow. You just admitted that your anger is your own fault. So apparently if you hadn't set your expectations so high, you wouldn't have had to resort to insults and condescension. Hey, live and learn.

With that one sentence, all you've done is proven what remirol and arthwollipot were saying. You are not being logical, you are being emotional.

I give what I get. I was civil. Then I was attacked.

Incorrect. Your OP was not clear, it was misinterpreted, and you became rude when people reacted to the posts you wrote rather than the ideas you thought of. You were "attacked" because your OP came off as trollish and homophobic. Rest assured, if you would calm down and work on your clarity, you'd have a lot better conversations with all of us dummies.

Is this what you consider a point of argument? You really are desperate for something to pick at, rather than deal with the subject matter in question, aren't you?

I've addressed the hypocracy of your argument numerous times, but you have ignored my points, and the other posts were moved for being off topic (which I would tend to disagree with).

So once again, we'll get down to the root of your furious and insulting rants:

My anger actually arises from much-too-high expectations of my detractors' ability to conduct a civil discussion.


...oh, and you misspelled "keyboard." :rolleyes:

Ludicrous Leprechaun
9th January 2010, 10:17 AM
Threads like this remind me that I picked the wrong time, to give up Circus Peanuts!

I don't have the patience to read 10 pages of good people, trying to refute someone's contention that they object to bigotry, by implying bigotry exists in the atheists disclaimer at this site.
It didn't say, no atheists allowed. It simply seeks to educate the ignorant, that critical thought and skepticism isn't exclusive to atheism. As such, this site isn't exclusively atheist! But I guess one would have to be an atheist to get that.:popcorn1

Darth Rotor
10th January 2010, 08:32 AM
You were "attacked" because your OP came off as trollish and homophobic.
His OP was not homophobic. I am amazed that anyone took dglas' like or dislike, or indifference to, homosexuals from his OP. One has to read quite a bit into that post to find anything remotely homophobic.

DR

quixotecoyote
10th January 2010, 12:22 PM
His OP was not homophobic. I am amazed that anyone took dglas' like or dislike, or indifference to, homosexuals from his OP. One has to read quite a bit into that post to find anything remotely homophobic.

DR

And if one is going to read that far into it, one could probably figure out what he was trying to say.

MikeSun5
10th January 2010, 12:33 PM
His OP was not homophobic. I am amazed that anyone took dglas' like or dislike, or indifference to, homosexuals from his OP. One has to read quite a bit into that post to find anything remotely homophobic.

I just checked back, and you're right about the OP not directly being homophobic, but if you look at his next few posts, their hostility certainly implies a resentful/angry person. That implication is probably the reason the topic of homophobia was even raised. It sucks when it happens, but dglas' attitude quickly overshadowed what little logic his argument held.

Stacy Head
11th January 2010, 05:46 PM
So, with D.J. Grothe becoming the next president of the JREF, is the JREF a gay organization? Seems to me we need a policy statement from the JREF publicly confirming or refuting that.


Reposted here in a new thread for greater visibility, rather than just being buried, deep in another thread. I posted the above to my Facebook status recently - the results were, shall we say, interesting...

These are the happiest people I know. I love happy people. Why would you not want to be around happy people? And I mean happy like fa la la la la la la ka ching. I just won the lottery type of happy people.

So what's the problem with being happy?

Is D.J. happier than Phil? Why do you need a statement saying the JREF is a happy organization? That's just ridiculous :rolleyes:

Darth Rotor
11th January 2010, 09:14 PM
I just checked back, and you're right about the OP not directly being homophobic, but if you look at his next few posts, their hostility certainly implies a resentful/angry person. That implication is probably the reason the topic of homophobia was even raised. It sucks when it happens, but dglas' attitude quickly overshadowed what little logic his argument held.

Understood, but his frustration/anger didn't seem to me to be directed at homosexuals. Not hardly. His frustration seems to be at the JREF for one reason or another. See the Forum Management forum for more frustration exhibited.

DR

Legato
19th January 2010, 03:38 AM
So, with D.J. Grothe becoming the next president of the JREF, is the JREF a gay organization? Seems to me we need a policy statement from the JREF publicly confirming or refuting that.


Reposted here in a new thread for greater visibility, rather than just being buried, deep in another thread. I posted the above to my Facebook status recently - the results were, shall we say, interesting...

No, JREF is not a gay organisation, anymore than it is a straight organisation, an atheist organisation, a theist organisation, an ex-service person organisation, an organisation for black people, or an organisation for white people.

There are two interpretations of the phrase "JREF is not an organisation for...", the first, far more obscure meaning "specifically excludes", and "not specifically set up for" which is obviously what was intended.

That said, judging by the posters here and Randi himself, it seems in the main to consist of atheists.

I think you are being terrifyingly over-sensitive. If someone just clarified the statement for you to make it more clear that meaning two was intended, would you be happy?

Piscivore
19th January 2010, 06:53 AM
If someone just clarified the statement for you to make it more clear that meaning two was intended, would you be happy?

It's been done, a half-dozen times, at least. His answer seems to be "No".

Hawk one
19th January 2010, 07:43 PM
I think you are being terrifyingly over-sensitive. If someone just clarified the statement for you to make it more clear that meaning two was intended, would you be happy?
When the statement was made in the first place, the clarification immediately followed. And it has been every time any time it's been mentioned officially. Clearly, complete clarification even before asked simply isn't enough for dglas.

arthwollipot
19th January 2010, 10:36 PM
When the statement was made in the first place, the clarification immediately followed. And it has been every time any time it's been mentioned officially. Clearly, complete clarification even before asked simply isn't enough for dglas.Not to mention the fact that with a little bit of thought and context, a clarification shouldn't even have been needed in the first place.

Legato
20th January 2010, 02:25 AM
Not to mention the fact that with a little bit of thought and context, a clarification shouldn't even have been needed in the first place.

Sometimes people get so emotionally invested in an idea that they won't back down. I was hoping that this might have been a dignified way to get out of a tight corner. It didn't work, but it was worth a try.

BazBear
20th January 2010, 09:13 PM
The fact that this thread is still active simply amazes me.

BazBear
20th January 2010, 09:44 PM
Understood, but his frustration/anger didn't seem to me to be directed at homosexuals. Not hardly. His frustration seems to be at the JREF for one reason or another. See the Forum Management forum for more frustration exhibited.

DR
Thanks for pointing that out, Darth. I'll not comment more on Dglas' posts other than to say, whatever the burr in his bottom side is, it's probably not homophobic.

dglas
25th January 2010, 05:06 AM
It only took you all (with acknowledged exceptions) a month and 10 days to finally realize the OP was using homosexuality as a comparison - a very effective comparison. So effective, in fact, that responses to it perfectly displayed the point, leaving detractors with nothing to resort to but personal attacks. Maybe if I give another year some will figure out what the point of the comparison was.

The comparison's approach was necessary because these boards are rife with unfortunate persons, using very unfortunate rhetorical ploys, to avoid considering the subject matter. Instead, the standard ploys of ad hominems, straw men and derision are trotted out yet again for the unimaginative and integrity-free to lap up. The standards for conversation on these boards are worse than deplorable, essentially school-yard bullying, as vividly displayed in this thread.

There is little in the line of responses from my detractors in this thread that would pass muster in the most dumbed-down of informal fallacy classes. This is the standard of conversation the JREF "rules" endorse and enforce, and that most posters, it seems, clutch at. Those who cannot understand the position, mischaracterize it and attack their caricatures. The "anti-theism" thing is a prime example of this, and especially Piscivore's deliberate and dishonest misuse of it.

Let's look at that for a moment. One poster uses my self-description as an "anti-theist" to make nonsensical claim. Piscivore, using all the reasoning abilities at his disposal, thinks he sees an opportunity to discredit the person, rather than addressing the argument. He declared that I am full of hate and hopes the mindless masses will (1) take his word for it, as if he has suddenly become the expert on all things dglas, and (2) make the leap that someone being full of hate refutes the point of an argument (whihc is a logical fallacy). Most people familiar with the basic fundamentals of logic will see this as the dishonest rhetorical ploy it is. Piscivore's argument is all of off-topic, abusive, irrelevant, a straw man, disingenuous, and completely without any merit whatsoever, but this is par for the course for him.

Remirol simply cannot comprehend that content is independent of tone, who says it or motivations. This is the simplest of logic. Rather than deal with the subject matter - again - sorry attempts at excuses are offered to discredit the person.

What these two, and others like them, have done is offered pathetic excuses for deliberately ignoring the subject matter on plainly false and irrelevant pretenses. That some lap it up is a sign of argument standards in dire need of re-education (or any education, for that matter).

This is exactly what one would expect from a forum thoroughly compromised by bait and report trolls. A forum famous for spamming threads with kittens and recipes and mindless quips and derailing - for want of argument and integrity.



@BazBear: The burr (as you so quaintly put it) is that language that would be unacceptable when referring to any other group is strangely acceptable when referring to
atheists. The fact that it took 10 pages and 394 posts before the accusations of homophobia were finally put to rest is proof of this -

clear,

obvious,

unequivocal

and unambiguous proof.

That statements are made later to conduct damage control is not to the point so long as the original statement is still in place. The word "atheist" today has negative emotional connotations that puts it on a par with any of the most hateful terms wielded against any group. This is not a matter of opinion on my part. It is seen clearly in political, legal and social circles. The only way to fight this is to claim the word as our own and give it a new meaning. Statements like Randi's accept and perpetuate the negative connotations and intents thereof - at the insistence of those who would see the word used in a consistently derogatory fashion. This is one of the things we have learned from every other social minority rights group, and it is just as true now. It doesn't change because the group referred to is atheists instead of whatever other comparison one chooses to consider.

arthwollipot
25th January 2010, 05:31 AM
*yawn*

remirol
25th January 2010, 05:41 AM
Remirol simply cannot comprehend that content is independent of tone, who says it or motivations. This is the simplest of logic. Rather than deal with the subject matter - again - sorry attempts at excuses are offered to discredit the person.
This is a strawman. Nobody has claimed the subject matter changes; however, people are not computers, and their willingness to listen is based on the method in which you approach them. You have consistently approached the subject matter with "I am right and everyone else is wrong", and you have been abusive and condescending in your replies. This has caused many people to tune you out, as there isn't much point in arguing with someone whose mind is closed and isn't willing to listen.

I repeat again: if nobody is willing to listen, does it matter how right you are?

Understanding this is a key component of critical thinking.

Let's consider the primary benefits of critical thinking for a moment, shall we? In general, applying it where possible to our actions will tend to provide a number of tangible benefits. We (critical thinkers) will tend to spend money efficiently, on things which provide actual return for value; we will use medical treatments which work, rather than unproven woo; and we will not waste great lengths of time and effort catering to an invisible sky fairy, instead enjoying our lives. OK. So in short, one of the benefits is the ability to accomplish what we need efficiently for whatever circumstances.

Now, let's apply this to my above statement. You have a specific circumstance where you would like people to listen to and agree with a point you are trying to make. Yet you are intentionally selecting an approach that causes people to avoid listening to you and avoid taking you seriously, even when several people have told you that your approach is the problem, rather than your subject matter.

I contend that you are not applying critical thinking to this circumstance; rather, you are thinking emotionally and irrationally, and this is the primary cause of your frustration.

As much as many of us would like to believe that logic is enough, this simply isn't ever going to be true when dealing with anything but a computer. A minimum of social skills and persuasive speaking are necessary to win people over to your side, no matter how "right" you are on the facts. There is a reason criminal attorneys are well-spoken, well-dressed, and comport themselves in an extremely professional manner; they need the juries to want to listen to what they're saying.

Right now, nobody wants to listen to what you're saying, because you're going out of your way to be as abusive and obnoxious as possible. You've even garnered several rule 12 infractions in the process. I suggest that your approach is obscuring any message you are attempting to get across, and that until you change that approach, you will not see any improvement.

