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General Discussions => Skepticism / Science Talk => Topic started by: heyalison on October 18, 2018, 10:16:25 AM

Title: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: heyalison on October 18, 2018, 10:16:25 AM
I was reading an article, recently, about the path various people took to pretty extremist, white national, and misogynist ideologies, and I was shocked how many mentioned atheism and skepticism as part of that process. It made me sad, not because I thought it was a pack of lies, but by how often I've seen this, personally. It's been disheartening to see it here, too, and in other skeptical places on-line and in the real world. There's a pretty wide swath of some very regressive and reactionary ideas about women, racialized people, queer people, and the primacy of the straight, white, cis male out there (and in here).

In retrospect, it seems inevitable, and there were definitely events and movements which for years allowed the widening of anti-minority ideas under the guise of free speech. It's hard to walk away, because I do actually believe in things like critical thinking, but in places like this there is always such a focused hatred of women by some. It's too exhausting.

I might be some SJW snowflake, but I was attracted to skepticism as a chance to question the structures which shape us, and which are demonstrably deleterious to some groups. But instead there has been an aggressive, angry pushback at women who ask for equality, even from men who call themselves feminists. Instead there has been an unquestioning repetition of talking points by those who exploit the status quo. Instead it's helped some people distill and isolate their hate into mathematical proofs. And we're probably worse off for it: Now we have angry republican uncles on-line yelling "straw man!" at any reasonable question of their president, who is clearly a criminal. 

You don't seem to have many women here, so I'll say this: Your moderation system doesn't work. It empowers people who already have power. Some of you are pretty cool, and I appreciate the words you've put in here.

Later, gaters...
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 18, 2018, 10:32:19 AM
Right around the time that I started my big break from here (Summer 2012 apparently (https://sguforums.com/index.php?action=profile;u=5078;area=showposts;start=360)), there was an issue of transphobia and what seemed like fairly decisive moderator action. I remember a couple of high profile political threads many years back where a mod (Beleth?) had to post a mod warning telling people to stop reporting posts that don't actually break the rules.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: mindme on October 18, 2018, 11:19:33 AM
Yeah, I've found this a disturbing trend. Previously if you wanted to hate, you had to sign on with some religious community. Now you can hate and still be an atheist. And use a bunch of "tools" (it's science!) to justify your hate, instead of religious prescriptions to justify your hate.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 18, 2018, 11:50:17 AM
Yeah, I've found this a disturbing trend. Previously if you wanted to hate, you had to sign on with some religious community. Now you can hate and still be an atheist. And use a bunch of "tools" (it's science!) to justify your hate, instead of religious prescriptions to justify your hate.

https://twitter.com/stands2reason/status/1017140577295577089
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: heyalison on October 18, 2018, 12:04:03 PM
One last, because 100 is a nice round number.

Another thing that makes it hardest to be around places like this is seeing how many (mostly younger, though it spans ages) men seem to see empathy and kindness as character flaws, and how easily they argue on behalf of ideologies that want to harm others. I'm so tired of hot takes from guys that are just reheated Ayn Rand and ultra-free-market capitalist talking points, or gumming up the discussions of the rights of others with bad faith hyper-skepticism. I don't know if it's for LOLs or if it's a genuine intellectual pursuit, but it makes me so bummed out. The positions are so reactionary, and so willing to dehumanize refugees, people of color, the poor, the religious, or any group that isn't their own.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Shibboleth on October 18, 2018, 12:20:05 PM
Every time I read something skeptical I buy a new gun.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 18, 2018, 12:55:23 PM
To the OP:

I'm a woman.

Please, no. While Incels are killing people, let's not normalize "Involuntary/In-" as a prefix for identities.

The irony of people trying to invent drama over identity politics when we're just text on screen (except in cases where I have met IRL (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,21593.0.html)).

So, you pretended to create a thread about a political topic, but it is a passive-aggressive goodbye?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: moj on October 18, 2018, 01:35:31 PM
To the OP:

I'm a woman.

Please, no. While Incels are killing people, let's not normalize "Involuntary/In-" as a prefix for identities.

The irony of people trying to invent drama over identity politics when we're just text on screen (except in cases where I have met IRL (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,21593.0.html)).

So, you pretended to create a thread about a political topic, but it is a passive-aggressive goodbye?

Way to be the example maybe you can help explain, WTF happened to you? How did you end up so damaged?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Zerowantuthri on October 18, 2018, 02:41:13 PM
Can the OP (or anyone) point to some examples of this?  Maybe start with a link to the article mentioned in the OP?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 18, 2018, 03:09:21 PM
Way to be the example maybe you can help explain, WTF happened to you? How did you end up so damaged?

I literally skimmed over most-all of this person's posts. Most of it does seem to be a Poe's Law of feminism. Or just someone that pretends to emotional as a substitute for having an argument. And to answer the question of what damaged me:

I've was basically the victim of extreme hate & corruption that I was basically not allowed to start my profession, even though I have plenty of evidence if my qualifications. Of course, some of it (working at defense contractors) was "Russian movie theater" of them acting out specific kind of bigoted personalities as they were being invented in the social news outrage ecosystem. So I was prevented from having a life based on transphobia, but only because the evidence actually showed that I was significantly above average. Hint: virtually every time I have seem a supposedly liberal person decrying gendered bigotry, it sounds like they are sarcastically wishing for the kind of stuff that I experienced.

You know there's some Orwellian stuff going on when Twitter selects specific news/outrage content that is specifically tailored to your situation (workplace corruption, gendered bigotry, "Red vs Blue" defense industry movie theater) literally as it is happening. After experiencing that for myself in 2014; I don't take anything I see on social media at face value—to the extent that I even still bother to consume it.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 18, 2018, 03:27:07 PM
This is one reason why I feel "skeptic" is kind of a useless word for self-identification. Thinking critically and logically, and predicating one's beliefs on valid evidence are all important disciplines for discerning the truth, but the mantle of "skeptic" is sufficiently vague that anyone could claim it to lend credence to any sort of beliefs. How many times have you heard somebody say "I'm very skeptical about these things, but..." before launching off into some woo-woo nonsense?

"Atheism" is just a lack of a belief in a god or gods. People disbelieve in gods for a great variety of reasons, some good and some bad. Most beliefs or credos to which an atheist might subscribe are totally unrelated to their atheism. For example, there's nothing inherent to atheism itself that would necessarily lead one to subscribe to white nationalism.

Perhaps there's a common psychological cause between the inclination toward skeptical atheism and a susceptibility to extremist ideologies. For example, maybe some people reject their belief in God out of an feeling of social detachment or discontent, or maybe rejecting religion leads to feelings of marginalization that also leads to the craziness.

Just the same, I don't think it's reasonable to assume that skepticism and atheism are a "gateway" to far right extremism, unless some mechanism or causality has been established.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 18, 2018, 03:49:41 PM
This seems a little strange to me.

First, skepticism and atheism are not the same thing. Most skeptics are atheists, but the reverse is certainly not true. Are some al-rightists atheists? I'm not aware of any statistics, but it seems very likely to me. Any bum can be an atheist. At least among young people, atheism is not particularly rare. And I don't think atheism leads to alt-rightism in itself. I have met both libertarian atheists and socialist atheists. Atheism doesn't lead to any political belief, except maybe support for secularism, and even that isn't a given.

Skepticism is a different beast, and that alt-rightists would be skeptics seems very unlikely to me. Why? Because alt-rightists tend to believe in a lot of pseudoscientific and pseudohistorical things. That skepticism would be part of the process leading one to become an alt-rightist seems preposterous to me. Unless that person engages in a lot of special pleading to maintain those beliefs. But then that is a deviation from skeptical thinking, not an expression of it.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 18, 2018, 03:53:47 PM
This is one reason why I feel "skeptic" is kind of a useless word for self-identification. Thinking critically and logically, and predicating one's beliefs on valid evidence are all important disciplines for discerning the truth, but the mantle of "skeptic" is sufficiently vague that anyone could claim it to lend credence to any sort of beliefs. How many times have you heard somebody say "I'm very skeptical about these things, but..." before launching off into some woo-woo nonsense?

I think your example shows that the mantle of skepticism is sufficiently attractive for its opponents to want to claim it for themselves.

The term is not optimal, but it's very established, and has been at least for decades. There isn't any alternative term out there that also can't be abused.

Take a read at Steven Novella's blogpost from 2008 that discusses this a bit: Skeptic - The Name Thing Again (https://www.skepticblog.org/2008/11/17/skeptic-the-name-thing-again/)
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: amysrevenge on October 18, 2018, 04:13:36 PM
I'm definitely reading this OP as meaning "participation in the wider community of atheists" when saying "atheism" and same for skepticism.  Not the mindset/worldview in isolation, but the community.

EG.  Given "I was shocked how many mentioned atheism and skepticism as part of that process."  I am not hearing "I was shocked how many mentioned believing in no gods and valuing critical thinking as part of that process."  I am hearing "I was shocked how many mentioned active participation in the atheist and skeptic communities as part of that process."
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 18, 2018, 04:38:13 PM
First, skepticism and atheism are not the same thing. Most skeptics are atheists, but the reverse is certainly not true.

I don't understand this. It is "certainly not true that most atheists are skeptics"? I mean, theism is a form of magical thinking, so there is some kind of skepticism going on. BTW, how do we measure the number [scientific] skeptics? I don't believe there is any survey that counts skpetics like the Pew Religion Poll we would use for atheists/agnostic. I am not convinced that the relative size of the two groups is that different.

However, this thread does highlight the popularity of "none" label. It seems skeptics are now endorsing the narrative that atheists are cynical/mean people (the bad kind of "skeptic")? So, the literal word for "no belief in a personal God" is a bad word again—and then there were "Nones".
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 18, 2018, 05:30:42 PM
I could go through a timeline, but I'd say it's because the identity of skeptic and atheist was promoted largely by angry white men being condescending to people outside the movement. This attracted people who like to tell other they're wrong. This trend continued and at various points the communities alienated women and minority groups while attracting people who already opposed feminism and found a new way to condescend to people by saying "reason" and "logic" a bunch.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 18, 2018, 05:44:06 PM
I could go through a timeline, but I'd say it's because the identity of skeptic and atheist was promoted largely by angry white men being condescending to people outside the movement. This attracted people who like to tell other they're wrong. This trend continued and at various points the communities alienated women and minority groups while attracting people who already opposed feminism and found a new way to condescend to people by saying "reason" and "logic" a bunch.

I put these as questions since it is more an attempt to see if we are on the same page as what we mean by atheism as a sub-culture; but I do believe these statements.

American atheism became mainstream again with the "Four Horsemen of the Atheist Apocalypse": Dennett, Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens? All straight white men, so it looks like there is a representation problem from the beginning. Ironically Hitches was the angriest among them, but he is the skeptical favorite? Harris is a great counterexample to this angry atheist trope and/or actual problem;  (BTW, Waking Up is good read/listen if you are interested want something secular/atheist that actually is Zen and has basically no anger in it). Harris gets pretty close to arguing that spirituality is literally real, although still by neurochemical reductionist explanation.

In other words, it kinda sounds like you are generically angry at atheists. Not for their atheism, but with hate ideology that it correlates with. Can you give us an example of atheists doing it right? Given how organized religion contributes to sexism, maybe an example of a feminist atheist that brings a new perspective?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 18, 2018, 05:50:12 PM
I could go through a timeline, but I'd say it's because the identity of skeptic and atheist was promoted largely by angry white men being condescending to people outside the movement. This attracted people who like to tell other they're wrong. This trend continued and at various points the communities alienated women and minority groups while attracting people who already opposed feminism and found a new way to condescend to people by saying "reason" and "logic" a bunch.

I put these as questions since it is more an attempt to see if we are on the same page as what we mean by atheism as a sub-culture; but I do believe these statements.

American atheism became mainstream again with the "Four Horsemen of the Atheist Apocalypse": Dennett, Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens? All straight white men, so it looks like there is a representation problem from the beginning. Ironically Hitches was the angriest among them, but he is the skeptical favorite? Harris is a great counterexample to this angry atheist trope and/or actual problem;  (BTW, Waking Up is good read/listen if you are interested want something secular/atheist that actually is Zen and has basically no anger in it). Harris gets pretty close to arguing that spirituality is literally real, although still by neurochemical reductionist explanation.

In other words, it kinda sounds like you are generically angry at atheists. Not for their atheism, but with hate ideology that it correlates with. Can you give us an example of atheists doing it right? Given how organized religion contributes to sexism, maybe an example of a feminist atheist that brings a new perspective?

How do you read what i wrote and come to the conclusion that I'm angry at atheists?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: daniel1948 on October 18, 2018, 07:36:05 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.

I don't get the impression that these forums are hotbeds of misogyny or right-wing voices.

I'd think it's less likely that atheism and skepticism are gateways to the right wing than that some right-wingers are attracted to atheism and skepticism as an expression of their rejection of the mainstream. When I was active in the peace movement we sometimes had overtures from right-wing wackos who felt that our protests against war made us anti-government and therefore potential allies. (We were, and I am, not opposed to government; we were, and I am, opposed to government policies that kill people and that oppress others.)
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Sawyer on October 18, 2018, 08:17:10 PM
I was reading an article, recently, about the path various people took to pretty extremist, white national, and misogynist ideologies, and I was shocked how many mentioned atheism and skepticism as part of that process. It made me sad, not because I thought it was a pack of lies, but by how often I've seen this, personally. It's been disheartening to see it here, too, and in other skeptical places on-line and in the real world. There's a pretty wide swath of some very regressive and reactionary ideas about women, racialized people, queer people, and the primacy of the straight, white, cis male out there (and in here).

