Author Topic: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies  (Read 7451 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mindme

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8777
    • http://www.yrad.com/cs
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2018, 04:00:40 PM »
Indeed they're not gateways. But if we think our tools self correct against racists, sexists, and homophobes in our community then that's a bad assumption.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2018, 08:18:19 AM by mindme »
"Because the world needs more Mark Crislip."

Conspiracy Skeptic Podcast
Korean Podcast
Michael Goudeau, Vegas Comedy Entertainer Available for Trade Shows

Offline Quetzalcoatl

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 5107
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #46 on: October 22, 2018, 04:08:31 PM »
I believe this kind of outcome is why early skeptical leaders (like CSICOP founders Paul Kurtz and Carl Sagan) argued that the movement should only be promoted within the realm of academia.

Did Carl Sagan really think that? His writings are quite clear that he thought it is essential that everyone learns skeptical thinking. Doesn't sound like someone who wants to keep it within academia.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 04:20:51 PM by Quetzalcoatl »
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline amysrevenge

  • Baseball-Cap-Beard-Baby Guy
  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6021
  • The Warhammeriest
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #47 on: October 22, 2018, 04:11:58 PM »
It's a mistake to conflate "the organized skeptical movement" and "critical/skeptical thinking".  Another ought/is mistake.
Big Mike
Grande Prairie AB Canada

Offline Quetzalcoatl

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 5107
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #48 on: October 22, 2018, 04:37:14 PM »
In reality, in the not-ideal reality we all share, the skeptical and atheist movements and communities are not actually aligned around seeking the truth skeptically.

Atheism and skepticism are not the same. The atheist movement is aligned around not believing in gods. Or actually, Steve wrote about this a few years ago, using slightly different terms:

Quote from: Steven Novella
Scientific skepticism – the application of skeptical philosophy, critical thinking skills, and knowledge of science and its methods to empirical claims, while remaining agnostic or neutral to non-empirical claims (except those that directly impact the practice of science)

Secularism – Atheism, agnosticism, and humanism – promoting a secular society and taking a critical view of faith and religion.

I'm curious to hear what you think are good examples of this forum being hostile to skepticism, but I'm willing to bet it will be examples of people disagreeing with your opinions.

Maybe not hostile, but rather negative at times.
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline SkeptiQueer

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7736
  • DEEZ NUTZ
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #49 on: October 22, 2018, 05:15:29 PM »
In reality, in the not-ideal reality we all share, the skeptical and atheist movements and communities are not actually aligned around seeking the truth skeptically.

Atheism and skepticism are not the same. The atheist movement is aligned around not believing in gods. Or actually, Steve wrote about this a few years ago, using slightly different terms:

Quote from: Steven Novella
Scientific skepticism – the application of skeptical philosophy, critical thinking skills, and knowledge of science and its methods to empirical claims, while remaining agnostic or neutral to non-empirical claims (except those that directly impact the practice of science)

Secularism – Atheism, agnosticism, and humanism – promoting a secular society and taking a critical view of faith and religion.

I'm curious to hear what you think are good examples of this forum being hostile to skepticism, but I'm willing to bet it will be examples of people disagreeing with your opinions.

Maybe not hostile, but rather negative at times.

What are good examples of this forum being negative to skepticism?

I disagree that the atheist movement and the skeptic movement are not intertwined, at least in the Anglosphere. Without each other and their crossover both would be a tiny shadow of what theya re today.
HIISSSSSSSS

Offline Nosmas

  • Keeps Priorities Straight
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #50 on: October 22, 2018, 08:02:02 PM »

I believe the relative size of sub-groups has people confused. I believe the majority of atheists are skeptics—let's say only a simple majority. The percentage of the overall population that is skeptical is much smaller. But because that population is also much larger, that accounts for more skeptics.

I don't believe that's true at all. Atheists just happen to be correct about one belief (or lack of) and most often not even for good skeptical reasons. Probably a larger percentage of atheists are skeptically minded than the general population but I doubt it's by a large margin. Certainly from my experience most atheists are unaware of how to apply skepticism to other things.
Providing yesterday's solutions to today's problems, tomorrow!

Offline PANTS!

  • One leg at a time.
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 11958
  • What seals? I auditioned for this job.
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #51 on: October 22, 2018, 09:59:36 PM »
Well that some shit.  More quality intellects replaced by shit posters.  Hate to see you go, we needed you, methinks.  Not that our need is your problem, mind you, but you did make this place better.
Now where I come from
We don't let society tell us how it's supposed to be
-Uptown, Prince 👉

The world is on its elbows and knees
It's forgotten the message and worships the creeds

Offline Rai

  • PIZZASAURUS
  • Global Moderator
  • Too Much Spare Time
  • *****
  • Posts: 7012
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #52 on: October 23, 2018, 02:15:21 AM »
I think the problem is about two things:

the atheist and sceptic scenes overlap with each other, but also with general nerd culture. The latter is one of the main recruiting grounds of the alt-right, where it all started, through virulent misogyny and by harnessing the inherent toxicity of online communities. This isn't the fault of atheists and sceptics per se. They are riding the same bus every morning, and quite a few of them get infected with the flu from other regular passengers. The flu being nazism.