Your call.

Normally I wouldn't overquote like this, but unfortunately, all of the post is an appropriate response to dglas' oft-repeated strawman above. The validity of content is, indeed, independent of the tone in which it is delivered. But the tone of delivery can, indeed, render the content moot. This is what is happening in this case; this is what the above message addresses.

KoihimeNakamura
25th January 2010, 05:56 AM
It would also help if you toned down the insults from 12 to oh, I dunno, 6.

Legato
25th January 2010, 06:05 AM
dglas,

I did not think that you were being homophobic.

Perhaps you would consider answering my question, as I answered yours?


No, JREF is not a gay organisation, anymore than it is a straight organisation, an atheist organisation, a theist organisation, an ex-service person organisation, an organisation for black people, or an organisation for white people.

There are two interpretations of the phrase "JREF is not an organisation for...", the first, far more obscure meaning "specifically excludes", and "not specifically set up for" which is obviously what was intended.

That said, judging by the posters here and Randi himself, it seems in the main to consist of atheists.

I think you are being terrifyingly over-sensitive. If someone just clarified the statement for you to make it more clear that meaning two was intended, would you be happy?

dasmiller
25th January 2010, 06:52 AM
Instead, the standard ploys of ad hominems, straw men and derision are trotted out yet again for the unimaginative and integrity-free to lap up.

So, in many posts, it has been explained that JREF included the phrase in question to resolve a common point of confusion.

Would "to resolve a common point of confusion" be considered an ad hom, a straw man, or derision?

remirol
25th January 2010, 07:08 AM
So far, the discussion flow to me appears to have been:

JREF: "The JREF is not an atheist organization."
dglas: "This can only mean that atheists are excluded. I object."
Lots: "No, it means that the JREF is not specifically for atheists, but for critical thinkers."
dglas: "Yes, but it _sounds_ like it is explicitly disavowing atheists. Why is a special statement needed for atheists but not for gays? It looks bad."

... and then it's degenerated into abuse, tantrums, etc.

Someone else said this first, but I'll repeat it: A special statement is required for atheists because to the general public, the JREF could easily be confused for an atheist organization. Unlike American Atheists and other organizations whose sole purpose is to promote atheism, the JREF is involved with many other issues to which critical thinking should be applied, many of which bear no relation whatsoever to atheism -- say, for example, 9/11 conspiracy theories, ghost-hunting and bigfootery. A theist who also happens to be an excellent 9/11 debunker should not be discouraged from supporting the JREF and its activities simply because they are a theist. And there are an awful lot of very intelligent theists out there whose support should not be turned away... as opposed to 9/11 CTers and bigfoot-hunters, who are both a minority and, well, tend to disagree with the JREF on a lot of issues as opposed to just a fringe one.

No special statement is required for gays because nobody whose brains are not in their crotch would confuse the JREF for a gay organization.

zooterkin
25th January 2010, 07:24 AM
So far, the discussion flow to me appears to have been

It was actually more like:

JREF: "The JREF is not an atheist organization, by which we mean that the JREF is not specifically for atheists, but for critical thinkers."
dglas: "This can only mean that atheists are excluded. I object."
Lots: "No, it means that the JREF is not specifically for atheists, but for critical thinkers."
dglas: "Yes, but it _sounds_ like it is explicitly disavowing atheists. Why is a special statement needed for atheists but not for gays? It looks bad."

...

Cuddles
25th January 2010, 08:47 AM
It only took you all (with acknowledged exceptions) a month and 10 days to finally realize the OP was using homosexuality as a comparison - a very effective comparison. So effective, in fact, that responses to it perfectly displayed the point, leaving detractors with nothing to resort to but personal attacks. Maybe if I give another year some will figure out what the point of the comparison was.

So you're saying you were using a rhetorical ploy?

these boards are rife with unfortunate persons, using very unfortunate rhetorical ploys, to avoid considering the subject matter.

Indeed.

MikeSun5
25th January 2010, 10:33 PM
Re: post #401... nominated, and frickin case closed IMO.

dglas
28th January 2010, 05:15 PM
dglas,

I did not think that you were being homophobic.

Perhaps you would consider answering my question, as I answered yours?

I have, on so very many occasions, indicated what would "make me happy" as you so colloquially put it. Retract the statement and replace it with something neutral. I have even offered suggestions. So, I have answered your question, countless times over. Repeating the question after it has been answered so often is wearisome. Claiming that I have not answered it, when I have many, many times is dishonest. Move on.

dglas
28th January 2010, 05:18 PM
Re: post #401... nominated, and frickin case closed IMO.

Nominated? For what? Mischaracterizing the discussion?
Is that sorry excuse for an in-clique back-patting award still going?
Are you using the award to push a point? Is that what you think it is for?

Then spend your time elsewhere. You aren't contributing to the subject matter.

dglas
28th January 2010, 05:23 PM
So you're saying you were using a rhetorical ploy?

Yes, but not a cheap one. Sorry you can't see the difference.

Indeed.

Decoy deployed. Not distracted.

dglas
28th January 2010, 05:37 PM
Normally I wouldn't overquote like this, but unfortunately, all of the post is an appropriate response to dglas' oft-repeated strawman above. The validity of content is, indeed, independent of the tone in which it is delivered. But the tone of delivery can, indeed, render the content moot. This is what is happening in this case; this is what the above message addresses.

The content is the content. The tone of delivery may render the perception of the content as being moot, but not the content itself. To think the content is affected by the tone is a fallacy. Go back to school.

In any event, this is nonsense because my tone is a direct result of the kinds of abuse I was subjected to by detractors lacking anything other than abuse to wield. The method is: We got nothing, so abuse the poster. When the poster responds angrily to our abuses, hit the poster with a retaliation penalty and pretend we are all innocent of instigating. Bait and report. It's the way things are done at the JREF forums.

Remirol's attempts are off-topic, a deliberate attempt to derail and a terribly mistaken derail based on a profoundly mistaken idea of what constitutes argument of content. Go back to school, Remirol; you desperately need it. The remarkable thing is that if you used this "reasoning" to attack anyone else, you'd be laughed off the stage in humiliation. But people don't want to face this topic, so their reason and logic have abandoned them, in favour of irrelevant, haphazard clutching at disingenuous straws. Remirol's efforts are an attempt to dscredit the poster, while refusing to address the subject matter. Are any of you falling for this? Really? Is this what you have come to?

If it is raining, it is raining. It doesn't matter who says it is raining or what tone they use in saying it. Doesn't influence the material at all. Period.

Fiona
28th January 2010, 06:42 PM
In any event, this is nonsense because my tone is a direct result of the kinds of abuse I was subjected to by detractors lacking anything other than abuse to wield. The method is: We got nothing, so abuse the poster. When the poster responds angrily to our abuses, hit the poster with a retaliation penalty and pretend we are all innocent of instigating. Bait and report. It's the way things are done at the JREF forums.

If you were correct (and I do not think you are) then it would not be very wise to rise to the tactic, would it? So why do you?

Plagiarius
29th January 2010, 12:32 AM
With a complete absence of other things to do, I trawled through this thread PRAYING that the opposing parties could come to some sort of agreement. Maybe then something meaningful could be gleaned from this otherwise showy, shouty excercise in ego.

WRONG.

Fiona
29th January 2010, 01:45 AM
With a complete absence of other things to do, I trawled through this thread PRAYING that the opposing parties could come to some sort of agreement. Maybe then something meaningful could be gleaned from this otherwise showy, shouty excercise in ego.

WRONG.

So that about wraps it up for the power of prayer then? Well that is something ;)

Legato
29th January 2010, 02:30 AM
As you appear to be the only person who has misunderstood the meaning of the phrases, and it's been explained to you ad nauseum, you should be looking to yourself to find the source of the problem. A special retraction and rephrasing just for you would do more harm than good.

Trent Wray
29th January 2010, 03:16 AM
I am new here, and a theist, and I understand dlgas' point (I think) --- that in trying to assure non-athiests we are welcome on this forum by making a specific statement saying the AREF isn't an atheistic organization DEVALUES atheists and places them in an "us versus them" stance. In other words, it's like saying, "oh don't worry .... there might be some athiests here, but don't worry ... it's not just athiests"

It is casting a negatory light in the direction of athiesm to single out athiests.

I think what he is failing to understand, however, is that when a certain majority is represented in a given group, and a minority comes along to that group .... the minority naturally wants to test the waters to see if they are "welcome" .. especially if it's a senstive area. IF the organization were promoting pizza and pretzels, it would be one thing. But since it deals with issues that are extremely sensitive to the average person .... it is POLITE and welcoming sometimes to address the minority. And, just from my limited experience thus far, the majority of people in the threads I've frequented seem to be athiests. So I can understand the clarifictaion.

If I walked into a pizza joint full of only caucasians, I'd not really think twice or notice or wonder if I was welcome. If I went to an abortion clinic to research it as an option for myself and there was a group of people outside the clinic praying and raising their hands up in the air, I would question whether or not I was safe to enter the clinic. If a policeman was monitoring their actions, I would feel more secure. It's a matter of circumstances.

I don't think the AREF is "profiling" itself so to speak. I don't think some of the "bullying" I've already seen in the forums is inhuman or out of the ordinary or "devaluing the public perception of athiests".

What it appears though, to be honest, is that dglas is aiming for a sort of skeptic's piousness ... trying to separate out critical thinkers from the rest of the crowd in a superiority type of way, and he is unhappy with the way people behave in the AREF forums. So he is resorting to put-downs and name calling and various forms of manipulation to bring others to a place he thinks will enrich the forums and make them more "perfect" and reflective of the benefits of skepticism and critical thinking, rather than the same type of banter and bullsh$%t you can find on any forum anywhere.

In other words, he seems to be unforgiving of the humanity found here. Which is, actually, the very thing the average person wants to find in order to feel welcome.

It is people who talk like dglas that would drive me off, which is probably what he wants anyway. He reminds me of a preacher on a soap box trying to evangelize the lost, demeaning others to "bring them to dlgas-ism".

It's almost like his posts were a religious tract he was using to convince others to believe as he does or something ... it's very religious :)

This was just my two cents as a newcomer ... interesting forums for sure. And I meant no offense, just food for thought no one asked me for.

remirol
29th January 2010, 04:17 AM
The content is the content. The tone of delivery may render the perception of the content as being moot, but not the content itself. To think the content is affected by the tone is a fallacy. Go back to school.

And to pretend that I was saying that the content is affected by the tone is a fallacy: specifically, a strawman.

In any event, this is nonsense because my tone is a direct result of the kinds of abuse I was subjected to by detractors lacking anything other than abuse to wield. The method is: We got nothing, so abuse the poster. When the poster responds angrily to our abuses, hit the poster with a retaliation penalty and pretend we are all innocent of instigating. Bait and report. It's the way things are done at the JREF forums.1) Two wrongs don't make a right. Most of us learned this in kindergarten.
2) People disagreeing with you is not abuse.
3) It seems that I have a much better grasp of the realities of how to get my point across than you do. Perhaps you should take a lesson from it?

MikeSun5
29th January 2010, 05:00 AM
Nominated? For what? Mischaracterizing the discussion?

Nope. For a nice summary of this thread.

Is that sorry excuse for an in-clique back-patting award still going?

:D What clique would that be? The "everyone-but-dglas-clique?" Sorry pal, invites only. Me and remirol are going to go have another cyber-beer. :rolleyes:

In any event, this is nonsense because my tone is a direct result of the kinds of abuse I was subjected to by detractors lacking anything other than abuse to wield.

So it's our fault for forcing you to sink down to our level? Shame on us all!!

Remirol's attempts are off-topic, a deliberate attempt to derail and a terribly mistaken derail based on a profoundly mistaken idea of what constitutes argument of content.

Read post #401. It was way more on-topic than most of your rants.