In retrospect, it seems inevitable, and there were definitely events and movements which for years allowed the widening of anti-minority ideas under the guise of free speech. It's hard to walk away, because I do actually believe in things like critical thinking, but in places like this there is always such a focused hatred of women by some. It's too exhausting.

I might be some SJW snowflake, but I was attracted to skepticism as a chance to question the structures which shape us, and which are demonstrably deleterious to some groups. But instead there has been an aggressive, angry pushback at women who ask for equality, even from men who call themselves feminists. Instead there has been an unquestioning repetition of talking points by those who exploit the status quo. Instead it's helped some people distill and isolate their hate into mathematical proofs. And we're probably worse off for it: Now we have angry republican uncles on-line yelling "straw man!" at any reasonable question of their president, who is clearly a criminal. 

You don't seem to have many women here, so I'll say this: Your moderation system doesn't work. It empowers people who already have power. Some of you are pretty cool, and I appreciate the words you've put in here.

Later, gaters...

I had a long rant planned out, but I'll cut it down to bare bones.

Steve has said on the podcast many times that being a skeptic is not about holding specific beliefs, values, or knowledge, but instead is about a process of critical thinking.

But that's not how you build successful communities.  Communities ARE built on common beliefs and values. When you try to build a community without those features, people with questionable values systems will quickly weasel their way in, and now you are caught trying to remove those people based on amoral/valueless standards.  It doesn't work.  You are stuck with them.  I'll also cynically note that online communities tend to attract ... well ... losers.  They put a lot of effort into aggressively forcing their viewpoints onto any community that will accept them, because they have a very hard time doing this in real life.  Again, if you don't have a clear set of behaviors, values, and philosophy that your community is built upon, you have no way to kick someone out just for being a loser.



I won't try to convince you to stick around since I offered zero solutions to your problem, but feel free to duck your head in every once in a while, even if it's just to tell someone they are being a huge asshole.   ;)
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 19, 2018, 12:44:22 PM
First, skepticism and atheism are not the same thing. Most skeptics are atheists, but the reverse is certainly not true.

I don't understand this. It is "certainly not true that most atheists are skeptics"? I mean, theism is a form of magical thinking, so there is some kind of skepticism going on. BTW, how do we measure the number [scientific] skeptics? I don't believe there is any survey that counts skpetics like the Pew Religion Poll we would use for atheists/agnostic. I am not convinced that the relative size of the two groups is that different.

However, this thread does highlight the popularity of "none" label. It seems skeptics are now endorsing the narrative that atheists are cynical/mean people (the bad kind of "skeptic")? So, the literal word for "no belief in a personal God" is a bad word again—and then there were "Nones".

There is a lot of data showing that atheists are also prone to holding pseudoscientific or paranormal beliefs. Not much different from religious people in fact. It's simply not true that non-religious people are automatically scientifically inclined critical thinkers.

And I don't think that atheism is a bad word at all. I am happy to call myself an atheist. I just ackowledge the limitation of that word.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 19, 2018, 12:44:56 PM
I could go through a timeline, but I'd say it's because the identity of skeptic and atheist was promoted largely by angry white men being condescending to people outside the movement. This attracted people who like to tell other they're wrong. This trend continued and at various points the communities alienated women and minority groups while attracting people who already opposed feminism and found a new way to condescend to people by saying "reason" and "logic" a bunch.

This sounds more like a Youtube phenomenon than anything else.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 19, 2018, 01:00:49 PM
I could go through a timeline, but I'd say it's because the identity of skeptic and atheist was promoted largely by angry white men being condescending to people outside the movement. This attracted people who like to tell other they're wrong. This trend continued and at various points the communities alienated women and minority groups while attracting people who already opposed feminism and found a new way to condescend to people by saying "reason" and "logic" a bunch.

This sounds more like a Youtube phenomenon than anything else.

Youtube was a big money driver, and now we've seen skeptic magazine and Peter Boghossian selling out science in favor of the hacky culture war stuff. "Youtube stuff" is where the money and the audience is.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 19, 2018, 01:05:14 PM
I was reading an article, recently, about the path various people took to pretty extremist, white national, and misogynist ideologies, and I was shocked how many mentioned atheism and skepticism as part of that process. It made me sad, not because I thought it was a pack of lies, but by how often I've seen this, personally. It's been disheartening to see it here, too, and in other skeptical places on-line and in the real world. There's a pretty wide swath of some very regressive and reactionary ideas about women, racialized people, queer people, and the primacy of the straight, white, cis male out there (and in here).

In retrospect, it seems inevitable, and there were definitely events and movements which for years allowed the widening of anti-minority ideas under the guise of free speech. It's hard to walk away, because I do actually believe in things like critical thinking, but in places like this there is always such a focused hatred of women by some. It's too exhausting.

I might be some SJW snowflake, but I was attracted to skepticism as a chance to question the structures which shape us, and which are demonstrably deleterious to some groups. But instead there has been an aggressive, angry pushback at women who ask for equality, even from men who call themselves feminists. Instead there has been an unquestioning repetition of talking points by those who exploit the status quo. Instead it's helped some people distill and isolate their hate into mathematical proofs. And we're probably worse off for it: Now we have angry republican uncles on-line yelling "straw man!" at any reasonable question of their president, who is clearly a criminal. 

You don't seem to have many women here, so I'll say this: Your moderation system doesn't work. It empowers people who already have power. Some of you are pretty cool, and I appreciate the words you've put in here.

Later, gaters...

I had a long rant planned out, but I'll cut it down to bare bones.

Steve has said on the podcast many times that being a skeptic is not about holding specific beliefs, values, or knowledge, but instead is about a process of critical thinking.

But that's not how you build successful communities.  Communities ARE built on common beliefs and values. When you try to build a community without those features, people with questionable values systems will quickly weasel their way in, and now you are caught trying to remove those people based on amoral/valueless standards.  It doesn't work.  You are stuck with them.  I'll also cynically note that online communities tend to attract ... well ... losers.  They put a lot of effort into aggressively forcing their viewpoints onto any community that will accept them, because they have a very hard time doing this in real life.  Again, if you don't have a clear set of behaviors, values, and philosophy that your community is built upon, you have no way to kick someone out just for being a loser.



I won't try to convince you to stick around since I offered zero solutions to your problem, but feel free to duck your head in every once in a while, even if it's just to tell someone they are being a huge asshole.   ;)

Says who? IMO, skepticism's unique selling point is that it is a method, not a belief-system. We don't hold beliefs dogmatically, and all our beliefs are up for questioning. Homeopathy could be shown to work. Young Earth creationism could be supported by the data. It's just that in the world we live it, it turns out not to be the case so far (and these two are incredibly unlikely to ever be so). And we should not hold political beliefs dogmatically either, or ascribe to a political party line as a whole, but rather judge each issue individually.

If you read at info pages of various Skeptics in the Pub meetings, like this (http://sheffield.skepticsinthepub.org/), we find:

Quote
All upcoming events are listed below and the meetings are open to all whatever your beliefs and views so please, come along.

Or this (http://worthing.skepticsinthepub.org/):

Quote
Anyone can be a skeptic - we have atheists, agnostics, christians and a muslim in our membership list. If you are on our email database, you should get notifications of our events. The Skeptics motto is, Respect People, Challenge Ideas.

Also, I don't think skepticism is completley empty of values. Or what I mean is, skepticism is dependent on certain values, like an open democratic society in order to function properly. We know from around the world that authoritarian regimes past and present tend to suppress free inquiry, and often want to shape the worldview of their citizens in line with their ideology.

Steve, in his facets of skepticism, included (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/bigfoot-skeptics-new-atheists-politics-and-religion/):

Quote from: Steven Novella
Ideological Freedom/Free Inquiry – Science and reason can only flourish in a secular society in which no ideology (religious or otherwise) is imposed upon individuals or the process of science or free inquiry.

Carl Sagan wrote:

Quote from: Carl Sagan
Russia is an instructive case. Under the Tsars, religious superstition was encouraged, but scientific and sceptical thinking - except by a few tame scientists - was ruthlessly expunged. Under Communism, both religion and pseudoscience were systematically suppressed - except for the superstition of the state ideological religion. It was advertised as scientific, but fell as far short of this ideal as the most unself-critical mystery cult. Critical thinking - except by scientists in hermetically sealed compartments of knowledge - was recognized as dangerous, was not taught in the schools, and was punished where expressed.

Quote from: Carl Sagan
The values of science and the values of democracy are concordant, in many cases indistinguishable. Science and democracy began - in their civilized incarnations - in the same time and place, Greece in the seventh and sixth centuries BC. Science confers power on anyone who takes the trouble to learn it (although too many have been systematically prevented from doing so). Science thrives on, indeed requires, the free exchange of ideas; its values are antithetical to secrecy. Science holds to no special vantage points or privileged positions. Both science and democracy encourage unconventional opinions and vigorous debate. Both demand adequate reason, coherent argument, rigorous standards of evidence and honesty. Science is a way to call the bluff of those who only pretend to knowledge. It is a bulwark against mysticism, against superstition, against religion misapplied to where it has no business being. If we're true to its values, it can tell us when we're being lied to. It provides a mid-course correction to our mistakes. The more widespread its language, rules and methods, the better chance we have of preserving what Thomas Jefferson and his colleagues had in mind. But democracy can also be subverted more thoroughly through the products of science than any pre-industrial demagogue ever dreamed.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 19, 2018, 01:10:50 PM
"These beliefs I hold are the ones compatible with skepticism" is what everyone thinks.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 19, 2018, 01:12:57 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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 19, 2018, 01:15:48 PM
"These beliefs I hold are the ones compatible with skepticism" is what everyone thinks.

That's part of the point of being part of a community. Individually we are prone to biases and quirks. In groups, we have a much better chance of detecting errors in our thinking. This is partially why science is a collaborative effort.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: moj on October 19, 2018, 01:33:41 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.

What claims are you dubious about? It took 6 post in this thread for alt-righter to start making fun of her. You don't have to look hard or far here to find exactly what she is talking about.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 19, 2018, 07:21:00 PM
"These beliefs I hold are the ones compatible with skepticism" is what everyone thinks.

That's part of the point of being part of a community. Individually we are prone to biases and quirks. In groups, we have a much better chance of detecting errors in our thinking. This is partially why science is a collaborative effort.
But that assumes the community is actually formed around and populated by people interested in first examining their own beliefs and then also the ideas of the world around them. If that's not the case and instead the community is attracting people who are attracted by the idea of being smart and special and telling people they're wrong, then you don't get that.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 19, 2018, 07:45:09 PM
"These beliefs I hold are the ones compatible with skepticism" is what everyone thinks.

Where applicable, the self-awareness what one is thinking is unskeptical can actually be a great relief.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 19, 2018, 08:10:49 PM
"These beliefs I hold are the ones compatible with skepticism" is what everyone thinks.

That's part of the point of being part of a community. Individually we are prone to biases and quirks. In groups, we have a much better chance of detecting errors in our thinking. This is partially why science is a collaborative effort.
But that assumes the community is actually formed around and populated by people interested in first examining their own beliefs and then also the ideas of the world around them. If that's not the case and instead the community is attracting people who are attracted by the idea of being smart and special and telling people they're wrong, then you don't get that.

Ideally, exaiming beliefs is part of the point of the skeptical community.

It's decidedly not the point of various ideological or religious communities. If there are facts inconvenient to their preferred beliefs, more often than not, the facts are what get thrown under the bus.

As an aside, it is quite remarkable how hostile to skepticism this forum sometimes seems to be. I can sorta see why the SGU doesn't really care about it anymore.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 19, 2018, 08:13:19 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.

What claims are you dubious about? It took 6 post in this thread for alt-righter to start making fun of her. You don't have to look hard or far here to find exactly what she is talking about.

Sorry, I have no idea who stands2reason is. Can you please tell me more?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 19, 2018, 10:28:53 PM
Sorry, I have no idea who stands2reason is. Can you please tell me more?

Your worst nightmare.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 19, 2018, 11:39:07 PM
"These beliefs I hold are the ones compatible with skepticism" is what everyone thinks.

That's part of the point of being part of a community. Individually we are prone to biases and quirks. In groups, we have a much better chance of detecting errors in our thinking. This is partially why science is a collaborative effort.
But that assumes the community is actually formed around and populated by people interested in first examining their own beliefs and then also the ideas of the world around them. If that's not the case and instead the community is attracting people who are attracted by the idea of being smart and special and telling people they're wrong, then you don't get that.

Ideally, exaiming beliefs is part of the point of the skeptical community.

It's decidedly not the point of various ideological or religious communities. If there are facts inconvenient to their preferred beliefs, more often than not, the facts are what get thrown under the bus.

As an aside, it is quite remarkable how hostile to skepticism this forum sometimes seems to be. I can sorta see why the SGU doesn't really care about it anymore.

I know what the ideal situation is. I'm telling you that we do not live in the ideal situation. We cannot make assumptions based on the ideal situation because we do not exist in the ideal situation. At no time in the past dozen times we've had this exact conversation has there been any question as to what is ideal. Please for the love of SAAB stop telling people what the ideal scenario is when we're in the midst of a discussion about the not-ideal situation we all inhabit.

