Author Topic: PZ Myers claims "a substantial number of skeptics" are scientific racists  (Read 1908 times)

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Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: PZ Myers claims "a substantial number of skeptics" are scientific racists
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2017, 11:12:31 PM »
To be fair, it's been scientifically proven that Bigfoot is a racist.
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Offline gmalivuk

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Re: PZ Myers claims "a substantial number of skeptics" are scientific racists
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2017, 10:24:20 AM »
Yeah, it's certainly not the case that Bigfoot is tolerant of racial diversity.

Or of people with different sexual orientations or gender or religion or nationality, for that matter...

What a bastard!
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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: PZ Myers claims "a substantial number of skeptics" are scientific racists
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2017, 10:16:56 AM »
Sure, but a lot of atheists - perhaps even most who use labels beyond "atheist" in fact - identify as skeptics and vice versa. The Venn Diagram is, like, really really close to overlapping. Yes, there are Raelians and kind of sort of Scientologists but these are edge cases. Also, Myers' larger point - and the "scientific racists" thing was almost a throw-away line although I see what he's saying there - is that skeptics tend to be waaaaaaaaaaaaay nicer to people who, for example, come onto their message boards and spew racist BS than people who come on and talk about Bigfoot as though it might be real. I've seen this very phenomenon on this board, recently WRT transphobia as opposed to straight-up racism, but we have a couple of old-school "black people are inferior" racists who come on in and post from time to time and, well, there's disdain from some but not from others.

I do think that Dr. Novella takes more of a Professor X style approach to these people as opposed to PZ Myers' Magneto. And I mean, Professor X is the leader of the good guys for a reason...

Isn't it more like while most skeptics are atheists, most atheists are not skeptics?

I have probably missed it, but is it really the case here that open racists are treated nicely here? Even mainstream Republicans seem widely derided, so it would surprise me if racists are given a nicer hand.
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Offline Neon Genesis

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Re: PZ Myers claims "a substantial number of skeptics" are scientific racists
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2017, 03:35:16 AM »
We can take issue with PZ's usage of the term scientific racism, but come on, there are very clearly some prominent atheists in the movement who do have a problem with racism, especially when it comes to people from the Middle East, and we all know it. 

Offline Andrew Clunn

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So is this scientific racism?
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Offline Eli

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I'm new to the forums, but I've been reading PZ's stuff for awhile now.

It seems to me that one can be scientific and not necessarily be a "scientific racist", but still engage in racist behavior and support policies that are inherently racist. I think that's what PZ is trying to get at. We can all sit back and say that scientifically speaking you can't judge someone's intelligence by the color of the their skin, but some of us will use this fact to support affirmative action and some of us will say that makes affirmative action inherently racist. 

Racial profiling is another good example. We may have hard facts that certain races are more likely to commit certain crimes, and some of us think it's racist to use that information to target people and some think it's a moral imperative because it theoretically will lead to more effective policing.


Offline stands2reason

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We can take issue with PZ's usage of the term scientific racism, but come on, there are very clearly some prominent atheists in the movement who do have a problem with racism, especially when it comes to people from the Middle East, and we all know it.

Please, cite some examples rather than leaving the spectre hanging around. The atheist community is quite large, by some estimates up to 20% of the population.

Here is an example of two atheists clearly leveling their criticisms at Islam (and this interview is a good example of them being moderate and focused in even doing that). (Maher and Harris):



Unless there is a different atheist bogeyman someone can bring up?

Offline Eli

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We can take issue with PZ's usage of the term scientific racism, but come on, there are very clearly some prominent atheists in the movement who do have a problem with racism, especially when it comes to people from the Middle East, and we all know it.

Please, cite some examples rather than leaving the spectre hanging around. The atheist community is quite large, by some estimates up to 20% of the population.

Here is an example of two atheists clearly leveling their criticisms at Islam (and this interview is a good example of them being moderate and focused in even doing that). (Maher and Harris):



Unless there is a different atheist bogeyman someone can bring up?

Richard Dawkins?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/09/richard-dawkins-anti-muslim-tweets_n_3732678.html

You could argue that Dawkins says things just as frequently, if not more, about Christianity, but there is a different implication when criticizing a majority group that you are part of than criticizing a marginalized group that you aren't.

Offline Andrew Clunn

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Dawkins is a Christian?  I think not.  Or are you interpreting Muslim to mean people of a particular ethnic group instead of people who practice Islam?  Because that would be the wrong way to read what Dawkins wrote.
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Offline gmalivuk

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Are you seriously trying to argue that Dawkins isn't at all racist or an Islamophobe? Or are you trying to claim that Islamophobia isn't a kind of racism simply because there are Muslims who aren't from the stereotypical ethnic groups associated with Islam?
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Offline Eli

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Dawkins was born and raised a white Christian. And absolutely Muslim often colloquially means people of a certain ethnic group.

Offline Andrew Clunn

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I'm saying that conflating judgment of or bias towards a race and the same towards a religion is a common tactic worth rejection.  Is he racist?  That question is entirely separate  from his views on a religion.
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Offline Andrew Clunn

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Dawkins was born and raised a white Christian. And absolutely Muslim often colloquially means people of a certain ethnic group.

It means both.  If I said, "What Jews believe is ridiculous!" would that be racist?  No, I was clearly talking about beliefs and therefore people of Jewish faith and not people of Jewish decent.  It's a quirk of language that "Muslim" similarly has two meanings, and assuming that Dawkins is talking about an ethnic group makes no sense.  Well unless you're trying to engage in motivated reasoning to cast him as a racist.
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Offline gmalivuk

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That question is entirely separate  from his views on a religion.
No, it really isn't.

If I said, "What Jews believe is ridiculous!" would that be racist?
Probably, yes.
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better...is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.

Offline Andrew Clunn

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Congratulations.  In the eyes of everyone who cries, "Racist!" because frank discussion triggers them, you just "won."
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