Author Topic: PZ Myers claims "a substantial number of skeptics" are scientific racists  (Read 2256 times)

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Offline gmalivuk

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Unless you're incapable of continuing the discussion because I said Dawkins was racist, I don't see how my calling him racist is supposed to be an attempt to avoid frank discussion.

Pretending Islamophobia and anti-Semitism aren't forms of racism doesn't actually make it so, especially given the history of conflating Judaism in particular with race rather than merely religious belief.

(Just like it's still racist if you say, "I don't think Black people are inferior because of their race, it's just that their ~culture~ has serious problems.")

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.
That would be an example of pseudoscientific racism, incidentally, because the actual research shows that racial profiling does not, in fact, lead to more effective policing, and so it's a case of letting one's racist beliefs overshadow the facts.

In principle scientific racism (as in, the sort that doesn't require any pseudoscience) could hinge on something like statistical differences in types of intelligence between different racial groups. Those differences may in fact be real and verifiable, but that wouldn't make discrimination or bias based on race any less racist. The fact that a lot of so-called scientific racism has in the past been based on what's actually pseudoscience doesn't mean it's impossible for such a thing to exist, because racism is still bad regardless of what the science happens to say.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 11:14:24 PM by gmalivuk »
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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You've established standards where one cannot criticize a religion without also attacking any ethnic groups that predominantly practice that faith.  It's a stupid standard that does make frank discussion impossible.
I'm just the victim of my cognitive privilege

Offline gmalivuk

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You've established standards where one cannot criticize a religion without also attacking any ethnic groups that predominantly practice that faith.  It's a stupid standard that does make frank discussion impossible.
If you want to talk about people who only criticize religious beliefs themselves, without holding double standards or otherwise letting that criticism get mixed up with their racism, then feel free to bring up such a person.

But Dawkins was the one we were discussing.
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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Not engaging with my actual point.  Making assertions without evidence and claiming they are facts.
I'm just the victim of my cognitive privilege

Offline gmalivuk

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Which "actual point" would that be, exactly?

tbh I pretty much stopped taking you seriously after you claimed I was "triggered" by frank discussion.
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 stands2reason

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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?

Islam isn't a race. In fact, it doesn't even have super-representation from any single ethnicity or nationality. Islam is truly multicultural and factionalized (and sectarian) just like Christianity—arguably even more so.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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And absolutely Muslim often colloquially means people of a certain ethnic group.

Oh really? I once had an Assyrian colleague, with background from a Muslim-majority country. She'd slap you in the face if you call her a Muslim.
"Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding." - Xi Zhi

Offline gmalivuk

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So? That a colloquialism is inaccurate or offensive doesn't mean it isn't real.
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 Ah.hell

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Ok, xenophobic then. 

Offline Andrew Clunn

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So? That a colloquialism is inaccurate or offensive doesn't mean it isn't real.

They're called words.  They have meanings.  If a single word has multiple meanings, then it's important to know which is being used in order to understand what's being said.  You don't get to have it both ways simultaneously.  This should be obvious, but since you're doing everything you can to get the interpretation you want, apparently not.
I'm just the victim of my cognitive privilege

Offline gmalivuk

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Acknowledging that words have connotations as well as denotations, and that associations can exist even when they're factually inaccurate, is not "having it both ways simultaneously".
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 Redamare

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All this mental gymnastics to make criticism of Islam into racism is offensively idiotic.

I think some of Harris's rhetoric is a waste of breath rather than a lone voice of reason. That doesn't make it racism.

I also support affirmative action, but opposing it isn't racism, either.
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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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I also support affirmative action, but opposing it isn't racism, either.

Thank you. :)
"Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding." - Xi Zhi

Offline gmalivuk

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Who said all criticism of Islam was racist?
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 Enkidu

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If I said, "What Jews believe is ridiculous!" would that be racist?
Probably, yes.

If that is your definitions of anti-antisemitism most atheists are anti-semites (as the obvious connotation of "Jew" here is "religious Jew" not "ethnic Jew"), which I cannot imagine you really believe.

IMO Harris and Maher are complete asses when it comes to Islam; I'd even go so far as to call them islamophobic. I don't think that makes them racist. Islamophobia and anti-Arab/brown people racism definitely overlap, but they are not synonymous, in the same way that transphobia and homophobia overlap but can exist independent of each other.

I think the belief that an angel came to a middle aged merchant in the 7th century and delivered to him the Final Revelation is ridiculous, while simultaneously I am not threatened by people who hold that belief nor do I believe them to be bad people. Plenty of atheists hold views like this, being intellectually critical of religion without being bigoted towards believers.

But there are certainly plenty of atheists that are like self-righteous teetolators that never shut up about how evil alcohol is, never mind that most people who drink know it isn't good for them. You don't want to waste your time at church? Great! Me either, but for fucks sake there are way more dangerous things in the world than religion, which is far more likely to be used to excuse/justify shitty things than to actually cause it. This is where people like Maher and Harris loose me. It's as if some people are wired to need some kind of Enemy to hate, a Great Threat that must be defended against above all others. While I have my issues with religions, particularly cults like the COS, in the grand scheme of things there are bigger fish to fry.

TLDR; You can be critical of religion without being bigoted against believers; you can be bigoted against believers without being racist.

 

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