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.

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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: mindme on October 22, 2018, 08:20:09 AM
Skepticism and atheism are certainly fellow travelers but they're not, obviously, the same group of people. You can be a skeptic and still believe in a god, in my opinion[1]. You can be an atheist and still believe in all manner of woo claims that are clearly testable and have been tested and shown to be without merit.

[1] I can accept a person can be a skeptic, that is not labeling testable claims true or false until they have been properly tested (esp, bigfoot, conspiracy theories) yet still accept some claims are beyond testing and you just have to "go with it". Does my wife love me? Is there life after death?

Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 22, 2018, 08:43:50 AM
Skepticism and atheism are certainly fellow travelers but they're not, obviously, the same group of people. You can be a skeptic and still believe in a god, in my opinion[1]. You can be an atheist and still believe in all manner of woo claims that are clearly testable and have been tested and shown to be without merit.

[1] I can accept a person can be a skeptic, that is not labeling testable claims true or false until they have been properly tested (esp, bigfoot, conspiracy theories) yet still accept some claims are beyond testing and you just have to "go with it". Does my wife love me? Is there life after death?

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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 22, 2018, 09:33:07 AM
Skepticism and atheism are certainly fellow travelers but they're not, obviously, the same group of people. You can be a skeptic and still believe in a god, in my opinion[1]. You can be an atheist and still believe in all manner of woo claims that are clearly testable and have been tested and shown to be without merit.

[1] I can accept a person can be a skeptic, that is not labeling testable claims true or false until they have been properly tested (esp, bigfoot, conspiracy theories) yet still accept some claims are beyond testing and you just have to "go with it". Does my wife love me? Is there life after death?

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 doubt even a tenth of atheists worldwide think they're skeptic's, and having been on YouTube I would wager than of those who think they are, at least half wouldn't be able to critically examine a claim without just repeating someone else's ideas.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 22, 2018, 10:05:29 AM
... having been on YouTube I would wager than of those who think they are [atheists(?)], at least half wouldn't be able to critically examine a claim without just repeating someone else's ideas.

You got me there. I can't say that I have ever spent quality time watching "atheist" videos on Youtube (or reading comments). Sure, it is some kind of evidence (not definitive) of a different kind of sub-culture. But really, you are as confident as a wager on the majority of atheists and/or people who call themselves atheists using people who upload (or comment) on Youtube as a sample?

So, you say half of self-identified atheists are parrots, not skeptics. But also, why the weird phrasing? What does,  "who think the are [atheists]"
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 22, 2018, 10:14:35 AM
... having been on YouTube I would wager than of those who think they are [atheists(?)], at least half wouldn't be able to critically examine a claim without just repeating someone else's ideas.

You got me there. I can't say that I have ever spent quality time watching "atheist" videos on Youtube (or reading comments). Sure, it is some kind of evidence (not definitive) of a different kind of sub-culture. But really, you are as confident as a wager on the majority of atheists and/or people who call themselves atheists using people who upload (or comment) on Youtube as a sample?

So, you say half of self-identified atheists are parrots, not skeptics. But also, why the weird phrasing? What does,  "who think the are [atheists]"

Half of the atheists who think they are skeptics are merely parroting someone else or are on board for the skeptic identity. You inserted [atheist] where the correct understood noun was [skeptics].

Buddhism is atheistic, so that's more than the entire US population, and I doubt most Buddhists consider themselves skeptics. You've also got apathetic atheists, people who grew up not believing and continue not believing, but otherwise don't engage with skepticism as an idea. Those are your "nones" that include the "spiritual" people who don't have a religion or believe in a god or anything.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 22, 2018, 10:30:28 AM
Half of the atheists who think they are skeptics are merely parroting someone else or are on board for the skeptic identity. You inserted [atheist] where the correct understood noun was [skeptics].

Quoted for reference:

I doubt even a tenth of atheists worldwide think they're skeptic's, and having been on YouTube I would wager than of those who think they are, at least half wouldn't be able to critically examine a claim without just repeating someone else's ideas.

Quote
Buddhism is atheistic, so that's more than the entire US population, and I doubt most Buddhists consider themselves skeptics.

Right, only English-speakers that know what the word skeptic means would describe Buddhism as skeptical.

But, other than that, I guess I understand more clearly what you believe about the atheist movement as a whole. BTW, was this only English-language videos? Since you just invoked global demographics I can't tell if you are trying to make a more general statement about atheism vs skepticism.

On a side note: I remember listening to some APM journalists in the Middle East interviewing their fixer. And he explains, in English, that he is an atheist because he grew up immersed in religious violence & hate. Just an anecdote to let you know where I'm an. The funny thing is that in most cultures where atheism is ubiquitous, barely anyone talks about it.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 22, 2018, 10:36:22 AM
Half of the atheists who think they are skeptics are merely parroting someone else or are on board for the skeptic identity. You inserted [atheist] where the correct understood noun was [skeptics].

Quoted for reference:

I doubt even a tenth of atheists worldwide think they're skeptic's, and having been on YouTube I would wager than of those who think they are, at least half wouldn't be able to critically examine a claim without just repeating someone else's ideas.

Quote
Buddhism is atheistic, so that's more than the entire US population, and I doubt most Buddhists consider themselves skeptics.

Right, only English-speakers that know what the word skeptic means would describe Buddhism as skeptical.

But, other than that, I guess I understand more clearly what you believe about the atheist movement as a whole. BTW, was this only English-language videos? Since you just invoked global demographics I can't tell if you are trying to make a more general statement about atheism vs skepticism.

On a side note: I remember listening to some APM journalists in the Middle East interviewing their fixer. And he explains, in English, that he is an atheist because he grew up immersed in religious violence & hate. Just an anecdote to let you know where I'm an. The funny thing is that in most cultures where atheism is ubiquitous, barely anyone talks about it.

I can't follow you and therefore can't tell if you're understanding me, but it doesn't look like it. This conversation will not be productive if neither of us is understanding the other.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 22, 2018, 12:45:46 PM
Skepticism and atheism are certainly fellow travelers but they're not, obviously, the same group of people. You can be a skeptic and still believe in a god, in my opinion[1]. You can be an atheist and still believe in all manner of woo claims that are clearly testable and have been tested and shown to be without merit.

[1] I can accept a person can be a skeptic, that is not labeling testable claims true or false until they have been properly tested (esp, bigfoot, conspiracy theories) yet still accept some claims are beyond testing and you just have to "go with it". Does my wife love me? Is there life after death?

That's my understanding too. Atheism and skepticism are fellow travellers, but they are not the same. There are atheists who are not skeptics, and skeptics who are not atheists. Martin Gardner, one of the founders of the modern skeptical movement, was a deist. Bill Maher is an atheist, but also a pseudoscientific crank.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 22, 2018, 02:27:40 PM
I don't see atheism and skepticism as a gateway to alt-right ideology, any more than marijuana is really a gateway to heroin. But that doesn't mean that the alt-righters won't still sully the movement if we welcome them to participate in it.

Sure, it's true that some alt-right YouTube personalities self-identify as "atheist" and/or "skeptic" as a marketing angle. But I see it as no different than the NSDAP appropriating the word "sozialistische" to leverage the popularity of socialism to attract politically unsophisticated working class people. Dorks like (https://i.imgur.com/CVS78QE.gif) are really no more skeptical than any other hardcore ideologues. They exhibit excessive dogmatism, confirmation bias, denialism, FUD, and loaded language, and much of the false information they tout is actually rooted in some of the world's oldest conspiracy theories. They're just piggy-backing on the existing skeptical movement and convincing their followers that their bigoted views are part and parcel.

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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 22, 2018, 02:38:36 PM
But I see it as no different than the NSDAP appropriating the word "sozialistische" to leverage the popularity of socialism to attract politically unsophisticated working class people.

GODWIN'D
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 22, 2018, 02:41:25 PM
But I see it as no different than the NSDAP appropriating the word "sozialistische" to leverage the popularity of socialism to attract politically unsophisticated working class people.

GODWIN'D

But Godwin himself has said (https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/godwins-law-mike-godwin-internet-hitler-charlottesville-virginia-donald-trump-a7892171.html) that it's okay to invoke the Nazis when referring to the alt-right!
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: mindme 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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl 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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: amysrevenge 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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl 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 (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/scientific-skepticism-rationalism-and-secularism/) 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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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 (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/scientific-skepticism-rationalism-and-secularism/) 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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Nosmas 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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: PANTS! 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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Rai 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...
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert 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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: arthwollipot 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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: daniel1948 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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: mindme 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."

 
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl 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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: JohnM on October 24, 2018, 04:32:54 PM

For those interested in this topic Cara touches on it in her latest talk nerdy podcast
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert 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.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 24, 2018, 06:10:09 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.

I don't get this at all. The norm of this forum is heavily in support of various identity political stuff in accordance with American liberal orthodoxy. Those who don't march in lockstep with that are at best considered suspect. And now there are arguments that somehow there is not enough support for that around here.

It reminds me how American Christians complain that the US isn't Christian enough, and how they are being oppressed.

This forum isn't dominated by alt-righters. If anything, it is dominated by prospective FI (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_Initiative_(Sweden)) members.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 24, 2018, 06:20:07 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.

I don't get this at all. The norm of this forum is heavily in support of various identity political stuff in accordance with American liberal orthodoxy. Those who don't march in lockstep with that are at best considered suspect. And now there are arguments that somehow there is not enough support for that around here.

It reminds me how American Christians complain that the US isn't Christian enough, and how they are being oppressed.

This forum isn't dominated by alt-righters. If anything, it is dominated by prospective FI (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_Initiative_(Sweden)) members.

Repeating that claim doesn't make it true. You're just leveling an accusation without evidence, which certainly doesn't strike me as a particularly skeptical way to proceed.

Still waiting on examples of times this forum was negative toward skepticism.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: random poet on October 24, 2018, 06:21:43 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.

I don't get this at all. The norm of this forum is heavily in support of various identity political stuff in accordance with American liberal orthodoxy. Those who don't march in lockstep with that are at best considered suspect. And now there are arguments that somehow there is not enough support for that around here.

It reminds me how American Christians complain that the US isn't Christian enough, and how they are being oppressed.

This forum isn't dominated by alt-righters. If anything, it is dominated by prospective FI (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_Initiative_(Sweden)) members.
You think that a forum which has successfully chased away pretty much every single woman who's ever posted here* is dominated by feminists?

What in the actual fuck? You are delusional. Sitting here talking about other people with a persecution complex.





*To the two women who are left: I don't mean to ignore you; you're the outlier to this statement.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 25, 2018, 01:52:29 PM
Who's been chased away from this forum?

How do you know they were 'chased,' as opposed to simply losing interest or drifting away on their own? Was there some specific exchange that drove them to leave?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: arthwollipot on October 25, 2018, 06:30:07 PM
Who's been chased away from this forum?

How do you know they were 'chased,' as opposed to simply losing interest or drifting away on their own? Was there some specific exchange that drove them to leave?

In some cases, yes, absolutely.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Sawyer on October 25, 2018, 11:10:09 PM
Who's been chased away from this forum?

How do you know they were 'chased,' as opposed to simply losing interest or drifting away on their own? Was there some specific exchange that drove them to leave?

Because they explicitly told us they felt awful every time they invested an ounce of emotional capital into a conversation here.

Forumwipeocalypse may make it a little bit difficult to track since I think I coincided with several departures.  And I'd feel a bit too creepy spending hours making up a list of women who left and trying to second-guess their exact feelings regarding other members of the forum.  Regardless, we aren't just making shit up. 
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: mindme on October 26, 2018, 08:03:05 AM
The SGU forum, of all the forums I participate in and have participated in, seems to be one of the generally most respectful forums going. There are, no doubt, flare ups at times. Even some users attacking female users. I think of Karyn Wittmeyer vs some jerk. I'm surprised this is an environment that chases women away, however. But, then, I'm a male. What do I know? The world works best when it works best for me.

Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 26, 2018, 09:05:34 AM
Who's been chased away from this forum?

How do you know they were 'chased,' as opposed to simply losing interest or drifting away on their own? Was there some specific exchange that drove them to leave?

Because they explicitly told us they felt awful every time they invested an ounce of emotional capital into a conversation here.

Forumwipeocalypse may make it a little bit difficult to track since I think I coincided with several departures.  And I'd feel a bit too creepy spending hours making up a list of women who left and trying to second-guess their exact feelings regarding other members of the forum.  Regardless, we aren't just making shit up.

Silly women having emotions. They should just be cold and perfectly logical and right all the time like me. Then they wouldn't have to be sad when people constantly denigrate them or perpetuate the false-rape-accusation myth or complain that feminism is responsible for all our societal woes.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: moj on October 26, 2018, 09:19:54 AM
I'm still in contact with a few woman who no longer post here and a big part of why they stopped posting is they are sick of getting into the same circular arguments with same dudes. Its not fun for them, they don't enjoy having threads consistently hijacked, being manspanplanded too, talked past or marginalized or invalidated. Its not everyone here, but there are enough to make it unpleasant enough they would rather do other things.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Sawyer on October 26, 2018, 09:22:14 AM
The SGU forum, of all the forums I participate in and have participated in, seems to be one of the generally most respectful forums going. There are, no doubt, flare ups at times. Even some users attacking female users. I think of Karyn Wittmeyer vs some jerk. I'm surprised this is an environment that chases women away, however. But, then, I'm a male. What do I know? The world works best when it works best for me.