Remirol's efforts are an attempt to dscredit the poster, while refusing to address the subject matter. Are any of you falling for this? Really? Is this what you have come to?

Dude, you seriously don't see that you're doing the same thing??? :bwall :bwall :bwall

If it is raining, it is raining. It doesn't matter who says it is raining or what tone they use in saying it. Doesn't influence the material at all. Period.

Understood, and very correct. Your rude, condescending tone does not influence your silly statement or your shaky reasoning behind it. It does make it harder to take seriously, but this topic should never have warranted this long of a discussion anyway. This has been an exercise in hyperbole and self-importance on the part of the OPer, and an exercise in futility and patience for everyone else. dglas - agree to disagree, buddy.

dglas
29th January 2010, 03:33 PM
Understood..

Evidence?

Wait a minute. I thought you were done here. "Case closed" or some such nonsense, wasn't it?

dglas
29th January 2010, 04:38 PM
I am new here, and a theist, and I understand dlgas' point (I think) --- that in trying to assure non-athiests we are welcome on this forum by making a specific statement saying the AREF isn't an atheistic organization DEVALUES atheists and places them in an "us versus them" stance. In other words, it's like saying, "oh don't worry .... there might be some athiests here, but don't worry ... it's not just athiests"

It is casting a negatory light in the direction of athiesm to single out athiests.

I think what he is failing to understand, however, is that when a certain majority is represented in a given group, and a minority comes along to that group .... the minority naturally wants to test the waters to see if they are "welcome" .. especially if it's a senstive area. IF the organization were promoting pizza and pretzels, it would be one thing. But since it deals with issues that are extremely sensitive to the average person .... it is POLITE and welcoming sometimes to address the minority. And, just from my limited experience thus far, the majority of people in the threads I've frequented seem to be athiests. So I can understand the clarifictaion.

So you say you see the point and yet you don't recognize the point. WEll, I suppose that's a step better than almost all of the responses so far. I appreciate you making the effort though, even if it turns out to be a contrivance.

There are neutral ways of welcoming newcomers that don't involve distancing from the "majority" as you put it, an "us vs them" approach as you put it. There is more at work here than you are depicting. It is certainly polite to address the "minority" (as you put it), but why must that address be impolite to the majority - so impolite that Randi saw the need to "clarify" it. He knew what he was saying. The clarification itself is evidence of that.

"The JREF welcomes all skeptical thinkers, atheists and theists alike."
How about that one? I could even handle the order being reversed.

If I went into a United Church and asked if it was only for theists do you think they would publicly shout, "The United Church is not a theistic organization." Or do you think they would respond something like, "We welcome everyone." You appear to see the difference in your opening paragraph, and then get lost in pizza (I can understand being distracted by pizza, happens to me a lot, but we must try to maintain focus). ;)



If I walked into a pizza joint full of only caucasians, I'd not really think twice or notice or wonder if I was welcome. If I went to an abortion clinic to research it as an option for myself and there was a group of people outside the clinic praying and raising their hands up in the air, I would question whether or not I was safe to enter the clinic. If a policeman was monitoring their actions, I would feel more secure. It's a matter of circumstances.

I don't think the AREF is "profiling" itself so to speak. I don't think some of the "bullying" I've already seen in the forums is inhuman or out of the ordinary or "devaluing the public perception of athiests".

Again, a neutral statement would have served, wouldn't it, or are you saying that it wouldn't? Because if you are saying a neutral statement wouldn't suffice, then you are effectively saying the minority is trying to impose a perspective on the organization as a whole. I have heard the JREF's foremost deist make his argument about inclusiveness in order to generate funding.

The "devalued" public perception of atheism is a fact. Irrefutable. The headlines and public opinion polls and laws scream it every day. Here in Canada we have laws prohibiting hate literature - unless it's the Bible (which receives a special dispensation). In the states an attempt is being made to overturn an election result because the candidate is an atheist.

When the JREF uses the language it uses, it is pandering to this "devaluation" in order to appease people who would persist in have that "devaluation" maintained and reinforced.

You are mistaken in trying to categorize me as someone preaching atheism from a soapbox (even if such an idea made any sense). Not in this thread anyway; in this thread I am seeking equal time by attempting to negate a specific devaluation, since the JREF apparently sees atheism as something that needs to be publicly apologized for.


What it appears though, to be honest, is that dglas is aiming for a sort of skeptic's piousness ... trying to separate out critical thinkers from the rest of the crowd in a superiority type of way, and he is unhappy with the way people behave in the AREF forums. So he is resorting to put-downs and name calling and various forms of manipulation to bring others to a place he thinks will enrich the forums and make them more "perfect" and reflective of the benefits of skepticism and critical thinking, rather than the same type of banter and bullsh$%t you can find on any forum anywhere.

So, are you now going to claim that advocacy is fundamentalism?
Or that rational standards for argument are fundammentalism?

Is it really so bad to have higher standards of people who call themselves skeptics? When someone claims to argue by means of logic and rationality, it is perfectly legitimate to call them on failures of just that, which is what I am doing in cases like Piscivore, Remirol and some others.

If the religious had some standards for what comprises a good argument, maybe there would be such incredible relativism in the interpretations of so-called objective truths. A topic for another time perhaps.


In other words, he seems to be unforgiving of the humanity found here. Which is, actually, the very thing the average person wants to find in order to feel welcome.

It is people who talk like dglas that would drive me off, which is probably what he wants anyway. He reminds me of a preacher on a soap box trying to evangelize the lost, demeaning others to "bring them to dlgas-ism".

It's almost like his posts were a religious tract he was using to convince others to believe as he does or something ... it's very religious :)


Ahh. So, you ARE claiming that advocacy is fundamentalism? All that displays, I'm afraid, is a lack of acuity on your part.

"Unforgiving of humanity?" What in the world do you mean by that? It certainly sounds negative - perhaps even pejorative, but what does it mean? Is your idea of humanity vicious ad hominem attacks? Straw men? Discrediting the arguer instead of approaching the argument.

These are public forums, meaning they are open to the public (before the "private sandbox" people get their dander up). People present their ideas and, yes, advocate for them. I am an advocate of a way of thinking, just as anyone else is. This does not put me on the same soapbox as a religious fundamentalist. The core of what I propose involves non-dogmatism. You here, and others like you elsewhere, are making the "forcing freedom on us" argument which doesn't stand up to even the most casual examination.

To depict me as being "religious" because I advocate and publicly defend a position is ridiculous in the extreme. There is a significant difference between advocating non-dogmatism and preaching dogmatic fundamentalism and that difference has to do with the content. I hope you won't make this error again now that you have been given cause to understand that advocacy is not fundamentalism.

Assuming, of course, this was an error, and not just a deliberate mischaracterization. I'll give the benefit of the doubt this time.

Nevertheless, it was as entertaining an attempt at armchair psychology as any I've read. Profoundly misplaced, but entertaining. Sadly, you need more tools than is provided by mere theology to even make an attempt at such with respect to a non-dogmatist.

"There are more to humans than is dreamed of in your theology."

TokenMac
29th January 2010, 05:01 PM
Again for dglas The JREF Stance on Atheism.

OUR STANCE ON ATHEISM
This is an important, personal, message to all my readers. There has been a heavy discussion going on in the JREF Forum about a basic question introduced by Hal Bidlack, and I quote forum member prewitt81 here:

If, upon my first arrival to this website, the main page of the JREF had declared the foundation to be an atheist society, I would've closed the window and probably never came back. Fortunately, it didn't and I wasn't instantly turned off.

After spending some time here and listening and learning from people with different viewpoints – it is an educational foundation, is it not? – I found out that atheists/agnostics were not the evil or immoral people I had always been taught they were. Nor were they sad and depressed because they “lacked a purpose in life that only faith in a creator could give.” I began to change the way I looked at things. I started questioning my beliefs and trying to rid myself of those that didn't stand up to scrutiny. It is an ongoing process, but I have taken some big steps in what I feel is the right direction. The “me” of yesterday would feel so sorry for me today because of some ideas I have given up, but I look back and feel bad for the little boy who was afraid of an angry God and an eternal Hell. I am happier now.

Leaving the doors open to everyone is, in my opinion, the only way to go. If we turn people away at the door, even inadvertently, we're missing out on a wealth of new potential skeptics. I don't want to even imagine where or what shape I'd be in now, had it not been for the JREF. Once we've offended those that need us most, all that's left is the choir to hear the preaching – if you'll pardon the analogy.

Thank you, Hal. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this, but it inspires me to clear the air on this subject in relation to the JREF. I want this fully understood: the James Randi Educational Foundation is not an atheist organization; it is an organization dedicated to offering down-to-Earth, rational, explanations and discussions of the so-called paranormal, supernatural, and occult happenings and claims with which we are constantly bombarded by the media and by groups – including religious groups – who try to convince us of such matters. While I, as JREF president, and those presently working in our office, are declared atheists, there is no bar against others taking positions with us, appearing on our web page or forum, doing business with us, or attending any of our functions. My personal stance is that religious claims are of the same nature as any other claims made without supporting evidence, that is, they are superstitious claims; if those claims come up for examination by the JREF, they must undergo the same sort of analysis as any others.

I’ve said it before: there are two sorts of atheists. One sort claims that there is no deity, the other claims that there is no evidence that proves the existence of a deity; I belong to the latter group, because if I were to claim that no god exists, I would have to produce evidence to establish that claim, and I cannot. Religious persons have by far the easier position; they say they believe in a deity because that’s their preference, and they’ve read it in a book. That’s their right.

The JREF has a stance against any claim for which no evidence is offered, and that must of course include religious claims. However, if any when anyone claims they have proof of any religious miracle or fact, we ask that it be presented, accepting such a claim in the same way that we accept any other. Religious claims are supernatural claims. If they are offered for examination, discussion, or consideration, or as possible applicants for the JREF prize, they must go through the regular procedure, with no special allowances or exceptions.

We are not, as an organization, atheists – any more than we are Caucasians, Americans, or Republicans. We are citizens of the world who are trying to understand that world, and who challenge irrationality; each of us decides for themselves what we wish to investigate, and what is irrational – and we will disagree productively in that respect. Personally, but not on behalf of the JREF, I look upon religious claims as superstitious in nature; but that does not exempt them from consideration.

I must observe that about 40% of my acquaintances consider themselves to be religious. I don’t often argue the matter with them, but I’m admittedly impatient with them when they try to get me to accept their philosophy merely because it’s easier, or because I can’t prove it to be wrong. We agree to disagree on that subject, but these friends offer me the same delight and satisfaction that I receive from my atheist friends. I mean that, sincerely.

I do not, and I will not, allow my serious atheistic beliefs to interfere with the operation of the JREF. My rationality and my sincerity will not allow me that conceit. The JREF embraces persons of many different varieties of philosophy; there are even two Buddhists among us, though I doubt any Holy Rollers have joined our ranks. We don’t ever ask about religious preferences, because we recognize that all persons have value in the overall picture of our population.

Most definitely, however, I will not change nor soften my statement that I am a concerned, forthright, declared, atheist. I'll never waffle in this respect, and I trust that those who read and/or hear my words will accept and believe that my personal convictions do not alter my dedication to reason, fairness, tolerance, and logic.

I hope that this better explains what we’re all about….

dglas
29th January 2010, 05:17 PM
If you were correct (and I do not think you are) then it would not be very wise to rise to the tactic, would it? So why do you?

Because if people do not rise to the tactic and fight against it, it remains the norm. If no one argues against it, people will kitten threads, or load them with recipes or "FAIL!" or toy pictures. If wet skeptics do not persist, dry skeptics turn all conversation into meaningless cue-card reading jokes. If you don't oppose the vicious, the vicious are reinforced. If you don't shout, you won't be heard over their insults.

I will not accept the "just take it and shut up" argument. Anyone who takes potshots at me, thinking they can cow me into submission, is going to get it back, both barrels blazing - a rude awakening. I have made Remirol and Piscivore look foolish, and I will continue to do so, until they relent with the foolishness.