The second are the movements themselves. Neither made any attempt at standing up for their own members when they came under attack. In fact, they continue to harbor toxic people: there are predators like Shermer and Radford. There are compromised folks sliding towards hate like Dawkins and especially Shermer. Skeptic Magazine embraced Jordan effin Peterson of all people. Atheist/Sceptic youtube is a horrifying cesspit.

What is worse, the sceptical movement completely failed to rise up to contemporary topics. With a few exceptions like Ken Feder, they are not going after the alt right, the fake news mills, the troll armies, the pseudoscience peddled by mainstream politicians to further far-right goals, or mainstreamed white supremacist pseudohistory (ancient aliens, hyperdiffusionism, etc. ). This lets these ideas fester within the community.

Though, to be fair, the movement seems to have lost all its battles. Anti-vaxxers are stronger then ever. Flat Earth is now a thing. Global Warming is still being denied. Alternative Medicine is unhindered. Maybe all that effort spent on chasing away women could have been used elsewhere...

Offline John Albert

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6583
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #53 on: October 23, 2018, 03:49:10 AM »
I believe this kind of outcome is why early skeptical leaders (like CSICOP founders Paul Kurtz and Carl Sagan) argued that the movement should only be promoted within the realm of academia.

Did Carl Sagan really think that? His writings are quite clear that he thought it is essential that everyone learns skeptical thinking. Doesn't sound like someone who wants to keep it within academia.

Of course Carl Sagan thought that everyone should learn critical thinking.

I can't even remember where (it might have been a talk by James Randi) but I remember reading that there was a schism within the early leadership of SCICOP, with Sagan and others regarding skepticism as a pedagogical endeavor which only academics were fully qualified to lead. But Randi and Martin Gardner were allegedly instrumental in convincing the leadership that professional magicians ought to be involved because they are familiar with techniques by which people deceive and trick others.

Offline arthwollipot

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8998
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #54 on: October 23, 2018, 06:14:26 PM »
I don't remember that particular situation, but I do know that Randi left CSICOP over differences about whether to actively debunk Uri Geller. Randi said yes, the rest of the board said live and let live.
Self-described nerd. Pronouns: He/Him.

Tarvek: There's more to being an evil despot than getting cake whenever you want it.
Agatha: If that's what you think, then you're DOING IT WRONG!

Online daniel1948

  • Isn’t a
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8777
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #55 on: October 23, 2018, 06:29:20 PM »
With the caveat that I've mostly avoided the politics forum since the election (I mostly avoid political news now) I will say that I'm aware, because of reporting on the SGU and this forum, that there's a lot of horrible treatment of women in the skeptics community (e.g. the elevator incident and the backlash from some men against Rebecca) I have not noticed alt-right or misogynist views expressed here on the SGU forums except by one or maybe two posters who get severely criticized by everyone else.

Am I included in there? It was implied a few months back that I was being bigotted to Muslims for disputing the claim that Morocco is super-tolerant of atheists, with human rights sources verifying my view. This is why I am somewhat dubious of the claim of the OP. Even criticizing an authoritarian regime gets you branded as a bigot on this forum. Talk about inflation of the meaning of words.

No! You are definitely not one of the people I was referring to.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline mindme

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8777
    • http://www.yrad.com/cs
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #56 on: October 24, 2018, 08:44:11 AM »
I think part of the problem is some of us in the skepticism/atheism community see our selves as "the good guys". Since we're the good guys, we can't do anything wrong. I've seen people from different repressed minorities that excuse their own bad behavior as "well, we're the good guys in this fight. So we can't do anything wrong."

 
"Because the world needs more Mark Crislip."

Conspiracy Skeptic Podcast
Korean Podcast
Michael Goudeau, Vegas Comedy Entertainer Available for Trade Shows

Offline Quetzalcoatl

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 5107
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #57 on: October 24, 2018, 01:03:33 PM »
I don't remember that particular situation, but I do know that Randi left CSICOP over differences about whether to actively debunk Uri Geller. Randi said yes, the rest of the board said live and let live.

I think the situation was that Uri Geller was trying to sue CSICOP because of Randi's association with it, they parted ways because CSICOP didn't want to get into that legal mess.
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline JohnM

  • Keeps Priorities Straight
  • ***
  • Posts: 407
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #58 on: October 24, 2018, 04:32:54 PM »

For those interested in this topic Cara touches on it in her latest talk nerdy podcast

Offline John Albert

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6583
Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
« Reply #59 on: October 24, 2018, 05:25:03 PM »
I think part of the problem is some of us in the skepticism/atheism community see our selves as "the good guys". Since we're the good guys, we can't do anything wrong.

Agreed, and that notion is just as anti-skeptical as any I've ever heard.


I've seen people from different repressed minorities that excuse their own bad behavior as "well, we're the good guys in this fight. So we can't do anything wrong."

Yes, these kinds of beliefs (eg. the unreasonable premise that women cannot be sexist and nonwhites cannot be racist) are also very common in some activist circles.