Yeah just to be clear here this is not some unique horrible feature of this forum or skepticism in general.  It is the default for any community that assembles in message boards and draws from a majority male fan base as it's starting point.

What is bothersome is that people feel the need to double down on defending this structural problem or pretend that it will somehow naturally resolve itself.  I'm unaware of a community where this has ever happened.  If you want to build a diverse community where women/minorities feel welcome, you have to impose actual consequences for people who are driving them away.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Billzbub on October 26, 2018, 01:15:29 PM
When I signed up here years ago, I had no idea about the social issues that face women.  I learned from people like Heyalison and others on this site about the issues facing women in today's world.

I don't blame this board as a gateway to alt-right ideologies.  I just think that the trend toward that in America and a few other countries is spilling over into places where people have discussion, such as the SGU.

I can't really speak to skepticism as a whole because I don't follow it outside of this podcast and message board, but I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing was happening there.

Think of it this way.  When there's pee in the pool, the whole pool is polluted.  A kid playing in the shallow end might say "People pee to much in the shallow end" because that is where they see the pee.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 26, 2018, 04:30:50 PM
I'm not trying to diminish the idea that there's a problem.

I only asked because I honestly was unaware that anybody was actively driven away, and was curious about the reasons they gave for leaving.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 26, 2018, 04:50:13 PM
I'm not trying to diminish the idea that there's a problem.

I only asked because I honestly was unaware that anybody was actively driven away, and was curious about the reasons they gave for leaving.

Did you read the OP? That is the premise of this thread.

EDIT: I'm still trying to wrap my head around why someone would post a goodbye thread in S&ST, especially when it is overtly political.

Als,o note how the topic is phrased like a discussion topic. But the OP invokes the political bogeyman of [men] who harrass her (by posting in her threads?)

So, posting in this thread to point out it seems to be a bad-faith premise for a discussion means that you are the political bogeyman.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 26, 2018, 06:04:04 PM
I'm not trying to diminish the idea that there's a problem.

I only asked because I honestly was unaware that anybody was actively driven away, and was curious about the reasons they gave for leaving.

Did you read the OP? That is the premise of this thread.

I meant besides this one. Sorry.

As for heyalison, I haven't looked into every single one her conversations, but she did post in quite a few threads that I follow. From what I have seen, aside from a single exchange with a certain poster known for engaging in right-wing provocation, I haven't seen anyone treat her with any more disrespect than anybody else around here. 

She's been a valuable poster for promoting socially progressive politics and contributing some useful information.For the most part, I agreed with her views. But she's also frequently tone-policed others and disparaged people as sexist simply for disagreeing with her, or even for formatting their text in a style that she didn't like. As far as I'm concerned, if you dish it out you ought to be able to take it in turn. If somebody comes around insulting others, it's rather precious to then turn around and elicit sympathy by claiming victimhood and threatening to leave.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 26, 2018, 06:18:39 PM
people constantly denigrate them or perpetuate the false-rape-accusation myth or complain that feminism is responsible for all our societal woes.

Is this really your take on the quality of discourse around here?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: PANTS! on October 26, 2018, 06:54:04 PM
I'm still in contact with a few woman who no longer post here and a big part of why they stopped posting is they are sick of getting into the same circular arguments with same dudes. Its not fun for them, they don't enjoy having threads consistently hijacked, being manspanplanded too, talked past or marginalized or invalidated. Its not everyone here, but there are enough to make it unpleasant enough they would rather do other things.

I get that, and we have lost some great posters, both women, men, and trans for that explicitly stated reason.  This is how the shit posters take over a forum.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 27, 2018, 08:03:05 AM
I'm not trying to diminish the idea that there's a problem.

I only asked because I honestly was unaware that anybody was actively driven away, and was curious about the reasons they gave for leaving.

Pretty much my take on it too.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 27, 2018, 08:03:46 AM
Still waiting on examples of times this forum was negative toward skepticism.

What is the general vibe that you get?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on October 27, 2018, 08:12:30 AM
I'm still in contact with a few woman who no longer post here and a big part of why they stopped posting is they are sick of getting into the same circular arguments with same dudes. Its not fun for them, they don't enjoy having threads consistently hijacked, being manspanplanded too, talked past or marginalized or invalidated. Its not everyone here, but there are enough to make it unpleasant enough they would rather do other things.

I get that, and we have lost some great posters, both women, men, and trans for that explicitly stated reason.  This is how the shit posters take over a forum.
I never got the impression that the shit posters were a problem for any of those folks.
From the people Im still in touch with, it seems to be more the crushing realisation that a huge number of the 'reasonable' people here think its totally fine that they should have to sit by and have their personhood debated or explain and defend from first principles issues that are hugely impactful on their lives to people who are simultaneously too incurious to go seeking sources on them but too hyperskeptical to take their word for any of their experiences.
It must be a huge weight to bear every time you log into a place that should be a breather from everyday ignorance and I dont blame people in the slightest for getting testy when they get so much shit for being the ones who bothered to try and explain these ideas when 9/10 other people simply say theres no point and have been proven right.
I often see answers to the idea of these individuals leaving being that maybe skepticism just isnt for them if they cant handle debate or being 'challenged' but if this applies to such huge amounts of other demographics, MAYBE it is not they who are doing something wrong?

Edit- I got side tracked.
The main point I came to post was that its not a gateway. Its just that if you take on the tools and general process of what feels like skepticism without seriously challenging certain societal assumptions and having a reasonable bar of evidence for reasonable claims, you can drift very easily into alt right talking points, because a thing that comes without the requisite documentation (despite being very widely reported) can be sorted into the ''unsubstantiated'  pile and we dont have to engage with it. Traditional wisdom being that the claimant most provide evidence or they have nothing.
This ignores the burden placed on claimants in social issues who have more weighing on them than just trying to figure out how to meet some internet debators standard of acceptable evidence.
Some of us therefore take it upon ourselves to go and investigate for ourselves while others sit there in a chess mentality thinking that it is the other persons move and if they never take their turn then they have 'conceded'.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 27, 2018, 11:53:28 AM
Still waiting on examples of times this forum was negative toward skepticism.

What is the general vibe that you get?

The vibe I'm getting right now is that you're avoiding answering and attempting to deflect.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Noisy Rhysling on October 27, 2018, 12:24:22 PM
(https://d2gg9evh47fn9z.cloudfront.net/800px_COLOURBOX3189591.jpg)
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: PANTS! on October 27, 2018, 02:50:48 PM
In my mind Harry, the people who drop into every thread to JAQ off or throw shade at the disenfranchised are shit posters.  There are other types of shit-posters, to be sure, but the just asking questions crowd are also shit posters.

Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 27, 2018, 03:17:11 PM
In my mind Harry, the people who drop into every thread to JAQ off or throw shade at the disenfranchised are shit posters.  There are other types, to be sure, but they are shit-posters.

And them that take the S-word, shall perish by the S-word. (http://civilization.wikia.com/wiki/Metal_Casting_(Civ4))
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 27, 2018, 08:07:29 PM
From the people Im still in touch with, it seems to be more the crushing realisation that a huge number of the 'reasonable' people here think its totally fine that they should have to sit by and have their personhood debated or explain and defend from first principles issues that are hugely impactful on their lives to people who are simultaneously too incurious to go seeking sources on them but too hyperskeptical to take their word for any of their experiences.

Who has had their personhood debated on these forums?

To address your statement about explaining certain issues from "first principles," you may think that's a chore, but that kind of pedagogy is necessary for progress. Everybody hasn't had the benefit of a liberal humanities education, and/or life experience with specific marginalized individuals to achieve a nuanced understanding of the related issues. If a person is really clueless about the struggles of another, how can they be expected to evaluate the impact of those issues without any point of reference?

Sometimes it's too much to expect an ignorant layman to undergo the enormous effort of digging through pages and pages of dry, academic social theory just to understand the underlying principles beneath an issue that could just as easily be explained in a few sentences. I know this because I have often gotten dragged into these kinds of discussions on social media. Some people really, honestly just don't know any better.

The best way to handle these kinds of misunderstandings is to put them into terms the other person can understand. I once had an exchange with an ex- high school classmate who was arguing that Black Lives Matter were self-entitled and disruptive malcontents. After about an hour of frustrating back-and-forth, we were getting nowhere until a black friend of mine dropped in and started calmly explaining the situation from his perspective. That made all the difference. I actually watched my ex high school buddy relent and soften his position. 

But aggressively shaming them and censuring them really does nothing to help them understand, and condescendingly assigning them homework only makes one come off as a self-righteous ivory tower elitist. Both approaches only alienate them and embitter them against social progress.


It must be a huge weight to bear every time you log into a place that should be a breather from everyday ignorance and I dont blame people in the slightest for getting testy when they get so much shit for being the ones who bothered to try and explain these ideas when 9/10 other people simply say theres no point and have been proven right.

Who are these 9 out of 10 people who think there's no point? That kind of defeatist attitude might be contributing to people leaving. If I'm a vulnerable person being questioned about issues that are fundamental to my self-identity, and the rest of the bystanders just throw their hands up and ignore it because they think "there's no point," then I'd probably consider that group rather unsupportive.


I often see answers to the idea of these individuals leaving being that maybe skepticism just isnt for them if they cant handle debate or being 'challenged' but if this applies to such huge amounts of other demographics, MAYBE it is not they who are doing something wrong?

Skepticism is all about challenging one's own views and testing them against reality. We all have beliefs that we're unwilling to challenge. But if some individuals are emotionally averse to having any of their views challenged, then maybe skepticism really isn't for them.

But let's not make the hasty generalization of extrapolating a handful of individual examples into entire demographics.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on October 28, 2018, 06:23:26 AM
Skepticism as you seem to see it may not be for them. It does give a certain benefit to the status quo.
But maybe process of skepticism is not yet perfected amd we need to change some of our assumptions and approaches when we see the same feedback over and over.

In the discussions that seem to be problematic, I don't see their ideas being credibly challenged, I see a bunch of dudes aggressively missing the point of every attempt at explanation and then patting each other on the back for 50 pages or so.
I happen to believe they are not the ones who have a problem being challenged but rather its the ones who would rather rule lawyer a challenge out of existence that are trying to avoid facing up to certain truths.

We can sit here and be smug that we are following the process correctly and that people who dont like it are irrational individuals, but our community and movement is just getting more and more homogenous (and weaker) as we  do.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 29, 2018, 12:39:04 AM
I don't think that being smug is ever an appropriate way to win people over to one's side.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on October 29, 2018, 07:34:01 AM
I don't think that being smug is ever an appropriate way to win people over to one's side.
Oh.
Well in that case I retract everything :P
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: heyalison on October 29, 2018, 08:53:03 AM
This is what toxic masculinity, enacted and enabled, looks like. Unsurprisingly, it looks incredibly like trolling.

First, I get gaslit about whether or not my experience of sexism warrants my reaction by a man who literally spends his time writing tens of thousands of words to defend aggressively ignoring others' boundaries (not to mention stoking fear of Islamic people, or caping for the cause of denying cultural appropriation).

Which of course leads to the Salacious Crumb B-team coming in to cackle and cheerlead their skeptical identity politics. Or just to spew crazy bullshit. But it's all about identifying with one another after they pwned a woman on the intenet, I suppose. Fistbump!

Then, just for added sexism, we get a comprehension-challenged angry man posting an image to suggest this is all drama. Because dismissing women's experience of sexism is just them chicks being dramatic, amirite?

And it's all wrapped up in this smug, tiresome faux-politeness of "Oh, well, if they can't do skepticism then maybe they shouldn't try" deference to their white guy sexist gatekeeping. Instead of having even an ounce of self-reflection or the capacity for nuance beyond beyond that of a 4chan teenage boy, they then disingenuously wonder aloud why women might be leaving. And this is called skepticism?

I do appreciate that many individuals have reached out through messages to show support and express their frustration with the cadre of sexist and racist posters here. But then in other posts I see men assuring each other that they're still buds even if the person posts offensive trash about minorities or marginalized people? You can't have it both ways. If there's no social cost to being a racist or sexist people continue to be racist and sexist. Unintentionally you're sending the message "I disagree with these guys, but if you look at the makeup of this board, then clearly I'll ultimately side with making it a place for them, not you."

Threads like the cultural appropriation and sealion ones aren't even about debate--not after the 500th reply that ignores points and rehashes the same status quo talking points. The message is, to women and minorities, that some men here will be unrelenting in their defense of this space as theirs, and that others are not welcome. They will brute force others out of arguments and communities with sheer post size and repetition. It's a simple tactic that keeps this board almost entirely white, straight, and cisgender male.

(And, really, you want to immediately make the place less prone to this stuff? Limit post size, post frequency, the number of new threads people can make, the practice of posting YouTube videos as posts or replies, and have standards about quoting so you can undermine some of the really manipulative ways people quote others. And have the capacity to say "Dude, if you post shitty stuff then, no, people including me won't like you."

And don't let people debate or JAQ off about the lives and identities of others. Because it's looking a lot like skepticism's toolbox was great for debunking Bigfoot, but when applied to other people it tends to promote dehumanizing and hate.)
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Rai on October 29, 2018, 09:11:53 AM
Because it's looking a lot like skepticism's toolbox was great for debunking Bigfoot, but when applied to other people it tends to promote dehumanizing and hate.)