If There's No Defiance
It Remains Insane
If It's All Compliance
It's A Runaway Train

There is a "Runaway Train" here on these boards and it is evident in this thread. Vitriol instead of argument. Derision instead of reason. Armchair psychology and other attempts to discredit the individual rather than addressing the argument. Reflexive attack rather than careful consideration. That these people call themselves "skeptics," as if these methods were intellectually honest, is a personal humiliation to me.

Anyone who has sought to be heard has had to speak loudly and clearly, has had to answer abuse and derision, has had to dismiss "just shut up" arguments. You, Fiona, may even know of such examples from history.

When I respond in kind to these people, I am parodying them, mocking them, insulting them and laughing at them - all in hope that someone somewhere will realize that not all skeptics are like the examples displayed by people like Remirol and Piscivore. I am also setting a trap that exposes the bait-and-report biases on these boards. It turns out some can dish it out, but can't take it and then go whining to the mods, and when I persist in the point which they fail to address (see how Remirol is now on the defensive because he was called on his off-topic nonsense?), they then whine, whine whine about their abuse not working. Too damn bad!

Does that answer your question? Or is your question off-topic for this thread? Why, yes, I think it is. Luckily for you, the so-called rules about being on topic don't apply to your illustrious self.

dglas
29th January 2010, 05:38 PM
Thank you, TokenMac, for posting that.

Dear, Mr. Bidlack,

At precisely what point did the JREF declare itself to be an atheist organization?

No.
Really.
When and where?
Why did Bidlack write this?
What was his point?

TokenMac's printing of Mr. Bidlack's question and Randi's response displays clearly that the JREF proclamation that it is "not an atheist organization" is a response to religious misinterpretation and what effectively amounts to a demand to eschew atheism.

So now, instead of the JREF proclaiming it is an atheist organization (which to my knowledge it has NEVER done!) and turning off believers, it proclaims it is not an atheist organization - to hell with the atheists. And as if there were no possible neutral way of providing inclusiveness. I've provided, what, 10 or so examples now? So, Hal causes the JREF to answer a challenge he assumes is there, that he contrives, but that is not there at all. Are you people starting to get the picture yet? And I am being accused of being overly sensitive? Are you kidding me?

Bidlack passively-aggressively imposed his will on the JREF, and Randi presented his ear for poisoning. So now, the JREF does not provide blanket inclusiveness, but singles out one group for special segregation (outsider, outcast, unclean) and contrives excuses for doing so.

Well played, Mr. Bidlack. Well played. And people lap it up and even make excuses for it

TokenMac
29th January 2010, 06:11 PM
Thank you, TokenMac, for posting that.
I asked you where got the statement "the JREF is not an atheist organization" many times before, you ignored my request. I was just posting the only official stance by the JREF, because it seemed that you had not read it.

Dear, Mr. Bidlack,

At precisely what point did the JREF declare itself to be an atheist organization?

No.
Really.
When and where?
Why did Bidlack write this?
What was his point?
Bidlack never claimed the JREF ever declared itself an atheist organization.

Bidlack also made his point very clear in his letter, you should read it again.

TokenMac's printing of Mr. Bidlack's question and Randi's response displays clearly that the JREF proclamation that it is "not an atheist organization" is a response to religious misinterpretation and what effectively amounts to a demand to eschew atheism.Yes the response was to clear up a misinterpretation, but I don't see how a misinterpretation can also be a "demand to eschew atheism". As you pointed out above the JREF never made the claim that is was an atheist organization, so why are you so sure that Randi's statement is to distance himself from atheist, and not just exactly what it seems to be (a clarification of the established goals of the JREF)?

So now, instead of the JREF proclaiming it is an atheist organization (which to my knowledge it has NEVER done!) and turning off believers, it proclaims it is not an atheist organization - to hell with the atheists. And as if there were no possible neutral way of providing inclusiveness. I've provided, what, 10 or so examples now? So, Hal causes the JREF to answer a challenge he assumes is there, that he contrives, but that is not there at all. Are you people starting to get the picture yet? And I am being accused of being overly sensitive? Are you kidding me? I don't follow, should the JREF when challenged by Bidlack (who wasn't really challenging anything) Have turned of the believers or said to hell with the theist?

Do you feel that you as an atheist have more or a right to the JREF than a theist?

Bidlack passively-aggressively imposed his will on the JREF, and Randi presented his ear for poisoning. So now, the JREF does not provide blanket inclusiveness, but singles out one group for special segregation (outsider, outcast, unclean) and contrives excuses for doing so.

Well played, Mr. Bidlack. Well played. And people lap it up and even make excuses for it Again I don't think you understood what Bidlack's letter was about, you should read it again.

Trent Wray
29th January 2010, 10:08 PM
"The JREF welcomes all skeptical thinkers, atheists and theists alike."
How about that one? I could even handle the order being reversed.Def. I think that is a better statement ... perhaps even simply saying "people of all religious stances, backgrounds, and faiths" or something all inclusive would be even more neutral and "better", not casting a light either way on any particular stance. All inclusive is the key, and I do see the point of how pointing out atheism in particular can be viewed as negatory. It's unfortunate, but it's the status of many a society.

If I went into a United Church and asked if it was only for theists do you think they would publicly shout, "The United Church is not a theistic organization." Or do you think they would respond something like, "We welcome everyone." You appear to see the difference in your opening paragraph, and then get lost in pizza (I can understand being distracted by pizza, happens to me a lot, but we must try to maintain focus). ;) Actually, I don't think that walking into a United Church is the best analogy. Perhaps (and I had a friend who attended a church like what I'm going to describe) walking into a bar to grab a beer and finding a bunch of people having a church service would be a better analogy. If I walked into such a situation, I could choose to leave or stay on my own of course, but if there was a sign saying what kind of faith was having the service, and whether or not I could still purchase and enjoy my beer or not would help me make a decision of whether or not I would feel like I was intruding, out of place, or welcome, or going to be bothered when I just wanted to down a Sam Adams, etc etc. So clarification in a circumstance where you go somewhere for one thing, but find a gathering of people who generally gather for "fellowship" in a place that is settup for a certain kind of majority .... etc etc I hope you see my point.

But def. .... the same clarification could have been accomplished here perhaps in a neutral way. :) totally.

The "devalued" public perception of atheism is a fact. Irrefutable. The headlines and public opinion polls and laws scream it every day. Here in Canada we have laws prohibiting hate literature - unless it's the Bible (which receives a special dispensation). In the states an attempt is being made to overturn an election result because the candidate is an atheist.
I'd have to take your word for it. In Xtian circles I see the ignorance toward athiesm, but most of my friends in my "circle" of friends are agnostics, athiests, and general skeptics and "seekers", and I work in the healthcare industry which is more akin to critical thinking and certain types of acceptance (at least in my experience).

So, are you now going to claim that advocacy is fundamentalism?
Or that rational standards for argument are fundammentalism?
Advocacy can lead to fundamentalism, but fundamentalism doesn't have to be a bad thing. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Ghandi, perhaps Mother Theresa ... examples of a type of positive fundamentalism. In general, people seem to respond better to peaceful intentions and a "follow me if you want to, not because I'm making you or looking down on you". People respond to positive reinforcement, and sometimes a good kick in the pants. But negative reinforcement is usually something that we don't always appreciate on heated topics that people hold close to the heart and mind.

I think you'd probably agree .... as your being upset and disenfranchised with JREF's statement is a good example of this. A simple statement can rub someone the wrong way, regardless of it's original intention.

I find that your way of approaching things seems to be more negative reinforcement, than a positive one. It's not a "come on brethren, let's have more respect for ourselves," rather it's a "people disrespect us because of you morons".

This is why I'm comparing the approach of some of your statements to religion, soap boxing, and the like. Because typical religious circles obviously use demoralization of people in order to get them to "be better". For most christians, the highest state of piousness they can achieve is knowing how worthless and sinful they are, etc etc ... thus this makes them righteous and more pious than the rest of the heathen running around. Your approach is similar in that you seem to be condescending to people you think are demoralizing themselves, thinking this will kick them into action to make them treat something as more valuable.

But if you really think someone is "down" ... kicking them while they are down usually doesn't help them back up. Sticking out a hand to hold might, but if they don't grab it or prefer to stay where they are at, then KEEP WALKING. Let it go. It becomes more akin to fundamentalism when you try to convince someone of why they need to get up and walk the way you want them to walk. And if your own personal integrity and value rests on whether or not others are valuing or devaluing your own beliefs, then my guess would be that your own beliefs are not the cornerstone of your own value. Does that make sense? But again ... if you think you are actually "helping" others to see the error in there ways, then I would suggest helping in a different manner than put-downs and whatnot.

Is it really so bad to have higher standards of people who call themselves skeptics? When someone claims to argue by means of logic and rationality, it is perfectly legitimate to call them on failures of just that, which is what I am doing in cases like Piscivore, Remirol and some others.
Again, stating your opinion is cool and what the forums are for. But continuing to hammer someone down who isn't seeing something your way is no different than what a religious person thinks is "their right and responsibility to their kind" so to speak. Have your say and let it go ... getting upset and alienating others and yourself may or may not be the most beneficial thing.

"Unforgiving of humanity?" What in the world do you mean by that? It certainly sounds negative - perhaps even pejorative, but what does it mean? Is your idea of humanity vicious ad hominem attacks? Straw men? Discrediting the arguer instead of approaching the argument. Unfortunately, my idea of humanity is that we are creatures of extremes. Extreme ignorance as well as extreme intelligence. Extreme compassion as well as extreme cruelty. But I've found (for myself) that attempting to live in a peaceful way is beneficial. It is also beneficial to defend things at certain times, even if this means going against the concept of peace. Such is life. But using fists, even lingual ones, can be unproductive. It's good to know when to pick your battles, and who to fight. It seems to me your punching at the wrong people, people who aren't appreciating it as a sparring match to get more physically fit ... but people who are taking it personally. You know what I'm saying? In this since, it seems as though you're unforgiving of humanity in that you're not willing to give the benefit of the doubt ... the very thing you actually need in order to keep talking in this manner and have the freedom to put down others yourself.

To depict me as being "religious" because I advocate and publicly defend a position is ridiculous in the extreme. There is a significant difference between advocating non-dogmatism and preaching dogmatic fundamentalism and that difference has to do with the content. I hope you won't make this error again now that you have been given cause to understand that advocacy is not fundamentalism. I don't think it's ridiculous to the extreme. It's that kind of statement that actually causes me to initially lean towards my own view rather than consider yours more objectively.

It's almost as though you feel skeptics and atheists and "thinkers" (obviously only certain ones) on this forum are "whoring around" something you value. That's totally fine and dandy to think or feel that way if that's the case. It's your right, and understandable. But at what point do you understand that the "whores" are not going to stop whoring, acccording to your standards, and you drop the argument? What are you hoping to accomplish by continuing? And I know I'm new ... but I'm wanting to peer deeper into the psyche of someone I see as being a religious athiest (and I still wouldn't use fundamentalist yet either). Since you disagree with a lot of statements, I'm hoping more of your banter and responses will yield insight into the roots of why you are so heated about this. I don't mean to sound like I'm looking at you as a lab rat in a cage being dosed with drugs .... but I am fascinated. Perhaps that's why I poked, to see what I'd get. Just being honest :)


Nevertheless, it was as entertaining an attempt at armchair psychology as any I've read. Profoundly misplaced, but entertaining. Sadly, you need more tools than is provided by mere theology to even make an attempt at such with respect to a non-dogmatist. I think you've mistaken that because I'm a theist, that I'm using tools of theology to take part in this conversation I jumped into. I really am not ... I'm trying to understand your behavior from a practical stance of why you behave the way you do LOL. And I mean that in a neutral way, as neutral as possible. People who get fired up and think they are right, especially when they try to combine logic with emotional response --- and defend it ---- fascinate me. Like a moth to the flame.