This is a fantastic point that hasn't even occurred to me. Thank you!
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on October 29, 2018, 10:09:09 AM
I was half way through a post to disagree but I actually cant.
If you require the same level of evidence for a cryptid as you do to peoples experiences and perspectives on the world then you are absolutely doomed to dismiss valuable input.

For years black people told us they were having issues with the police and the cultural response was "evidence?".
Now that we have enough of a critical mass of phone footage of abuse, we dont doubt it any more but for other issues we are being told about by marginalised folks we are getting the same.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 29, 2018, 10:27:12 AM
This is what toxic masculinity, enacted and enabled, looks like. Unsurprisingly, it looks incredibly like trolling.

First, I get gaslit about whether or not my experience of sexism warrants my reaction by a man who literally spends his time writing tens of thousands of words to defend aggressively ignoring others' boundaries (not to mention stoking fear of Islamic people, or caping for the cause of denying cultural appropriation).

Which of course leads to the Salacious Crumb B-team coming in to cackle and cheerlead their skeptical identity politics. Or just to spew crazy bullshit. But it's all about identifying with one another after they pwned a woman on the intenet, I suppose. Fistbump!

Then, just for added sexism, we get a comprehension-challenged angry man posting an image to suggest this is all drama. Because dismissing women's experience of sexism is just them chicks being dramatic, amirite?

And it's all wrapped up in this smug, tiresome faux-politeness of "Oh, well, if they can't do skepticism then maybe they shouldn't try" deference to their white guy sexist gatekeeping. Instead of having even an ounce of self-reflection or the capacity for nuance beyond beyond that of a 4chan teenage boy, they then disingenuously wonder aloud why women might be leaving. And this is called skepticism?

I do appreciate that many individuals have reached out through messages to show support and express their frustration with the cadre of sexist and racist posters here. But then in other posts I see men assuring each other that they're still buds even if the person posts offensive trash about minorities or marginalized people? You can't have it both ways. If there's no social cost to being a racist or sexist people continue to be racist and sexist. Unintentionally you're sending the message "I disagree with these guys, but if you look at the makeup of this board, then clearly I'll ultimately side with making it a place for them, not you."

Threads like the cultural appropriation and sealion ones aren't even about debate--not after the 500th reply that ignores points and rehashes the same status quo talking points. The message is, to women and minorities, that some men here will be unrelenting in their defense of this space as theirs, and that others are not welcome. They will brute force others out of arguments and communities with sheer post size and repetition. It's a simple tactic that keeps this board almost entirely white, straight, and cisgender male.

(And, really, you want to immediately make the place less prone to this stuff? Limit post size, post frequency, the number of new threads people can make, the practice of posting YouTube videos as posts or replies, and have standards about quoting so you can undermine some of the really manipulative ways people quote others. And have the capacity to say "Dude, if you post shitty stuff then, no, people including me won't like you."

And don't let people debate or JAQ off about the lives and identities of others. Because it's looking a lot like skepticism's toolbox was great for debunking Bigfoot, but when applied to other people it tends to promote dehumanizing and hate.)

What does any of this have to do with atheism, skepticism, or the alt-right? Apparently nothing. Also, who is this "man who literally spends his time writing tens of thousands of words to defend aggressively ignoring others' boundaries (not to mention stoking fear of Islamic people, or caping for the cause of denying cultural appropriation)". This sounds like an emotionally charged exaggeration, and it especially seems so, since you can't even be bothered to quote specific examples.

The irony, of course, is that this post contains overt sexism mixed with other things. If this post were gender mirror-image reversed, it would be exactly the kind of sexism we currently claim that we are against.

The answer to hate is not more hate. People who are not bigots/losers understand that. When someone sounds hateful like this, they are not a feminist; they are a Neo-Liberal trying to create hate. Sort of like with "dreadlocks on white people" in the cultural appropriation thread. The Neo-Liberals claim to be anti-racist, then start sarcastically invoking racial stereotypes. It is like a sarcastic joke that they are engaging in exactly the kind of hate they pretend to be against, just from the other side of the fence.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Rai on October 29, 2018, 10:35:53 AM
Here they come...
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on October 29, 2018, 10:37:24 AM

 Stands2reason,It seems like you read everything that gets posted here through a very odd filter and assume we all have the same filter when reading your responses.
You are the one upholding racist and sexist structures by propagating the alt right framing of progressive points and appropriation of terms.
Well done you.

Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 29, 2018, 11:05:55 AM
You are the one upholding racist and sexist structures by propagating the alt right framing of progressive points and appropriation of terms.
Well done you.

Oddly enough, I wasn't active in new threads on the politcs board for most of the time that heyalison was active, so I assumed she wasn't talking about me, since she was referring to a specific man.

But yes, you are right that I have different filters, based on situations and people I have been around.

I'm disabled and I've been homeless for most of this year due to being a victim of actual fascism (in Florida). Family member kicked me out just to play games with me, showed recordings to the police—abusing a disabled person in Florida is allowed as long as it's family.

But yes, please explain how I'm alt-right.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 29, 2018, 11:21:36 AM
You are the one upholding racist and sexist structures by propagating the alt right framing of progressive points and appropriation of terms.
Well done you.

Oddly enough, I wasn't active in new threads on the politcs board for most of the time that heyalison was active, so I assumed she wasn't talking about me, since she was referring to a specific man.

But yes, you are right that I have different filters, based on situations and people I have been around.

I'm disabled and I've been homeless for most of this year due to being a victim of actual fascism (in Florida). Family member kicked me out just to play games with me, showed recordings to the police—abusing a disabled person in Florida is allowed as long as it's family.

But yes, please explain how I'm alt-right.

Nobody has accused you of being alt-right, but your disjointed memes and incoherent rambling often supports alt-right talking points, when it's not entirely incomprehensible. I don't see hate or sexism in heyalison's post, nor can I make heads or tails of the tie to neo-liberals.

That's what Harry is talking about. Your posts do not make sense. You post videos and images that don't apply to the thread or any response in the thread. It's like having a conversation and then one person just keeps flipping through a joke book and reading sentences at random.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on October 29, 2018, 12:05:32 PM
What SQ said.
Im sorry for your misfortune but you are still wrong and your talking points are those of the alt-right.
You may not wish to identify with them but you seem to have the right mix of gullible and edge lord to be useful to them.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 29, 2018, 01:25:03 PM
What SQ said.
Im sorry for your misfortune but you are still wrong and your talking points are those of the alt-right.
You may not wish to identify with them but you seem to have the right mix of gullible and edge lord to be useful to them.

So, I believe this is spillover from another thread where you were expressing disdain against me for expressing my experience? Unless you are referring to something I posted in this thread?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on October 29, 2018, 01:34:32 PM
What SQ said.
Im sorry for your misfortune but you are still wrong and your talking points are those of the alt-right.
You may not wish to identify with them but you seem to have the right mix of gullible and edge lord to be useful to them.

So, I believe this is spillover from another thread where you were expressing disdain against me for expressing my experience? Unless you are referring to something I posted in this thread?
Spillover would be if I were to address the specifics of another thread in an unrelated thread.
We are under no obligation to pretend we have never interacted before and so comment on your posting style and general impressions are very relevant to the discussion.

If I had gone into another thread and specifically called you out then that would be a rule breach or if I tried to rehash some specific debate we had had then that would also count, but to my recollection, this is the first debate like interaction we have had, because I usually cannot understand what you are talking about.
I note from your response to Heyalison that this obstacle of communication goes both ways.

Also, to be clear- My disagreement is with your opinions. The sympathy I expressed for your life experiences is genuine.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Billzbub on October 29, 2018, 02:56:10 PM
Because it's looking a lot like skepticism's toolbox was great for debunking Bigfoot, but when applied to other people it tends to promote dehumanizing and hate.)

This is a fantastic point that hasn't even occurred to me. Thank you!

Same here.  This makes the original post more clear.  There should be a name for this like "gaslighting" but for using the skeptical toolkit to otherise people.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: mindme on October 29, 2018, 03:50:58 PM
The tools of skepticism are good for testable claims. They're not good for examining opinions and value judgements. It can, sometimes, be hard to recognize claims as being opinions and value judgements versus actual claims that can be objectively tested. Bigfoot either exists or not. Produce a body. Whether or not communism is the best kind of government might ultimately be a value judgement. I call them "dark beer problems". Some people, like me, like dark beer. Some don't. There's no body of fact and evidence you can marshal to convince someone who doesn't like dark beer to change his/her tastes. "Well, you argued me into it! I guess I should like dark beer!" The trick is to recognize when arguments are similar and realize not to waste your time.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 29, 2018, 05:43:13 PM
not to mention stoking fear of Islamic people

Disputing the claim that Morocco is a religiously tolerant country, which human rights organizations will also dispute, is not "stoking fear of Islamic people". This is not a logically valid argument. How is criticizing an authoritarian regime stoking fear of anyone, except that regime? Criticizing an authoritarian regime that violate human rights is the right thing to do. No ifs or buts.

or caping for the cause of denying cultural appropriation

"Cultural appropriation" is only really a concept in the US, and I think even in the US it is a rather fringe concept.

Wouldn't it be culturally imperialist to demand that other countries and cultures should also accept this concept?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on October 29, 2018, 06:33:08 PM
This is a pretty good book that I recommend to anyone, but especially if you think cultural appropriation is only a thing in the US.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Longer-Talking-White-People-About/dp/140887055X
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 30, 2018, 11:53:08 AM
First, I get gaslit about whether or not my experience of sexism warrants my reaction

Who is gaslighting you?


But it's all about identifying with one another after they pwned a woman on the intenet, I suppose. Fistbump!

Who do you imagine is doing this?


And it's all wrapped up in this smug, tiresome faux-politeness of "Oh, well, if they can't do skepticism then maybe they shouldn't try" deference to their white guy sexist gatekeeping.

If this was directed at my previous post, then it's a bald misrepresentation.

What I actually said was that if somebody takes offense at being disagreed with, and reframes any and all disagreement as a personal attack on themselves (let alone their entire gender), then maybe the skeptical community is not the place for them.

Because, you know, the pursuit of skepticism is all about having our own beliefs questioned and examined.

If you think you're in it to "win," then you're doing rhetoric and not skepticism.


Threads like the cultural appropriation and sealion ones aren't even about debate--not after the 500th reply that ignores points and rehashes the same status quo talking points. The message is, to women and minorities, that some men here will be unrelenting in their defense of this space as theirs, and that others are not welcome.

The sealion thread is about meta-arguing, examining the tactics by which we discuss contentious topics on the Internet.

The cultural appropriation thread is about examining a construct of social theory and discussing whether it's reasonable. There's a lot of disagreement in that thread, but as car as I can tell nobody's arguing to perpetuate the status quo just for its own sake. 


The message is, to women and minorities, that some men here will be unrelenting in their defense of this space as theirs, and that others are not welcome. They will brute force others out of arguments and communities with sheer post size and repetition. It's a simple tactic that keeps this board almost entirely white, straight, and cisgender male.

This is the only message you take away from all these discussions? Because other people express opinions different from your own, that means they hate women and minorities?
 

Limit post size, post frequency, the number of new threads people can make, the practice of posting YouTube videos as posts or replies, and have standards about quoting so you can undermine some of the really manipulative ways people quote others.

So your solution is to tie everybody's hands to limit the depth, breadth, and precision of discussion?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Billzbub on October 30, 2018, 12:23:57 PM
So this leads me to another question.  Let's say you are a woman or minority who, in many aspects of your life, are treated unfairly and otherized because of it.

If at that point, you come across an asshole who treats you badly, is it natural to assume that the asshole is doing it because your are a woman or a minority?  I imagine it would get tedious trying to continually sort out who is being an asshole because they look down on women or minorities, who is just being an asshole, and who is just arguing with you because they disagree.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 30, 2018, 01:07:43 PM
So this leads me to another question.  Let's say you are a woman or minority who, in many aspects of your life, are treated unfairly and otherized because of it.

If at that point, you come across an asshole who treats you badly, is it natural to assume that the asshole is doing it because your are a woman or a minority?  I imagine it would get tedious trying to continually sort out who is being an asshole because they look down on women or minorities, who is just being an asshole, and who is just arguing with you because they disagree.

The empowered majority is not punished for being an asshole, and punishes the people who stick out more harshly. There doesn't need to be intent to discriminate is the discrimination is a byproduct of the status quo. For example:

Quote
Quote from: heyalison on October 29, 2018, 08:53:03 AM
Quote
Threads like the cultural appropriation and sealion ones aren't even about debate--not after the 500th reply that ignores points and rehashes the same status quo talking points. The message is, to women and minorities, that some men here will be unrelenting in their defense of this space as theirs, and that others are not welcome.

The sealion thread is about meta-arguing, examining the tactics by which we discuss contentious topics on the Internet.

The cultural appropriation thread is about examining a construct of social theory and discussing whether it's a reasonable. There's a lot of disagreement in that thread, but as car as I can tell nobody's arguing to perpetuate the status quo just for its own sake. 


Quote from: heyalison on October 29, 2018, 08:53:03 AM
Quote
The message is, to women and minorities, that some men here will be unrelenting in their defense of this space as theirs, and that others are not welcome. They will brute force others out of arguments and communities with sheer post size and repetition. It's a simple tactic that keeps this board almost entirely white, straight, and cisgender male.

This is the only message you take away from all these discussions? Because other people express opinions different from your own, that means they hate women and minorities?

There's no "punishment" for clearly misrepresenting heyalison here, by which . He can be called out repeatedly for this obnoxious style of posting, for the blatant misrepresentation. There's no clear delineation between John being an asshole, John not being intellectually capable of understanding her posts, and John genuinely wanting the woman to go away because they all three behave the same way. What's the functional difference between "women don't belong in skepticism" and "all the women who were chased away don't belong in skepticism and the toxic behavior that chased them away is just part of skepticism" to the end user?

Quote
What I actually said was that if somebody takes offense at being disagreed with, and reframes any and all disagreement as a personal attack on themselves (let alone their entire gender), then maybe the skeptical community is not the place for them.

That was posted in reply to:
Quote
I often see answers to the idea of these individuals leaving being that maybe skepticism just isnt for them if they cant handle debate or being 'challenged' but if this applies to such huge amounts of other demographics, MAYBE it is not they who are doing something wrong?

So note the subtle gaslighting attempt. Harry starts by explaining the toxic behavior (the "Cultural Appropriation circlejerk thread is a good example) is part of what's driving people away, re-litigating the same arguments with the same people without the other side acknowledging a point or making an attempt to understand the other. John reframes it as "takes offense to being disagreed with, and reframes any and all disagreement as an attack." That's clearly not what Harry was talking about.

In the end the motivation is a separate matter that's not as easily enforceable as the behavior. This is functionally no different from saying "I don't like when you shout at me" and the other party saying "I don't always shout at you, stop lying about me!"It doesn't matter if it's manipulative or just unintentional, if there's to be any communication a third party needs to step in and prevent the second party from derailing things by gaslighting.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 30, 2018, 01:37:27 PM
There's no "punishment" for clearly misrepresenting heyalison here, by which . He can be called out repeatedly for this obnoxious style of posting, for the blatant misrepresentation.

What have I "misrepresented"?

You often accuse me of this, and I always ask for an example so I can re-examine my post in order to clear up any misunderstanding. But you never actually show the information I've allegedly misrepresented and tell me how I got it wrong. 


There's no clear delineation between John being an asshole, John not being intellectually capable of understanding her posts, and John genuinely wanting the woman to go away because they all three behave the same way.

This is essentially the same problem we have in all Internet discussions, which is why the Principle of Charity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_charity) is so important. What some may call "misrepresentation" is more likely just a simple misunderstanding, if even that.

Jumping to the conclusion that the other person is deliberately "being an asshole" doesn't accomplish anything but break down communication that might otherwise be productive.


What's the functional difference between "women don't belong in skepticism" and "all the women who were chased away don't belong in skepticism and the toxic behavior that chased them away is just part of skepticism" to the end user?

I don't know about the "functional difference," but I haven't argued either of those positions and certainly don't believe them or endorse them.


Quote
What I actually said was that if somebody takes offense at being disagreed with, and reframes any and all disagreement as a personal attack on themselves (let alone their entire gender), then maybe the skeptical community is not the place for them.

That was posted in reply to:
Quote
I often see answers to the idea of these individuals leaving being that maybe skepticism just isnt for them if they cant handle debate or being 'challenged' but if this applies to such huge amounts of other demographics, MAYBE it is not they who are doing something wrong?

That is not the statement I was posting in reply to. I specifically quoted the statement I was posting in reply to:

               
And it's all wrapped up in this smug, tiresome faux-politeness of "Oh, well, if they can't do skepticism then maybe they shouldn't try" deference to their white guy sexist gatekeeping.

If this was directed at my previous post, then it's a bald misrepresentation.

What I actually said was that if somebody takes offense at being disagreed with, and reframes any and all disagreement as a personal attack on themselves (let alone their entire gender), then maybe the skeptical community is not the place for them.

Because, you know, the pursuit of skepticism is all about having our own beliefs questioned and examined.

If you think you're in it to "win," then you're doing rhetoric and not skepticism.


So note the subtle gaslighting attempt. Harry starts by explaining the toxic behavior....

It's rather ironic of you to accuse me of gaslighting, while blatantly gaslighting me by pretending I was replying to Harry instead of the person I was obviously replying to. 

SkeptiQueer, you need to clean up your own house before accusing others of dishonesty. Whether or not you really intend to be, you are perhaps the most dishonest poster on this entire forum.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on October 30, 2018, 01:43:29 PM
This is a pretty good book that I recommend to anyone, but especially if you think cultural appropriation is only a thing in the US.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Longer-Talking-White-People-About/dp/140887055X

Well that's an interesting book title. As it happens, I hardly ever talk to anyone about race. Nor does anyone hardly ever talk about that to me. I have never identified with my skin color anyways, I don't see why anyone would really want to do that in the first place. It's the quintessential granfalloon. And from the Amazon page, I couldn't find anything immediately related to cultural appropriation.

I think it would be an incredile boring and intellectually and culturally sterile world if no "cultural appropriation" had ever taken place.

Think about your own country. I'm no expert on Ireland, but I'd think that its historical cultural influences would be Celtic (and the pre-Celtic inhabitants of Ireland, if there were any), English, Catholic, and maybe a little bit of Scandinavia (the Vikings). And it continues to evolve. Today I would assume a significant American cultural influence, as well as influences from China, Thailand, and Japan, among other places. All of these, in all cases, being adapted and customized to local Irish conditions and influences. Why in the world be opposed to that?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 30, 2018, 01:46:58 PM
I wouldn't be interested in reading a book like that, because I don't think we need any more reasons to avoid candid discussions about about the most important social issues of our time.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 30, 2018, 01:49:03 PM
I wouldn't be interested in reading a book like that, because I don't think we need any more reasons to avoid candid discussions about about the most important social issues of our time.

Since the book is about British race politics, I am intrigued but also confused.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on October 30, 2018, 04:30:17 PM
Quetz- This is not the cultural appropriation thread and with respect Im done discussing the topic with folks here. I will say that your example of my own country does imply that you still dont fully get where your opponents are coming from so I would strongly encourage you to read some more about it. Im not saying the book will convince you, but I just wanted to point to resources i have found to be quite good, especially with respect to non US racism which I realised I was (and still am), a bit deprived of sources on.

As for the title- Yeah, she addresses that on the first page.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Sawyer on October 30, 2018, 06:32:21 PM
I think I've hinted at this in the Books section but maybe not explicitly said it - I think everyone that reads should make some sort of effort to pick up books by black authors every once in a while.  I don't think it really even matters who (although I suppose an economics book by Thomas Sowell counts for negative points).  Read literally anything that's been written about race relations from the last 40 years and you figure out pretty quickly why black people aren't always keen to debate random strangers on the internet.  Ditto for women.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on October 30, 2018, 06:51:16 PM
I think I've hinted at this in the Books section but maybe not explicitly said it - I think everyone that reads should make some sort of effort to pick up books by black authors every once in a while.  I don't think it really even matters who (although I suppose an economics book by Thomas Sowell counts for negative points).  Read literally anything that's been written about race relations from the last 40 years and you figure out pretty quickly why black people aren't always keen to debate random strangers on the internet.  Ditto for women.
I have mentioned Ebony Exodus a lot, but the black female atheists in that book say this is pretty much why they avoid organised atheism.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 30, 2018, 08:30:00 PM
This is a pretty good book that I recommend to anyone, but especially if you think cultural appropriation is only a thing in the US.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Longer-Talking-White-People-About/dp/140887055X

Well that's an interesting book title. As it happens, I hardly ever talk to anyone about race. Nor does anyone hardly ever talk about that to me. I have never identified with my skin color anyways, I don't see why anyone would really want to do that in the first place. It's the quintessential granfalloon.

It's not a granfalloon in the US, and I would suspect it's not that way in Sweden either. You are treated differently based on how other people perceive you. It's all well and good to say "I don't think about race" when you're in the majority and are not systematically discriminated against based on your skin color, not seen as more threatening or more angry or less educated because of it. It's real shitty to dismiss it when other people are talking about those experiences. It's not enough to merely assume we're not exhibiting prejudice towards others; the skeptical move is to examine ourselves and our society through the eyes of others to try to ensure we're not perpetuating the issues. Think about it this way: if I think I've discovered a new way to generate electricity that is as efficient as a coal plant and as clean as solar or wind, is it enough for me to presume I've got the math right or should I be actively looking for errors, biases, and asking other people to help me find potential problems?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: arthwollipot on October 30, 2018, 10:49:18 PM
First, I get gaslit about whether or not my experience of sexism warrants my reaction

Who is gaslighting you?


But it's all about identifying with one another after they pwned a woman on the intenet, I suppose. Fistbump!

Who do you imagine is doing this?


And it's all wrapped up in this smug, tiresome faux-politeness of "Oh, well, if they can't do skepticism then maybe they shouldn't try" deference to their white guy sexist gatekeeping.

If this was directed at my previous post, then it's a bald misrepresentation.

What I actually said was that if somebody takes offense at being disagreed with, and reframes any and all disagreement as a personal attack on themselves (let alone their entire gender), then maybe the skeptical community is not the place for them.

Because, you know, the pursuit of skepticism is all about having our own beliefs questioned and examined.

If you think you're in it to "win," then you're doing rhetoric and not skepticism.


Threads like the cultural appropriation and sealion ones aren't even about debate--not after the 500th reply that ignores points and rehashes the same status quo talking points. The message is, to women and minorities, that some men here will be unrelenting in their defense of this space as theirs, and that others are not welcome.

The sealion thread is about meta-arguing, examining the tactics by which we discuss contentious topics on the Internet.

The cultural appropriation thread is about examining a construct of social theory and discussing whether it's reasonable. There's a lot of disagreement in that thread, but as car as I can tell nobody's arguing to perpetuate the status quo just for its own sake. 


The message is, to women and minorities, that some men here will be unrelenting in their defense of this space as theirs, and that others are not welcome. They will brute force others out of arguments and communities with sheer post size and repetition. It's a simple tactic that keeps this board almost entirely white, straight, and cisgender male.

This is the only message you take away from all these discussions? Because other people express opinions different from your own, that means they hate women and minorities?
 

Limit post size, post frequency, the number of new threads people can make, the practice of posting YouTube videos as posts or replies, and have standards about quoting so you can undermine some of the really manipulative ways people quote others.

So your solution is to tie everybody's hands to limit the depth, breadth, and precision of discussion?

This entire post is a bald and blatant example of exactly the thing heyalison is referring to.

As I have said before, if you can't see the problem, then you are the problem.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: heyalison on October 31, 2018, 07:28:41 AM
It's not enough to merely assume we're not exhibiting prejudice towards others; the skeptical move is to examine ourselves and our society through the eyes of others to try to ensure we're not perpetuating the issues. Think about it this way: if I think I've discovered a new way to generate electricity that is as efficient as a coal plant and as clean as solar or wind, is it enough for me to presume I've got the math right or should I be actively looking for errors, biases, and asking other people to help me find potential problems?

I think this is a dividing line between those who take skepticism and critical thinking as tools which can challenge our biases, and those who see Skeptic as an identity to justify them. It speaks volumes that when presented with other ideas, some posters double-down and can't even imagine reading a book which challenges them.

EDITED: I comment on this not to add snark, but rather to point out the hypocrisy of being accused by Q. of not being up for skepticism then they have outright refused to consider evidence that challenges their biases, and uses flimsy logic to justify that. Without that context it might seem like I'm just adding liter fluid to the palette fire.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 31, 2018, 11:13:15 AM
I couldn't figure out why I felt like something was bothering me still so I reread Quetz's post. I think it's that I'm concerned by the frequent uses of Vonnegutian language as though it's a real thing. Granfalloons and wampeters and karasses are not real things, they're constructs that a really good scifi author from a century ago put together to discuss some theoretical ideas about belief and identity. At its root though it wasn't written so that the reader could go shouting "Granfalloon!" to dismiss other people's ideas, but again to challenge the ideas of self and the identity of the self. Telling someone else their identity is meaningless is at its root dehumanizing them by denying them their own self-actualization and denying the reality of their experience and their connections. It's incredibly self-centered to declare oneself the arbiter of what is meaningful.

It's not enough to merely assume we're not exhibiting prejudice towards others; the skeptical move is to examine ourselves and our society through the eyes of others to try to ensure we're not perpetuating the issues. Think about it this way: if I think I've discovered a new way to generate electricity that is as efficient as a coal plant and as clean as solar or wind, is it enough for me to presume I've got the math right or should I be actively looking for errors, biases, and asking other people to help me find potential problems?

I think this is a dividing line between those who take skepticism and critical thinking as tools which can challenge our biases, and those who see Skeptic as an identity to justify them. It speaks volumes that when presented with other ideas, some posters double-down and can't even imagine reading a book which challenges them.

EDITED: I comment on this not to add snark, but rather to point out the hypocrisy of being accused by Q. of not being up for skepticism then they have outright refused to consider evidence that challenges their biases, and uses flimsy logic to justify that. Without that context it might seem like I'm just adding liter fluid to the palette fire.