"There are more to humans than is dreamed of in your theology." I agree 99.9%. Although you are assuming what my theology is, but that's okay. I would expect an athiest to do that.

j/k! lol. that was a poke and a joke.

thanks for responding by the way. I appreciate it:) really :)

UnrepentantSinner
30th January 2010, 01:08 AM
Again for dglas The JREF Stance on Atheism.

I've got a JREF newsletter (the paper kind that members get mailed to them) with a similar statement from Jeff Wagg a year or two ago. I'd transcribe it here but I don't think the histrionic drama queen would even read it.

zooterkin
30th January 2010, 01:40 AM
Thank you, TokenMac, for posting that.

Dear, Mr. Bidlack,

At precisely what point did the JREF declare itself to be an atheist organization?

No.
Really.
When and where?
Why did Bidlack write this?
What was his point?

It was actually prewitt81's question that was quoted (though I admit Randi's wording is a little unclear on this point).

Let me also point out that this edition of Swift (http://www.randi.org/jr/080505potential.html#14) is from August 2005, FFS, so the referenced discussion took place before that. I couldn't find prewitt81's comment by searching the forum, so perhaps it was an email or PM he sent to Hal Bidlack. Perhaps you could ask him, though it seems plain to me what prompted his comments, since Randi says so - there was a forum discussion about it. It probably wasn't the first, and certainly wasn't the last time the topic has been discussed here, and Randi took it as a hook to hang his comments on. His comments which make no disparaging remarks about atheists, mention that he and all the JREF staff are atheists, state that he views religious claims as superstitious; these comments which you think somehow says 'to hell with atheists".

And yet, even though this all took place nearly five years ago, you are still getting upset about a non-issue.

So, Hal causes the JREF to answer a challenge he assumes is there, that he contrives, but that is not there at all. Are you people starting to get the picture yet? And I am being accused of being overly sensitive? Are you kidding me?

Bidlack passively-aggressively imposed his will on the JREF, and Randi presented his ear for poisoning. So now, the JREF does not provide blanket inclusiveness, but singles out one group for special segregation (outsider, outcast, unclean) and contrives excuses for doing so.

Well played, Mr. Bidlack. Well played. And people lap it up and even make excuses for it
Or perhaps you actually have some long-nurtured grudge against Hal Bidlack? I really don't know, I've not been around here long enough, but there seems a certain amount of venom that you're spraying around, and it does not seem justified by the five-year-old statement.

remirol
30th January 2010, 06:16 AM
I will not accept the "just take it and shut up" argument. Anyone who takes potshots at me, thinking they can cow me into submission, is going to get it back, both barrels blazing - a rude awakening. I have made Remirol and Piscivore look foolish, and I will continue to do so, until they relent with the foolishness.

Ah, this must be why I've been nominated twice for my posts in this thread alone. Because I look foolish. :oldroll:

There is a "Runaway Train" here on these boards and it is evident in this thread. Vitriol instead of argument. Derision instead of reason. Armchair psychology and other attempts to discredit the individual rather than addressing the argument. And yet you failed to address my response, seeming to instead believe that you can continue your "hit back first" approach and somehow, in the process, convince people that you have any point at all.

I have summed up the reason for which it is necessary to explicitly make a statement regarding atheism and the JREF. TokenMac's repost of the actual statements made by the JREF indicates that indeed, this was the intent behind the JREF's statement as well.

You have built this entire crusade upon a strawman, dglas. The JREF never said anything like you claim it did -- it never explicitly disavowed atheism or anything of the sort. Since your premise was a strawman, your entire "argument" has collapsed like the house of cards it always was. It also appears that many other people are able to see this quite clearly -- that rather than discuss what was _actually said_, you are seeking to intentionally take offense whereever possible, and casting yourself in the "victim" role without understanding that your approach to discussion is solely to blame for the problems you've had.

You claim I am attempting to discredit you -- I need not bother. You're doing a fine job of that yourself.

Piscivore
30th January 2010, 09:25 AM
I have made Remirol and Piscivore look foolish
Thanks for letting me know. I'll try to be appropriately embarrased, if I can fit it in and I remember.

dglas
30th January 2010, 12:22 PM
See: post 418. "...a basic question introduced by Hal Bidlack..." "Thank you, Hal."

Next evasion, please.

Quoth TokenMac:
"Do you feel that you as an atheist have more or a right to the JREF than a theist?"

No. Why in the world would that question come to your mind?
At no point did I demand any special status for atheists. Only in the tortured phantasms and straw men shamelessly foisted upon us by my detractors has this even been suggested. In fact, I was quite careful, clear and unequivocal to point out, on several occasions that I was not calling for special status for ANYONE. I was calling for strict neutrality. This, of course, has been deliberately lost in the rabid barking and the feast of ad hominems and fallacies conducted by my detractors..

This answers your question; does it satisfy your curiosity?

dglas
30th January 2010, 12:31 PM
Ah, this must be why I've been nominated twice for my posts in this thread alone. Because I look foolish. :oldroll:

You have been nominated twice because some are trying to use the award as a means of promoting your nonsense, but being nominated for an award perfectly unrelated to the subject matter doesn't lend credibility to your fallacious arguments. In fact, that you lean on irrelevant nominations is further proof of how fallacious your thinking is. If you were being honest, you'd realize this.

And yet you failed to address my response, seeming to instead believe that you can continue your "hit back first" approach and somehow, in the process, convince people that you have any point at all.

There was a time when people would have been unconvinced tat racial issues were a point at all. It is unfortunate to see throwbacks to intellectually impoverished times.

Your arguments have been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked, including listing the fallacies involved.

I have summed up the reason for which it is necessary to explicitly make a statement regarding atheism and the JREF. TokenMac's repost of the actual statements made by the JREF indicates that indeed, this was the intent behind the JREF's statement as well.

You have built this entire crusade upon a strawman, dglas. The JREF never said anything like you claim it did -- it never explicitly disavowed atheism or anything of the sort. Since your premise was a strawman, your entire "argument" has collapsed like the house of cards it always was. It also appears that many other people are able to see this quite clearly -- that rather than discuss what was _actually said_, you are seeking to intentionally take offense whereever possible, and casting yourself in the "victim" role without understanding that your approach to discussion is solely to blame for the problems you've had.

You claim I am attempting to discredit you -- I need not bother. You're doing a fine job of that yourself.

Bolding mine.

You see, this is where you and I differ. I am interested in the argument. You are interested in discrediting the arguer.

I wonder if you will ever understand this.

dglas
30th January 2010, 12:32 PM
Thanks for letting me know. I'll try to be appropriately embarrased, if I can fit it in and I remember.

Keep right on being busy obviously not noticing. :D

Cavemonster
30th January 2010, 12:56 PM
In fact, that you lean on irrelevant nominations is further proof of how fallacious your thinking is. If you were being honest, you'd realize this.


You see, this is where you and I differ. I am interested in the argument. You are interested in discrediting the arguer.

Do you miss the irony of these two statements?

dglas
30th January 2010, 01:18 PM
I've got a JREF newsletter (the paper kind that members get mailed to them) with a similar statement from Jeff Wagg a year or two ago. I'd transcribe it here but I don't think the histrionic drama queen would even read it.

"histrionic drama queen"

Yeah-uh-huh.

I wonder if anyone will notice the personal attack there.

Standard fare from UnrepentantSinner.

dglas
30th January 2010, 01:21 PM
Do you miss the irony of these two statements?

Given that I have been trying to make a point that has been drowned out in vitriol and stupidity, I wonder if you are aware of the irony in yours?

I am not the aggressor here.

MarkCorrigan
30th January 2010, 01:55 PM
Given that I have been trying to make a point that has been drowned out in vitriol and stupidity, I wonder if you are aware of the irony in yours?

I am not the aggressor here.

You know what, I'm going to assume you're right. You made a point and a lot of people directed anger and hate towards you. Premise accepted.

So, remind me why that makes it ok for you to throw all your toys out of the pram? Attack with a heck of a lot of your own vitriol and spite, ignoring people who are, I believe reasonably and calmly asking you to stop throwing a tantrum because it makes people less inclined to listen to you and simply attacking them with rather nasty and barbed strawmen?

Want an example? Remirol has been saying for quite some time now that no matter how valid your point is, because we're people it's going to get ignored if you scream at people and demand they agree with you. What did you do in response to this rather reasonable and perfectly logical bit of advice? Accused him of claiming your borderline mouth foaming rants somehow have the ARGUMENT altered by your tone. Not only did he never once claim this, but you actually concede his point later on while still pretending that he was making the utterly insane one you attributed to him.

Why on Earth can't you just get over yourself and grow the hell up? Even if you were the poor put upon soul who simply wanted to make a point to the mean bullies in this thread who wouldn't listen, what gives you the right to push back? To bully others? To totally ignore their points and pull what you THINK they are saying out of your ass so you can rip it to shreds in a haze of rage and spite? Why don't you just be the bigger man here, because from the last few pages I have read, I'm amazed anyone is still responding to you.

Heck, a few people even told you that you had got the wrong end of the stick, and that the JREF had addressed the point you made each time they made the offending statement. What did you do, oh paragon of kindness and wisdom? Attacked them for being stupid of course! That's OBVIOUSLY the correct response, especially when whining about how put upon you are.

Good grief.

remirol
30th January 2010, 02:05 PM
You have been nominated twice because some are trying to use the award as a means of promoting your nonsense, but being nominated for an award perfectly unrelated to the subject matter doesn't lend credibility to your fallacious arguments. In fact, that you lean on irrelevant nominations is further proof of how fallacious your thinking is. If you were being honest, you'd realize this.

You were the one who claimed I "looked foolish", though -- an entirely subjective assessment which is totally unrelated to the subject matter. If you didn't want to try to compete on those grounds, you shouldn't have made such a claim. As it stands now, you've discredited yourself even further by making a claim that was obviously unsupported by the available evidence -- clearly I do not look foolish, and people are listening to what I have to say because I am not trying to be abusive and condescending in my replies.

Again, perhaps you could take a lesson from this.

You see, this is where you and I differ. I am interested in the argument. You are interested in discrediting the arguer. With such mind reading skills, you should apply for the MDC. Let me know how your application goes; I am interested in seeing you tested.

You could also just go back and read the posts (http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=5549042&postcount=401) in which I did directly address the argument rather than your failed approach, but you've been cherry-picking around those (from everyone, not just me) since this thread started; I see no reason that you'll change now.

MikeSun5
30th January 2010, 02:55 PM
I am interested in the argument. You are interested in discrediting the arguer.

:dl:

After all of dglas' insults and attacks, I'm just going to let the absurdity of that statment sink in a little...
.
.
.
...okay, I'm good. Wow.

dglas, the case IS closed. You are the only one who thinks this topic is worth fighting over. I just looked at the randi.org homepage, the "about us" tab, and I skimmed through the JREF's wikipedia entry, and I didn't see anything that stated the JREF is not an atheist organization (or that it is one). So if that statement was made at all, it's not part of what your everyday uninitiated person researching the JREF will see.

Again, you are wasting your good grammar and bad attitude on an unimportant topic that will probably never be raised outside of this thread.

TokenMac
30th January 2010, 04:29 PM
Quoth TokenMac:
"Do you feel that you as an atheist have more or a right to the JREF than a theist?"

No. Why in the world would that question come to your mind?
This...
So now, instead of the JREF proclaiming it is an atheist organization (which to my knowledge it has NEVER done!) and turning off believers, it proclaims it is not an atheist organization - to hell with the atheists. It seems here that you are ignoring the point of Randi's letter on purpose, but I could be wrong.