I agree and I've said before one of the major flaws with the skeptic movement/community is that it's been marketed largely by debunking other people, presuming other people are wrong. It should be about self-analysis, and then coming to people on equal footing. Instead it's been dominated largely by people memorize the words like I used to memorize scripture; to be barked at people or recited as a bludgeon rather than as a method of self-analysis.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Billzbub on October 31, 2018, 11:26:19 AM
I agree and I've said before one of the major flaws with the skeptic movement/community is that it's been marketed largely by debunking other people, presuming other people are wrong. It should be about self-analysis, and then coming to people on equal footing. Instead it's been dominated largely by people memorize the words like I used to memorize scripture; to be barked at people or recited as a bludgeon rather than as a method of self-analysis.

Well said.  I love posts that encapsulate a great, complex idea in just a few words.

I feel like it would be a worthwhile endeavor to have someone create a crowd-sourced post on a web site somewhere as a description of this phenomenon (do dooo dee doo doo) and a checklist of things to look out for in yourself to make sure you are not doing such a thing.  I also think that even people on this site who are being accused of such things would be interested in helping to create such a post, or even be interested in spearheading it.  Or, is there already such a thing and we just haven't brought it up or found it yet?  We also need a good word for it, like skeptibashing or skeptifighting or skepting or something.  Are you skepting me?  Do you even know who I am?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 31, 2018, 11:29:07 AM
I agree and I've said before one of the major flaws with the skeptic movement/community is that it's been marketed largely by debunking other people, presuming other people are wrong. It should be about self-analysis, and then coming to people on equal footing. Instead it's been dominated largely by people memorize the words like I used to memorize scripture; to be barked at people or recited as a bludgeon rather than as a method of self-analysis.

Well said.  I love posts that encapsulate a great, complex idea in just a few words.

I feel like it would be a worthwhile endeavor to have someone create a crowd-sourced post on a web site somewhere as a description of this phenomenon (do dooo dee doo doo) and a checklist of things to look out for in yourself to make sure you are not doing such a thing.  I also think that even people on this site who are being accused of such things would be interested in helping to create such a post, or even be interested in spearheading it.  Or, is there already such a thing and we just haven't brought it up or found it yet?  We also need a good word for it, like skeptibashing or skeptifighting or skepting or something.  Are you skepting me?  Do you even know who I am?

I'd prefer to keep "skep" out of the name. I think it's related to solipsism and narcissism, if not as pathological. Is there a better word for externalizing a philosophy instead of internalizing it?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on October 31, 2018, 12:10:56 PM
skeptic-bait
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Billzbub on October 31, 2018, 12:11:22 PM
This seems similar to the idea that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Once you accept the tools of a skeptic, the most important thing is to hammer nails to the point that you drive people away.

Here's what I'm thinking:

One way to use skeptical tools:
1.  Approach an issue with humility.
2.  Attempt to understand the other side charitably.
3.  Try to agree with the other side about what they are saying before arguing with it.
4.  Discuss the most important idea.
5.  If the other side is acting in a way you don't appreciate, try to find out what is bothering them and address it.

Another way:
1.  Approach an issue knowing that you are correct.
2.  Assume that you already know where the other side is coming from.
3.  Point out every flaw you see in every point the other side makes.
4.  If the other side is acting in a way you don't appreciate, call them on it immediately.

Ooops, late for lunch, gotta go!
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: heyalison on October 31, 2018, 02:21:24 PM

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

Thanks for this suggestion! I just got around to listening, and it's very good. Cara talks with an empathy educator about a number of things, including the blowback she's got from skeptical men for calling out sexism, racism, and male privilege.

I think this kind of work is really important, because there does seem to be a shortage of empathy when it comes to some of the positions people take, and the identities they latch onto. You can hear it here (http://"https://www.carasantamaria.com/podcast/kate-kenfield").

I agree and I've said before one of the major flaws with the skeptic movement/community is that it's been marketed largely by debunking other people, presuming other people are wrong. It should be about self-analysis, and then coming to people on equal footing. Instead it's been dominated largely by people memorize the words like I used to memorize scripture; to be barked at people or recited as a bludgeon rather than as a method of self-analysis.

Totally.  Similar deference to authority, too, though in this case it's skeptical heroes instead of religious ones. But it is still just like many men have used religiosity in the past--an opportunity to express dominance.

I think this is why so much nerd culture is rooted in outrage and entitlement. Despite its assertions of outsider status, so much of the media these guys consume is expressing the same messages about masculinity as the rest of the culture. So it's not surprising to me that so much of that part of nerd culture is about hating things, being angry at things, and ranting about what sucks. It's an opportunity to show dominance over the creators, the people who like it, or the people who threaten that ideal of masculinity and dominance. It's so tiresome, and why as a nerdy person I don't have anything to do with those communities.

If it just stayed there I wouldn't care, but angry nerds have been fertile ground for extreme-right recruiters. It's led them quite directly into MRA ideals, and through movements like GG they learned a sense of power that made fascism an easy step. And even if you want to say skepticism had no role in this, it gave a ton of cover to the MRAs and the GGers, and in many places still does. To deny that is washing your hands. There are the shameless 88 promoters, but also the useful idiots rehashing right wing talking points over and over, and the allegedly progressive guys who are nonetheless angrily defensive to women and others calling out their non-progressive habits. Even though they've annoyed many men in the community, too, they've traditionally had pretty much free access to skeptical or atheist spaces, online and off. And the world, literally the world is worse off for it.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 31, 2018, 04:48:47 PM
This entire post is a bald and blatant example of exactly the thing heyalison is referring to.

I'm aware that some people have problems with me defending myself against false accusations. Do you expect me to admit to and apologize for something I did not do?


As I have said before, if you can't see the problem, then you are the problem.

You've said a lot of opinions.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on October 31, 2018, 04:54:00 PM
This seems similar to the idea that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Once you accept the tools of a skeptic, the most important thing is to hammer nails to the point that you drive people away.

Not sure I'm on the same page here... I think the tools of a skeptic are intended to hash out ideas and separate facts from falsehoods. We must question our own ideas as much as those of others. But by the same token, we must not be so beholden to our views that we cannot tolerate seeing them challenged.


Here's what I'm thinking:

One way to use skeptical tools:
1.  Approach an issue with humility.
2.  Attempt to understand the other side charitably.
3.  Try to agree with the other side about what they are saying before arguing with it.
4.  Discuss the most important idea.
5.  If the other side is acting in a way you don't appreciate, try to find out what is bothering them and address it.

This is a pretty good approach to open discourse.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on October 31, 2018, 05:46:17 PM
This seems similar to the idea that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Once you accept the tools of a skeptic, the most important thing is to hammer nails to the point that you drive people away.

Here's what I'm thinking:

One way to use skeptical tools:
1.  Approach an issue with humility.
2.  Attempt to understand the other side charitably.
3.  Try to agree with the other side about what they are saying before arguing with it.
4.  Discuss the most important idea.
5.  If the other side is acting in a way you don't appreciate, try to find out what is bothering them and address it.

Another way:
1.  Approach an issue knowing that you are correct.
2.  Assume that you already know where the other side is coming from.
3.  Point out every flaw you see in every point the other side makes.
4.  If the other side is acting in a way you don't appreciate, call them on it immediately.

Ooops, late for lunch, gotta go!

But what do you do when someone does B but thinks they're doing A? What the solution when someone, fopr example just pulling things out of my ass here, repeatedly says "The only reason to snarfleblag is to avoid conversation and you all are ignoring how I'm right!" and then in the same post chastises others for not doing steps 1-5 correctly? How do you break through the shell of smug, arrogant self-delusion?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: arthwollipot on October 31, 2018, 06:32:25 PM
Do you expect me to admit to and apologize for something I did not do?

No, I expect you to admit to and apologise for things that you did do.

At the very least I expect you to admit to and apologise for suggesting that heyalison was just imagining things:

But it's all about identifying with one another after they pwned a woman on the intenet, I suppose. Fistbump!

Who do you imagine is doing this?

That's just a start on that trainwreck of a post. Think about it with a little humility, if you can, and see if you can find anything else that might be worth admitting to and apologising for.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on October 31, 2018, 07:20:39 PM
I have to say, the implication that heyalison is 'imagining' things is pretty gross.
We could sadly substitute her for pretty much anyone who had enough of this place over the last few years and bothered to try and explain why because the pattern of what happens every time is basically the same.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Billzbub on November 01, 2018, 10:33:20 AM
This seems similar to the idea that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Once you accept the tools of a skeptic, the most important thing is to hammer nails to the point that you drive people away.

Here's what I'm thinking:

One way to use skeptical tools:
1.  Approach an issue with humility.
2.  Attempt to understand the other side charitably.
3.  Try to agree with the other side about what they are saying before arguing with it.
4.  Discuss the most important idea.
5.  If the other side is acting in a way you don't appreciate, try to find out what is bothering them and address it.

Another way:
1.  Approach an issue knowing that you are correct.
2.  Assume that you already know where the other side is coming from.
3.  Point out every flaw you see in every point the other side makes.
4.  If the other side is acting in a way you don't appreciate, call them on it immediately.

Ooops, late for lunch, gotta go!

But what do you do when someone does B but thinks they're doing A? What the solution when someone, fopr example just pulling things out of my ass here, repeatedly says "The only reason to snarfleblag is to avoid conversation and you all are ignoring how I'm right!" and then in the same post chastises others for not doing steps 1-5 correctly? How do you break through the shell of smug, arrogant self-delusion?

That is exactly the issue, yes.  First we have to define (probably in a better way) what I was quickly trying to say here.  Then we have to figure out how to address what you said, which is the real issue.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on November 01, 2018, 12:39:49 PM
This seems similar to the idea that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Once you accept the tools of a skeptic, the most important thing is to hammer nails to the point that you drive people away.

Here's what I'm thinking:

One way to use skeptical tools:
1.  Approach an issue with humility.
2.  Attempt to understand the other side charitably.
3.  Try to agree with the other side about what they are saying before arguing with it.
4.  Discuss the most important idea.
5.  If the other side is acting in a way you don't appreciate, try to find out what is bothering them and address it.

Another way:
1.  Approach an issue knowing that you are correct.
2.  Assume that you already know where the other side is coming from.
3.  Point out every flaw you see in every point the other side makes.
4.  If the other side is acting in a way you don't appreciate, call them on it immediately.

Ooops, late for lunch, gotta go!

But what do you do when someone does B but thinks they're doing A? What the solution when someone, fopr example just pulling things out of my ass here, repeatedly says "The only reason to snarfleblag is to avoid conversation and you all are ignoring how I'm right!" and then in the same post chastises others for not doing steps 1-5 correctly? How do you break through the shell of smug, arrogant self-delusion?

That is exactly the issue, yes.  First we have to define (probably in a better way) what I was quickly trying to say here.  Then we have to figure out how to address what you said, which is the real issue.

I think you've defined it well. The first set is internalized skepticism, or it might be called mindful skepticism. I'd call the second pseudoskepticism because it doesn't really differ from the way any of person feigning skepticism to promote an idea operates, just a matter of motive.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on November 01, 2018, 02:55:04 PM
I couldn't figure out why I felt like something was bothering me still so I reread Quetz's post. I think it's that I'm concerned by the frequent uses of Vonnegutian language as though it's a real thing. Granfalloons and wampeters and karasses are not real things, they're constructs that a really good scifi author from a century ago put together to discuss some theoretical ideas about belief and identity. At its root though it wasn't written so that the reader could go shouting "Granfalloon!" to dismiss other people's ideas, but again to challenge the ideas of self and the identity of the self. Telling someone else their identity is meaningless is at its root dehumanizing them by denying them their own self-actualization and denying the reality of their experience and their connections. It's incredibly self-centered to declare oneself the arbiter of what is meaningful.

I don't use that term in order to dismiss someone. It is simply a useful mental tool to have in one's thinking toolbox. Watch the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiwdQ8hoRm4

I agree and I've said before one of the major flaws with the skeptic movement/community is that it's been marketed largely by debunking other people, presuming other people are wrong. It should be about self-analysis, and then coming to people on equal footing. Instead it's been dominated largely by people memorize the words like I used to memorize scripture; to be barked at people or recited as a bludgeon rather than as a method of self-analysis.

Maybe for some people, but not for me. I view skepticism as a way of thinking about the world, and how to evaluate claims that come our way.

Quote from: Steven Novella
Convincing Antivaxxers (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/convincing-antivaxxers/)

The one thing that is clear from all of this scientific evidence is that humans as a species are rather pathetic on average. We are emotional creatures that, by default, can easily render ourselves immune to logic and facts whenever our emotions are at stake. It is hard not to feel that this is the source of endless mischief and sorrow for humanity. How do we fix it?

The ultimate solution, in my opinion, is to promote scientific skepticism. The skeptical outlook is to consciously remove oneself from any emotional investment in any particular belief. Instead we align our identity with the process of science, listening to facts, and following valid logic and sound arguments.

Part of this is being transparent and engaging intellectually with others. The critical analysis of others will keep us honest. We must be our own harshest skeptic, for if not others will expose any flaws in our process. We will then be under pressure to examine our methods and change our conclusions if necessary. Essentially being a skeptic and being part of a community of skeptics harnesses inherent human psychology toward being logical and scientific, rather than irrational and emotional.

As a skeptic my primary motivation is getting it right (not defending any particular position), and if I don’t I know that other skeptics will point out my error, and if I don’t properly engage with their criticism, or if I dig in my heels, I will lose credibility.