This answers your question; does it satisfy your curiosity?
You kind of answered one of my questions but you ignored all the rest, so no my curiosity is not satisfied.

zooterkin
31st January 2010, 01:41 AM
Advocacy can lead to fundamentalism, but fundamentalism doesn't have to be a bad thing. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Ghandi, perhaps Mother Theresa ... examples of a type of positive fundamentalism.

I don't think that evil old woman deserves to be in that list as a positive example. I'm also not clear what sort of fundamentalism you are talking about with respect to the others.

remirol
31st January 2010, 08:01 AM
This would seem to be the logical continuation of the discussion, but nobody appears to want to ask the obvious questions, so...

So far, the discussion flow to me appears to have been:

JREF: "The JREF is not an atheist organization."
dglas: "This can only mean that atheists are excluded. I object."
Lots: "No, it means that the JREF is not specifically for atheists, but for critical thinkers."
dglas: "Yes, but it _sounds_ like it is explicitly disavowing atheists. Why is a special statement needed for atheists but not for gays? It looks bad."

... and then it's degenerated into abuse, tantrums, etc.

Someone else said this first, but I'll repeat it: A special statement is required for atheists because to the general public, the JREF could easily be confused for an atheist organization.
But what's wrong with being confused with an atheist organization? That implies that there's something 'bad' about being an atheist, doesn't there?

Not at all, because we're talking about atheist organizations, not atheists themselves. Besides the reasons outlined in the original message (which you conveniently snipped, you dishonest little bugger) an atheist organization is two things the JREF is not:

1) An advocacy group for a specific position
2) An inherently exclusive organization

Addressing these in order -- the JREF does not inherently advocate any single specific position. It is an educational foundation whose mission is to promote and encourage critical thinking in all aspects of our lives -- a broad brush rather than a single dot.
But what about the MDC? Isn't that taking a position that the paranormal doesn't exist?
Somewhat -- but that position is open to change, based on someone successfully demonstrating paranormal abilities per the MDC terms, which is quite unlike any other advocacy group. Also, it is not required to agree with that position to support the JREF's goals, nor to use critical thinking... which leads me directly to point #2.

Atheist organizations desire that all their members be atheists, for some relatively obvious reasons. As such, it is inherently exclusive of theists; one could not expect to join American Atheists as a practicing, devout Catholic and not feel just a bit on the "wrong side of the tracks". And this is fine for an advocacy organization -- but it does serve to limit that organization's growth and membership. It divides into "us & them", and sets itself firmly on the side of "us".

The JREF, on the other hand, as an educational foundation with the above-stated goals, would be ill served by intentionally excluding _anyone_. As stated previously, one can be both a theist and a superb 9/11 debunker, and accidentally discouraging that person from joining the JREF because they were confused about the nature of the JREF would be a sad moment.
But why would they be confused? I mean, don't they read?
Critical thinking is not an inherited skill, but a learned one. A large number of the members of the JREF are atheists, some quite outspoken ones. In addition, the JREF members often associate with high-profile atheists. Someone who is not used to thinking critically is very likely to make the fallacy of hasty generalization, and presume that because the members they see are atheists, that the entire organization must be composed of atheists.

One of the key components of critical thinking is to understand that not only does the rest of the world not think rationally, but that we ourselves frequently do not, as much as we may make an effort to. By allowing for the mistakes of others and being willing to compensate for them in reasonable circumstances, we can improve our own chances of teaching others the benefits of such an approach. In this case, we know one mistake we can safely expect others to make, so we can correct it with a few words at no cost to ourselves.
Oh yeah? You're just a poo head.
OK, you're on ignore.

dglas
31st January 2010, 08:37 AM
dglas, the case IS closed.

If you feel that there is nothing more to say, then please do feel free to not say anything

Or do feel free to join Piscivore in the corner desperately making a point of "not noticing."

I have been busy trying to present a topic matter, and when the opportunity presents (read: someone not just flinging crap from their cage shows up), I do. You have been busy trying to make sure the opportunity never presents by flooding the bandwidth with aggressively meaningless noise. I know you don't understand the distinction, but that's the level of discussion at these forums.

That's the "educational" function of the JREF at work.

dglas
31st January 2010, 09:20 AM
This...
It seems here that you are ignoring the point of Randi's letter on purpose, but I could be wrong.


You kind of answered one of my questions but you ignored all the rest, so no my curiosity is not satisfied.

"Kind of answered"

Are you serious? I could not possibly have more clearly and unequivocally answered the question. it is not possible to answer more clearly than I did, and you say "kind of answered." I am almost curious what, in your mind, a clear, unequivocal and unambiguous answer would look like. Would it help if I put it all in caps-lock for you?

Let's go over it again:
"No. Why in the world would that question come to your mind?
At no point did I demand any special status for atheists. Only in the tortured phantasms and straw men shamelessly foisted upon us by my detractors has this even been suggested. In fact, I was quite careful, clear and unequivocal to point out, on several occasions that I was not calling for special status for ANYONE. I was calling for strict neutrality. This, of course, has been deliberately lost in the rabid barking and the feast of ad hominems and fallacies conducted by my detractors.."

Bolding offered to make the obvious even more obvious. Oh, what the hell. let's pull it out of the paragraph and place it on its own. I'll even use separate paragraphs to help pare down distractions.

At no point did I demand any special status for atheists.

I was not calling for special status for ANYONE.

I was calling for strict neutrality.

Bolded again, just in case it helps.

These are quotes from the above paragraph, which was my answer to your question, "Do you feel that you as an atheist have more or a right to the JREF than a theist?" What's to misunderstand about my answer? Do you still think I "kind of" answered your question?

I do not think I have more of a right to the JREF than a theist does. I do, however, feel I have just as much of a right to not be officially cordoned off for special dissociation because I am an atheist. But, of course, this isn't about me; it's about perpetuating negative connotations by reinforcing them. The people who tried to make it about me were the ones attacking the arguer instead of the argument. And those asking leading questions trying to make it look like it is about me - like you just did. You didn't like my answer, despite its clarity, because it didn't accept the premise you tried to pull over our eyes.

Do you really imagine you can get stuff like this past anyone? When did you decide everyone was too stupid to notice a leading question when they were being bludgeoned with one?

MikeSun5
31st January 2010, 10:58 AM
If you feel that there is nothing more to say, then please do feel free to not say anything.

You of all people should know that there's ALWAYS something left to say. :D

BTW, your tactic of focusing on one off-topic sentence while ignoring actual criticisms, arguments, and questions is as effective as ever.

My "meaningless noise" has repeatedly pointed out the hypocracy of your posts as well as the exaggerated importance of your statements.

Anyway, the fact that you ignored my post, dropped an insult or two, and made a sad attempt to shut me up actually made me laugh... because of earlier - when you lied:

I am interested in the argument. You are interested in discrediting the arguer.

:D yea, right.

myforwik
31st January 2010, 01:55 PM
The critical thinking position on dogmatism is that it is the antithesis of critical thinking. And yet above, you wish to establish "official" positions, or dogma, that all critical thinkers must adhere to.

The irony is delicious.

No you have missed the point of what I was saying.

Its 100% OK for JREF to come out and say: "homeopathy is rediculous". But they would never say that about any religion. They never have anything to say for example about communism. This has nothing to do with dogma. The CURRENT position is based on currently available evidence. They repeatidly make clear their current position on puesdoscience, ghosts etc. but they always skirt the issue when it comes to religion and politics - because they do not want to think rationally about these subjects. JREF in general is not a critical thinking site. It is a paranormal critical thinking site, which deliberatly stays away from the biggest issues in the world that need real critical thinking. How many articles are on JREF about politics or religion, which are filled with non critical thinking compared to ghost claims and whacky healing medicine?

remirol
31st January 2010, 02:22 PM
No you have missed the point of what I was saying.

I rather think I haven't. Regardless, this is not the topic of this thread. I suggest starting a new one if you wish to suggest official positions the JREF should take.

TokenMac
31st January 2010, 02:38 PM
"Kind of answered"

Are you serious? I could not possibly have more clearly and unequivocally answered the question. it is not possible to answer more clearly than I did, and you say "kind of answered." I am almost curious what, in your mind, a clear, unequivocal and unambiguous answer would look like. Would it help if I put it all in caps-lock for you?

Let's go over it again:
"No. Why in the world would that question come to your mind?
At no point did I demand any special status for atheists. Only in the tortured phantasms and straw men shamelessly foisted upon us by my detractors has this even been suggested. In fact, I was quite careful, clear and unequivocal to point out, on several occasions that I was not calling for special status for ANYONE. I was calling for strict neutrality. This, of course, has been deliberately lost in the rabid barking and the feast of ad hominems and fallacies conducted by my detractors.."

Bolding offered to make the obvious even more obvious. Oh, what the hell. let's pull it out of the paragraph and place it on its own. I'll even use separate paragraphs to help pare down distractions.

At no point did I demand any special status for atheists.

I was not calling for special status for ANYONE.

I was calling for strict neutrality.

Bolded again, just in case it helps.

These are quotes from the above paragraph, which was my answer to your question, "Do you feel that you as an atheist have more or a right to the JREF than a theist?" What's to misunderstand about my answer? Do you still think I "kind of" answered your question?

I do not think I have more of a right to the JREF than a theist does. I do, however, feel I have just as much of a right to not be officially cordoned off for special dissociation because I am an atheist. But, of course, this isn't about me; it's about perpetuating negative connotations by reinforcing them. The people who tried to make it about me were the ones attacking the arguer instead of the argument. And those asking leading questions trying to make it look like it is about me - like you just did. You didn't like my answer, despite its clarity, because it didn't accept the premise you tried to pull over our eyes.

Do you really imagine you can get stuff like this past anyone? When did you decide everyone was too stupid to notice a leading question when they were being bludgeoned with one?

So in my first post you ignored all but one question, and now you ignored all but three words of my last post, choosing to repeat your self and attack me rather than clearing up the quote I posted.

I've noticed you doing this to many other people here too. Ignoring post, and attacking people even if they did attack you first, is not the way to prove your point.

I'm really close to being off topic, so if you want to comment on this please do so in the thread you started in forum management, or in just PM me.

KoihimeNakamura
31st January 2010, 03:58 PM
Despite what many people claim, you can, in fact, reach agnosticism using critical thinking. (Or that taking no political stance at all and merely evaluating each on the benefits is also critical thinking.)

Doubt
31st January 2010, 04:38 PM
No you have missed the point of what I was saying.



No, he was dead on.

Critical thinking is a tool set. There can be no "critical thinking position" on anything any more than there is critical thinking favorite color. Before you can apply logic and critical thinking, you have to start with some assumptions. If the assumptions are incorrect, then you can get the logic right and still come up with a wrong answer.

I suggest you start a new thread if you really want to understand where your problems here start.

Doubt
31st January 2010, 05:09 PM
Lets review a few select posts in this thread:

Post #102 by Rika:


This is all assuming your argument is true :

(Please correct me if this is NOT your argument flow)
> P1. The general people hate atheists (Or, in proper form Most people in the general audience are people who discriminate against athiests)
> P2. JREF says it is not an atheist organization (Organization JREF is not an atheist organization)
> P3. Only people who would discriminate against atheists would say that
> P4 (C1) Therefore, JREF discriminates against atheists
> C: Therefore, JREF hates atheists.

And then your rebuttal argument:
P1. Anyone who disagrees with me is blind (This argument seems FAMILAR)
P2. People are disagreeing with me
C. Therefore they are blind

The flaws in this are blantly obvious, but I will just say that C does not need to follow, and P4 and P3 are very weak premises that do not hold up.


This was a golden opportunity for dglas to present his logic for his position. Dglas never responded.

Later, at post #263 I asked if Dglas would present a syllogism of his position:


dglas,

You have stated that people who disagree with you are closed minded. IIRC, you have also stated that we are not thinking.

Okay, teach us. Build a syllogism that supports your reasoning. Be prepared to defend it.


Dglas never responded. But yet we hear all about how closed minded we are and he does have time to responded to personal attacks.

Darth Rotor
31st January 2010, 08:17 PM
Despite what many people claim, you can, in fact, reach agnosticism using critical thinking. (Or that taking no political stance at all and merely evaluating each on the benefits is also critical thinking.)

QFT

arthwollipot
31st January 2010, 11:47 PM
At no point did I demand any special status for atheists.

I was not calling for special status for ANYONE.

I was calling for strict neutrality.Funny, because the JREF's statement that they are not an atheist organisation was an expression of strict neutrality.

So what the hell are you really arguing about?

Alan
1st February 2010, 12:47 AM
I think dglas thinks it's not neutral because atheists were specified and not others.

MarkCorrigan
1st February 2010, 04:34 AM
I think dglas thinks it's not neutral because atheists were specified and not others.

Which would of course be insane. You would have to list absolutely every possible position on everything, religious, political, sexual etc. This is unfeasible, and has already been noted a number of times, not something the JREF needs to do because it made the point clear already.

remirol
1st February 2010, 04:53 AM
I think dglas thinks it's not neutral because atheists were specified and not others.

Fortunately, that was already addressed in this post (http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=5549042&postcount=401). :)

zooterkin
1st February 2010, 05:02 AM
I think dglas thinks it's not neutral because atheists were specified and not others.

I think dglas is choosing to ignore posts and/or posters who have addressed all his points already.

Alan
1st February 2010, 02:12 PM
To clarify, I did not mean to imply that I agree with dglas.

chran
3rd February 2010, 03:50 AM
I didn't bother to read the thread, but yes.

JREF is now a gay organization. They are having gay man-on-man sex everywhere! Randi himself has been seen with a bottle of baby oil and a whip!

It's awesome!

prewitt81
3rd February 2010, 07:31 PM
To clarify: The comments in the Swift article were mine, taken from this forum. In the article's original form, the quote was attributed to Hal before and after. I pointed this out to Jeff Wagg, who changed the introduction to include my username, but the afterward was left thanking Hal.

dglas
18th February 2010, 05:41 PM
Which would of course be insane. You would have to list absolutely every possible position on everything, religious, political, sexual etc. This is unfeasible, and has already been noted a number of times, not something the JREF needs to do because it made the point clear already.

No. You are simply, and tragically, mistaken about this. Talk about clutching at straws.

One could list none, or given the particular context, one need list precisely two. No need to list every single possible position. You presumption, and thus your conclusion, is ridiculous, and obviously so.

I have already offered several neutral suggestions for wording.

dglas
18th February 2010, 05:44 PM
To clarify: The comments in the Swift article were mine, taken from this forum. In the article's original form, the quote was attributed to Hal before and after. I pointed this out to Jeff Wagg, who changed the introduction to include my username, but the afterward was left thanking Hal.

So, then the obvious thing to do is attack me for misreading a document that was worded to be misread.

Doesn't matter, really. I have heard Hal make exactly the same argument on SkepticsRock, so my critique still applies. And I am still waiting for someone to show when it was explicitly stated that the JREF is an atheist organization. Some have admittted that it wasn't said. If that is the case, then there is no need for a disclaimer dissociating the JREF from atheists in particular.

dglas
18th February 2010, 05:48 PM
Funny, because the JREF's statement that they are not an atheist organisation was an expression of strict neutrality.

So what the hell are you really arguing about?

This is where you are mistaken. The JREF's statement was made in response to an accusation (in the form of a question) that it was an atheists organization.

I have told you numerous times what I am arguing about. That you still don't get it is not my fault. It's not for want of trying on my part. It's simple oblivious stubborness, and reflexive troll-tactics, on your part.

arthwollipot
18th February 2010, 05:48 PM
Oh for ****'s sake.

:bwall

dglas
18th February 2010, 06:57 PM
The JREF statement has a particular form
The form of the JREF statement involves segregating language.
Segregating language supports discrimination.
The JREF statement supports discrimination.

The refutation some folks have tried to use is that it is not segregation language. The thread title-question used exactly the same form as the question asking about the JREF and atheism and the OP suggests a response using a statement of exactly the same form as the JREF's responding statement, but changed the "target" in both cases from atheists to gays. Suddenly people understood, but when it was revealed I had critiqued the JREF statement by this method, sudden;y everyone didn't understand again. The responses indicated unequivocally, that people recognized not only the segregating content of the statement form and thus of the JREF statement (whether they now want to admit it or not), but also that they recognized the link between segregating language and discrimination (demonstrated by their defensiveness and their attacks on the basis of homophobia). That is the evidence my detractors deliberately turn a blind eye to, although it's not a matter of them being blind actually. It is a matter of them being dishonest. Some skeptics say they will revise their views in the light of evidence. The evidence would seem to suggest I am not among such skeptics here. Rather than actually face the evidence, they turn to ad hominem arguments and straw men or simple irrelevance, bait-and-report troll tactics - anything to avoid the evidence. This is all very Sylvia Browne of you.

Some whine that I tricked them with the OP. Well, you can look at at it that way if you want to, but all you are doing is showing an unwillingness to deal with the subject matter and attacking the arguer, not the argument. The icon you are defending used a near identical method to make a point to a whole nation. So, my method is not without precedent. Given that attempting to explain my position earlier had no effect other than to have apologist people call me names, it is reasonable to adopt a different tactics. In fact, it would be irrational not to adopt a different tactic. The only reason people are bitching about it is that it worked.

Now,some have been so ridiculous as to claim there is no bias against atheists in American or North American societies. This claim is so patently absurd it rivals claiming water is not wet. From written retaliations to bus ads, to vandalism of atheist signs, to laws against atheists running for public office (and law suits when they do), to laws that express special privilege for religious people, to reductions of sentences for religious people (if you disagree, tell it to Kara Neumann - look it up!) including legal defenses relying on religiosity, right down to an idiotic general understanding of atheists as being inherently immoral ... the list is endless. There I am, pointing at the evidence again. Bad habit amongst those who refuse to look at evidence. My response to you is exactly the same as Dawkin's answer to that idiot woman in the nw famous interview he cites in "The Greatest Show on Earth." There is evidence. There it is. I am pointing at it. Look! Let's see who tries to rationalize it away. And that is very Jenny McCarthy of you.

Now, some folks pretend to not understand the relationship between segregating language and discrimination. others do. This thread is evidence of that. And the various movements against discrimination, from gay rights, to racial equality, to women's rights movements. they all recognize the relationship between segregation language and discrimination. Everyone recognizes it really. It's just that this time, we are talking about atheists. So, in the minds of some, it's okay, you know, because it's atheists. Just as likely, however, is that these people think their skeptical hero is being attacked and will say and do anything, anything at all, to repel the perceived attack, whether it is an attack or not and whether it is a justified critique or not. Where did this ability to adapt to evidence go? Out the window. It was replaced by poor reasoning, irrelevancy and attacks against the person.

My point still stands because no one has refuted the point (mostly because they cannot focus long enough to do so). It actually takes effort to understand the point, but the evidence is unequivocal. Jeff Wagg recently posted something in Facebook about admitting being wrong - as a definition of being a skeptic. I am waiting for people to represent this high ideal here. it only took you - how many months? - to stop frothing at the mouth long enough to realize I was not a homophobe. Do you have any idea how pathetic that is? :D

In first year logic class the biconditional is presented to the students. On first blush it seems counter-intuitive. It takes an effort to recognize how the biconditional works. You can argue against it, using whatever irrelevant tactics you wish. You can call the professor a homophobe, or tell him he said it badly, or that you are personally offended by the biuconditional. You can insinuate that the professor is irrational (a la Geek Goddess). You can whine because the professor didn't have a suit on, or say that if he didn't wear cardigan, his point might be better received. You cold whine that it was a he (or she) instead of a she (or he) teaching the biconditional, But by using these methods you are only demonstrating your own ridiculousness.

And all the while the professor will just look at you sadly and give you an F for the year for being deliberately oblivious.

arthwollipot
18th February 2010, 06:59 PM
I give up. Can't you see that you're the only one marching in step on this issue?

dglas
18th February 2010, 07:04 PM
[QUOTE=arthwollipot;5633090]Oh for ****'s sake.

:bwall

What? You honestly thought that shouting down is going to work?

I have been an atheist all my life and a thoroughgoing skeptic since I was 15-17. That's a lot of years ago. And I have had people trying to shout me down for just as long. Do you imagine you are any better at it than people who make a living doing so?

Luckily there are people, like me, who refuse to be shouted down, lest the orthodox absolutely dominate. Lest there be no atheists or skeptics, because the rhetorical tactics you and others in this thread have used, are the very same tactics used by the fanatical and the dogmatic...

arthwollipot
18th February 2010, 07:05 PM
The lone voice in the wilderness. Yeah, you're a real hero.

dglas
18th February 2010, 07:27 PM
I give up. Can't you see that you're the only one marching in step on this issue?

That's what happens when the apologists poison the ear.

It takes someone with the ability to understand the language to point out the nuances of it, regardless of bias. Of course it is badly received, until people begin to see it happening. It takes some persistence and often in the face of mindless, and vitriolic, nay-saying.. It took science some persistence to escape the boot of theological domination too.

I'm sure there were, and are, plenty of theologians, face-palming and saying the equivalent of "for ***-sake" over the advances of science as well. You get no points for that.

Now, just to give you an example of how poor your thinking is, take the post I quote here. Is that an argumentum ad populum I see? Why, yes, it is. If anyone wishes to advance the subject matter, it takes the ability to refuse to submit to popular opinion on the basis of popular opinion alone.

And that is another important point, one displayed in full plumage in this thread. The idea of "education foundation" on these forums is orthodoxy enforcement - not explorations of subject matter. Reflexively denying alternatives, however beligerantly or aggressively, will never advance a subject matter. You have become dry skeptics to the point where you are now incapable of being wet skeptics anymore. All you now represent is "hearty belly-laughs" for lack of anything else. The trolls have won here.

dglas
18th February 2010, 07:29 PM
The lone voice in the wilderness. Yeah, you're a real hero.

OMFSM! What a devastating critique of the subject matter that was.

arthwollipot
18th February 2010, 07:32 PM
I apologise for posting here again. I shouldn't have bothered.

dasmiller
18th February 2010, 08:15 PM
<sigh>

Now, just to give you an example of how poor your thinking is, take the post I quote here. Is that an argumentum ad populum I see? Why, yes, it is. If anyone wishes to advance the subject matter, it takes the ability to refuse to submit to popular opinion on the basis of popular opinion alone.

You and I have differing interpretations of Arth's remark. My interpretation is more like "You haven't convinced anyone else, and you've alienated a number of people in the process. What conceivable benefit is there to continuing this thread?"

Which is a good point, and I'm evidently a bit slow in grasping it.

Reflexively denying alternatives, however beligerantly or aggressively, will never advance a subject matter.

So you feel that your denial of alternatives is less reflexive than mine, or Remirol's, or Arth's, etc? Or that you have not been "beligerant" and aggressive in this thread?

remirol
19th February 2010, 04:46 AM
The JREF statement has a particular form
The form of the JREF statement involves segregating language.
Segregating language supports discrimination.
The JREF statement supports discrimination.

Your second premise is too vague (undefined term).
Your third premise is invalid (hasty generalization fallacy).

D+: please try harder.

Her Dark Star
19th February 2010, 11:05 AM
I realise I'm new here but I'd just like to ask a quick question please:

Why on earth is this thread still going on?!

Thanks,

:D

remirol
19th February 2010, 12:24 PM
I realise I'm new here but I'd just like to ask a quick question please:

Why on earth is this thread still going on?!


Every so often dglas comes back, cherry-picks some posts to respond to, ignores the ones that addressed his arguments, and then posts full-length floor-to-ceiling screeds repeating the arguments which he ignored the responses to.

Then, whoever's still subscribed to the thread sees it pop up and decides whether or not to re-respond one more time and see if anything changes. So far, three of us felt the urge to respond but don't seem inclined to bother repeating ourselves. As far as I'm concerned, his arguments have been completely addressed and soundly refuted, so it's really just whether anyone wants to bother to go through the thread and link to (or copy and paste) all the appropriate posts.

arthwollipot
20th February 2010, 03:38 AM
I realise I'm new here but I'd just like to ask a quick question please:

Why on earth is this thread still going on?!

Thanks,

:DEvery so often dglas comes back, cherry-picks some posts to respond to, ignores the ones that addressed his arguments, and then posts full-length floor-to-ceiling screeds repeating the arguments which he ignored the responses to.

Then, whoever's still subscribed to the thread sees it pop up and decides whether or not to re-respond one more time and see if anything changes. So far, three of us felt the urge to respond but don't seem inclined to bother repeating ourselves. As far as I'm concerned, his arguments have been completely addressed and soundly refuted, so it's really just whether anyone wants to bother to go through the thread and link to (or copy and paste) all the appropriate posts.That works. My answer was going to be "nobody knows". :whistling

zooterkin
20th February 2010, 04:46 AM
As far as I'm concerned, his arguments have been completely addressed and soundly refuted

I think that was the case in the original thread this came up in, before dglas brought in the spurious 'gay organisation' analogy (the reaction to which just seemed to give him something else to be indignant about). I think sometimes optimism keeps us posting repsonses even when the evidence suggests there's no point.

Doubt
20th February 2010, 05:31 AM
Your second premise is too vague (undefined term).
Your third premise is invalid (hasty generalization fallacy).

D+: please try harder.

I agree about the third premise. Taken by itself you would be correct about the second one. But from reading this thread I think we do understand what he means by it. The problem being that it is his opinion rather than a statement of fact.

By way of example, stating that "I am not a woman" does not tell you anything about how I regard women. "The JREF is not an atheist organization" does not tell you anything about how the JREF regards atheists. Unless dgls thinks the statement is some sort of code. If so it would be up to him to prove it.

remirol
20th February 2010, 05:48 AM
I agree about the third premise. Taken by itself you would be correct about the second one. But from reading this thread I think we do understand what he means by it. The problem being that it is his opinion rather than a statement of fact.

Well, I have a pretty good idea what he means by it, too -- but for a chain like he laid out, he needs to define the term explicitly in the chain. At which point I would expect to be able to challenge the definition as (as you indeed just noted) opinion-based rather than fact. :)

remirol
20th February 2010, 05:50 AM
I think that was the case in the original thread this came up in, before dglas brought in the spurious 'gay organisation' analogy (the reaction to which just seemed to give him something else to be indignant about). I think sometimes optimism keeps us posting repsonses even when the evidence suggests there's no point.

Plus, I figure all of us are at least in some part subject to Someone Is Wrong On The Internet (http://xkcd.com/386/) disease.

zooterkin
20th February 2010, 06:02 AM
By way of example, stating that "I am not a woman" does not tell you anything about how I regard women. "The JREF is not an atheist organization" does not tell you anything about how the JREF regards atheists.

On the other hand, if you said, "I am not a woman, but this is how I regard women..." then we would know. Which is exactly what happened (http://www.randi.org/jr/080505potential.html#14). Despite the comment being made in context (5 years ago, let me repeat), dglas still insists on taking it out of context, and ignoring such statements as While I, as JREF president, and those presently working in our office, are declared atheists, there is no bar against others taking positions with us, appearing on our web page or forum, doing business with us, or attending any of our functions. My personal stance is that religious claims are of the same nature as any other claims made without supporting evidence, that is, they are superstitious claims; if those claims come up for examination by the JREF, they must undergo the same sort of analysis as any others.

How anyone reading that could view it as anti-atheist statement I fail to understand. Calling religious claims 'superstitious' is not exactly pandering to theists.

Plus, I figure all of us are at least in some part subject to Someone Is Wrong On The Internet (http://xkcd.com/386/) disease.


There's always an appropriate xkcd cartoon for any situation :)

Piscivore
20th February 2010, 10:29 AM
On the other hand, if you said, "I am not a woman, but this is how I regard women..." then we would know. Which is exactly what happened (http://www.randi.org/jr/080505potential.html#14). Despite the comment being made in context (5 years ago, let me repeat), dglas still insists on taking it out of context, and ignoring such statements as

How anyone reading that could view it as anti-atheist statement I fail to understand. Calling religious claims 'superstitious' is not exactly pandering to theists.

One suspects it may be this part of the statement causing the problem:

I do not, and I will not, allow my serious atheistic beliefs to interfere with the operation of the JREF. My rationality and my sincerity will not allow me that conceit. The JREF embraces persons of many different varieties of philosophy; there are even two Buddhists among us, though I doubt any Holy Rollers have joined our ranks. We don’t ever ask about religious preferences, because we recognize that all persons have value in the overall picture of our population.

Most definitely, however, I will not change nor soften my statement that I am a concerned, forthright, declared, atheist. I'll never waffle in this respect, and I trust that those who read and/or hear my words will accept and believe that my personal convictions do not alter my dedication to reason, fairness, tolerance, and logic.

dglas
22nd February 2010, 06:11 PM
I just listened to "For Good Reason." The Carol Tavris interview.

I must admit that I am thinking of the responses I have received in this thread;
the reflexive defensiveness, the insults, derisions, the insinuations, the fallacies.

Interesting...

remirol
22nd February 2010, 06:40 PM
So you feel that your denial of alternatives is less reflexive than mine, or Remirol's, or Arth's, etc? Or that you have not been "beligerant" and aggressive in this thread?

I just listened to "For Good Reason." The Carol Tavris interview.

I must admit that I am thinking of the responses I have received in this thread;
the reflexive defensiveness, the insults, derisions, the insinuations, the fallacies.


In your cherry-picking, you missed this, Mr. Kettle. Just felt I'd bring it to your attention. :oldroll:

Uncayimmy
21st March 2010, 10:45 PM
Are you saying that Randi is dull and boring?

Absolutely not. Randi is quite a gay man.

kuroyume0161
21st March 2010, 10:49 PM
Absolutely not. Randi is quite a gay man.

I would have used 'witty' or 'jovial' but to each his own, darling. ;)

zooterkin
22nd March 2010, 12:51 AM
Are we saying that TAM really should be renamed The Fabulous Meeting?

Uncayimmy
22nd March 2010, 03:35 AM
Are we saying that TAM really should be renamed The Fabulous Meeting?

Nominated

arthwollipot
22nd March 2010, 05:41 AM
Heh. I was thinking this morning as I was listening to the For Good Reason podcast, that we should perhaps now be calling him James "The Fabulous" Randi.

Great news, BTW. My only regret is that I don't get to see what dglas thinks of it.

TheDaver
22nd March 2010, 07:21 AM
This morning I was wiki-surfing and for a moment I swore someone had vandalized Randi’s article.… :D

steenkh
22nd March 2010, 08:43 AM
I have difficulty understanding why there is all this fuzz about some people being gay or not. I have no intention of having sex with Randi or anybody else from the JREF, no matter if they are gay or heterosexual; nor do I think that this is what any of the people intend, who seem preoccupied with knowing if the JREF is a gay organisation. I understand the courage it takes for Randi to "come out", but I fail to see why such statement would be necessary: the JREF is not occupied with sexual politics, so why do we need to know what sexual preferences people in the JREF may have?

Perhaps it is a cultural thing. I doubt that this would interest people in Denmark as much.

I Ratant
22nd March 2010, 09:14 AM
... but I fail to see why such statement would be necessary: the JREF is not occupied with sexual politics, so why do we need to know what sexual preferences people in the JREF may have?

Perhaps it is a cultural thing. I doubt that this would interest people in Denmark as much.
.
My thoughts also.
I could care less.
It probably interests the anti-intellectual homophobic rightwingnuts, of which there are many here in CA, but not me.

LadyMitris
22nd March 2010, 11:22 AM
Randi's sexuality isn't interesting. However, the fact that he made a public statement about himself regarding a topic that many people are uncomfortable with is quite outstanding.

There are countries, in this world TODAY, where someone could get killed for coming out.

There are many, many people who are gay, but are hiding it for hear they will be ridiculed by the religious right. It's a real fear.

If we lived in an ideal society, the reponse to this would be "so what?". Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal society.

When leaders like Randi and others make public statements about their sexuality, it helps the "everyday" people to hopefully feel better about their plight.

I do think that this is relevant to the skeptic community in the sense that most people hate homosexuality because of supersitions. I have yet to hear a non-religious argument against homosexuality.

chran
22nd March 2010, 12:07 PM
Oh, so this is why Randi is so good at punishing ********?

dropzone
22nd March 2010, 12:31 PM
A gay person in showbiz? *shrug*

I just hope he has not let being officially closeted keep him from having personal relationships, though it probably has. :(

hcmom
22nd March 2010, 03:27 PM
... I have no intention of having sex with Randi or anybody else from the JREF, no matter if they are gay or heterosexual;...

Just come to TAM, that will change... :halo:

katetbetrue
22nd March 2010, 05:50 PM
The Tracy McGrady Foundation is a black basketball payer organization.

Tacita
22nd March 2010, 06:23 PM
Wow, amazing news (pun not intended). Good for him for having the courage to come out.

Uncayimmy
22nd March 2010, 06:27 PM
I wonder if any mainstream news organizations will mention it. Google News shows only a handful of mentions at this point.

TSR
22nd March 2010, 06:46 PM
I wonder if any mainstream news organizations will mention it. Google News shows only a handful of mentions at this point.

.
Why do you feel this is newsworthy?
.

bluescat48
22nd March 2010, 07:43 PM
Randi's sexuality isn't interesting. However, the fact that he made a public statement about himself regarding a topic that many people are uncomfortable with is quite outstanding.

There are countries, in this world TODAY, where someone could get killed for coming out.

There are many, many people who are gay, but are hiding it for hear they will be ridiculed by the religious right. It's a real fear.

If we lived in an ideal society, the reponse to this would be "so what?". Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal society.

When leaders like Randi and others make public statements about their sexuality, it helps the "everyday" people to hopefully feel better about their plight.

I do think that this is relevant to the skeptic community in the sense that most people hate homosexuality because of supersitions. I have yet to hear a non-religious argument against homosexuality.

And you won't, because there is none.:hit:

witchrayc
22nd March 2010, 08:55 PM
James

Like you I find a few of the homo-lexicon dramatically unkind to our sexual counterparts when we should be defining ourselves in more positive ways. Gay gives the impression that we are happy go lucky people who have no cares in the world. Sadly we are forced to look over our shoulders all the time wondering when some self proclaimed vigilante for Victorian morals is ready to strike in a Country that thinks it is a modern society. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” doesn’t deny the reality that there are homosexuals in all walks of society. I for one find the word ”queer” to be totally offensive, since I am not strange in anyway other than my humor.

Many of us older homosexuals are facing our winter years alone since we have spent so much time keeping a low profile that many of us have missed the opportunity to find that special someone with whom to spend our twilight years with. Then we look back at the “older” men who used to try to buy us drinks and then think how badly we treated them. Hopefully the younger crowd will think before they open their mouths and slam an older fellow for wanting company. The art of conversation seems completely gone, so I guess if someone did decline the offer of a drink you’d have to try to decipher their reply whether verbal or text. What does, ROTFLMAO mean anyhow. Sounds French!

So welcome into the Out world. Although I would have to say that I’m sure your closet has such wonderful secrets and skeletons.

Bright blessings,

Ray

PS. Pagans don't seem to have an issue with homosexuals:jaw-dropp

witchrayc
22nd March 2010, 09:01 PM
Goddess worshippers don't rant about homosexuality since a mother loves all her children just as they are. Which is the way it should be.

Uncayimmy
23rd March 2010, 07:57 PM
Why do you feel this is newsworthy?

Where did I say that it was newsworthy?