Quote from: Steven Novella
Extreme Dogmatism (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/extreme-dogmatism/)

Meanwhile, the psychological literature is fairly consistent in demonstrating that people in general labor under a host of cognitive biases. Further, extremism (rigidly holding strong opinions) seems to be the main problem, rather than the opinions themselves. It is ideology itself, and not the details of a specific ideology, that renders people irrational.

In many ways, metacognition, critical thinking, and skepticism are about divesting oneself of ideology in favor of logic and evidence.

This is exactly right. That's why I'm not a member of any of the political tribes, especially not any of the American ones. We should all stay away from that, instead we should judge each issue independently.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on November 01, 2018, 04:19:30 PM
I couldn't figure out why I felt like something was bothering me still so I reread Quetz's post. I think it's that I'm concerned by the frequent uses of Vonnegutian language as though it's a real thing. Granfalloons and wampeters and karasses are not real things, they're constructs that a really good scifi author from a century ago put together to discuss some theoretical ideas about belief and identity. At its root though it wasn't written so that the reader could go shouting "Granfalloon!" to dismiss other people's ideas, but again to challenge the ideas of self and the identity of the self. Telling someone else their identity is meaningless is at its root dehumanizing them by denying them their own self-actualization and denying the reality of their experience and their connections. It's incredibly self-centered to declare oneself the arbiter of what is meaningful.

I don't use that term in order to dismiss someone. It is simply a useful mental tool to have in one's thinking toolbox..

I'm not going to watch the video or read the Steven Novella quotes. The problem is not that I don't understand what a false karass is or that I don't appreciate skepticism, the problem is that you're not actually engaging in skepticism. You say "I'm not a member of a political tribe" but that's absolutely not true, based on the number of times you've lectured "American liberals" about how our ideas are all wrong.

Let's try again. You dismissed the notion of skin color being meaningful to identity by calling it a granfalloon. I explained to you that it's not, firstly because karasses and granfalooms are not real, and secondly because when you're treated a particular way by other people or by society it becomes meaningful whether you want it to be or not.

Now, without copying and pasting someone else's words or merely insisting that you're right, you as a skeptic should respond to this new evidence. First, is it true that for other people their skin color leads to a shared experience or understanding, especially if it's the cause of that experience? Put another way, since racism exists, you need to investigate to find out whether the impact of racism is meaningful or not. Secondly, you need to ask yourself whether you belief that skin color is meaningless is true in light of that. Did you engage in false reasoning, perhaps by presuming that your experience was true for everyone else?

The other alternative is to just keep repeating that you're a real skeptic and therefore are not in danger of being blinded by your own biases.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on November 01, 2018, 04:46:53 PM
Everyone thinks THEIR opinions are the rational ones and that others are the ideologues so stuck in their ways.
We all think we evaluate every issue on its merits and support the best solution regardless of which 'tribe'puts it forward (thats how I went from smug centrist to what I am now over the past 6 years. In my own mind at least).

The meta discussion is only a reminder to keep checking ourselves, not to shit on other people.

Ive held your opinions on most topics we discuss. Can you say the same of mine?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on November 01, 2018, 05:15:11 PM
I'm not going to watch the video or read the Steven Novella quotes.

You should. These are educational.

The problem is not that I don't understand what a false karass is or that I don't appreciate skepticism, the problem is that you're not actually engaging in skepticism. You say "I'm not a member of a political tribe" but that's absolutely not true, based on the number of times you've lectured "American liberals" about how our ideas are all wrong.

I'm not saying that American liberals are all wrong. I agree with them more than with the American conservatives. As I think I have made clear, it's the identity political stuff I don't like.

This is another fallacy that I have unfortunately seen: If someone, like me, criticizes American liberals, that person is assumed to be in bed with the American conservatives. Such a poisonous political climate does not help clear thinking about any issue, encourages tribalism, and, most importantly, is incorrect. There are more than two packages of political opinions one can hold.

Let's try again. You dismissed the notion of skin color being meaningful to identity by calling it a granfalloon. I explained to you that it's not, firstly because karasses and granfalooms are not real, and secondly because when you're treated a particular way by other people or by society it becomes meaningful whether you want it to be or not.

Now, without copying and pasting someone else's words or merely insisting that you're right, you as a skeptic should respond to this new evidence. First, is it true that for other people their skin color leads to a shared experience or understanding, especially if it's the cause of that experience? Put another way, since racism exists, you need to investigate to find out whether the impact of racism is meaningful or not. Secondly, you need to ask yourself whether you belief that skin color is meaningless is true in light of that. Did you engage in false reasoning, perhaps by presuming that your experience was true for everyone else?

I'm well-aware that some people find their skin colors to be a very important part of their identities. It's just my opinion that it shouldn't be. Ok, you are skin color X, now what? I think the sort of culture we should want to encourage should not put emphasis on things like skin color.

It is noteworthy that the far right and the far left both agree on the importance of skin color.

The other alternative is to just keep repeating that you're a real skeptic and therefore are not in danger of being blinded by your own biases.

I'm not saying that at all, and neither is anyone else I think. Skepticism is very much about being aware of our biases.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on November 01, 2018, 05:24:09 PM
We all think we evaluate every issue on its merits and support the best solution regardless of which 'tribe'puts it forward

Actually no. A lot of people don't do that, at least out there in the wider world. Have you never met a very politially partisan person?

The meta discussion is only a reminder to keep checking ourselves, not to shit on other people.

I agree.

Ive held your opinions on most topics we discuss. Can you say the same of mine?

No.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on November 01, 2018, 05:29:50 PM
I'm not going to watch the video or read the Steven Novella quotes.

You should. These are educational.

The problem is not that I don't understand what a false karass is or that I don't appreciate skepticism, the problem is that you're not actually engaging in skepticism. You say "I'm not a member of a political tribe" but that's absolutely not true, based on the number of times you've lectured "American liberals" about how our ideas are all wrong.

I'm not saying that American liberals are all wrong. I agree with them more than with the American conservatives. As I think I have made clear, it's the identity political stuff I don't like.

This is another fallacy that I have unfortunately seen: If someone, like me, criticizes American liberals, that person is assumed to be in bed with the American conservatives. Such a poisonous political climate does not help clear thinking about any issue, encourages tribalism, and, most importantly, is incorrect. There are more than two packages of political opinions one can hold.

Let's try again. You dismissed the notion of skin color being meaningful to identity by calling it a granfalloon. I explained to you that it's not, firstly because karasses and granfalooms are not real, and secondly because when you're treated a particular way by other people or by society it becomes meaningful whether you want it to be or not.

Now, without copying and pasting someone else's words or merely insisting that you're right, you as a skeptic should respond to this new evidence. First, is it true that for other people their skin color leads to a shared experience or understanding, especially if it's the cause of that experience? Put another way, since racism exists, you need to investigate to find out whether the impact of racism is meaningful or not. Secondly, you need to ask yourself whether you belief that skin color is meaningless is true in light of that. Did you engage in false reasoning, perhaps by presuming that your experience was true for everyone else?

I'm well-aware that some people find their skin colors to be a very important part of their identities. It's just my opinion that it shouldn't be. Ok, you are skin color X, now what? I think the sort of culture we should want to encourage should not put emphasis on things like skin color.

It is noteworthy that the far right and the far left both agree on the importance of skin color.

The other alternative is to just keep repeating that you're a real skeptic and therefore are not in danger of being blinded by your own biases.

I'm not saying that at all, and neither is anyone else I think. Skepticism is very much about being aware of our biases.

Presuming that you don't belong to a tribe because you're not part of tribe A or tribe B is fallacious in itself.

You're still not making enough effort to understand. The reality is that societally and individually people are treated differently because of their skin color. People of color, for example, do not have the luxury of saying "Well that's not important." because that doesn't change how other people treat them. That's what you're not acknowledging. That's what I'm talking about. You are not actually addressing anything I'm talking about when you say "Well you soon color is X, so what? Why is that important." I'm telling you why it's important, and you're redirecting to a talking point that you find more easy to dismiss.

I don't need to read Novella quotes or watch a video about the works of an author I'm very familiar with. The problem we're having is not that you know something that I don't or that I need to learn about the pursuit of truth. The problem is that you're waxing on about the importance of skepticism and then engaging the most basic strawman fallacy instead of acknowledging that you made a mistake earlier.

 Read back over these posts and ask yourself why your version of my argument doesn't match what I said.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on November 02, 2018, 12:28:31 PM
Yes, that is fallacious, but I don't fully agree with any political tribe, especially not any of the American ones. I'm not going to take the rough with the smooth, because I don't want to lend support for things I don't agree with. When it comes to American liberals, which I really a very large and diverse group, I agree with somethings, and disagree with other things. Ditto for conservatives and libertarians. I agree with American liberals more than I agree with American conservatives. But again, I don't agree with all of their ideas, and I am going to criticize those ideas I don't agree with. I don't owe them anything, and I am not at all loyal to American liberalism as an ideology.

It seems I should clarify a bit, as I think this is going off the rails a bit. What people choose to identify with is their own private choice. Yes, some people choose to identify with their skin color. I'd think that is a rather empty identity, and one that is not conductive for society, but that's their personal choice, and I absolutely support their right to do so. I do support the right of people to make what I consider to be poor decisions.

However, I don't think society should in any way sort people based on their skin color. Society, as in laws and legislation, should not set up laws for affirmative action or anything like that. The state should judge us each as individuals, not as members of groups.

Does this make sense? Even if you don't agree, can you see the logic and rationale behind it?

You might then argue that some people in the US have been mistreated historically, and still suffer from that. And you have a valid point. So what's the solution? I think the solution should be a very good school system that educates all students. In general, the American education needs a massive overhaul (and yes, before you point, I know that the Swedish public education system is also a disaster). It is even messier because states are apparently free to set their own standards, and some are not doing a very good job at it. But that's what you should be aiming for, IMO. I certainly don't think that sorting people based their "race" is a good idea. How anyone, ever, thought it was a good idea is a bit of a mystery to me.

That you choose not to read those quotes and watch that short clip is unfortunate. Even if you completely disagree with all of their content, you might still learn something. And learning something new is a good thing. :)
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on November 02, 2018, 01:02:00 PM
Yes, that is fallacious, but I don't fully agree with any political tribe, especially not any of the American ones. I'm not going to take the rough with the smooth, because I don't want to lend support for things I don't agree with. When it comes to American liberals, which I really a very large and diverse group, I agree with somethings, and disagree with other things. Ditto for conservatives and libertarians. I agree with American liberals more than I agree with American conservatives. But again, I don't agree with all of their ideas, and I am going to criticize those ideas I don't agree with. I don't owe them anything, and I am not at all loyal to American liberalism as an ideology.

It seems I should clarify a bit, as I think this is going off the rails a bit. What people choose to identify with is their own private choice. Yes, some people choose to identify with their skin color. I'd think that is a rather empty identity, and one that is not conductive for society, but that's their personal choice, and I absolutely support their right to do so. I do support the right of people to make what I consider to be poor decisions.

However, I don't think society should in any way sort people based on their skin color. Society, as in laws and legislation, should not set up laws for affirmative action or anything like that. The state should judge us each as individuals, not as members of groups.

Does this make sense? Even if you don't agree, can you see the logic and rationale behind it?

You might then argue that some people in the US have been mistreated historically, and still suffer from that. And you have a valid point. So what's the solution? I think the solution should be a very good school system that educates all students. In general, the American education needs a massive overhaul (and yes, before you point, I know that the Swedish public education system is also a disaster). It is even messier because states are apparently free to set their own standards, and some are not doing a very good job at it. But that's what you should be aiming for, IMO. I certainly don't think that sorting people based their "race" is a good idea. How anyone, ever, thought it was a good idea is a bit of a mystery to me.

That you choose not to read those quotes and watch that short clip is unfortunate. Even if you completely disagree with all of their content, you might still learn something. And learning something new is a good thing. :)

You don't have to agree fully with a tribe to behave tribally. Nobody (almost nobody) agrees fully with anything, but that doesn't mean that most people are free from reacting to things based on identity or perceived identity. Again, you've arrived at a false conclusion.

You're only considering the identity that people choose. You're not considering that society might already be sorting those people. Your reasoning assumes that it's people self-selecting as an ethnic group, but that's not how a society works. I don't recall who said it, but I recall hearing a black man say that regardless of what he wanted, society was constantly reminding him that he was black. You are assuming that without affirmative action employers and admissions counselors would be unbiased, but the reason we have those programs is to counteract the bias we found and continue to find. We have these programs because society does not judge people as individuals. You don't judge people as individuals, your brain does not work that way. Nobody's brain is free from the biases that come from categorizing people. Your reasoning is only sound if you assume society is already perfect, but it's scientifically flawed to assume people will just judge individuals and it's assuming a false premise by ignoring the history and continuing extant discrimination.

Yes, we need better schools. If we fixed all the schools today, we could make some real changes in 50-60 years. That doesn't work for today though. If your pipes are leaking, choosing to just save money to buy a new house in 10 years doesn't stop the leaks or deal with the current water damage. In this analogy, affirmative action is like having buckets on the floor to catch water and a dehumidifier in the basement. It's not ideal, and if you had to opportunity to fix everything you would, but we can't fix everything overnight and if we don't keep working on the stopgap programs to mitigate the current damage we're going to lose the house.

So do you see what I'm talking about? This isn't a new conversation, and I've said the same things to you before. You've continually failed to account for the current circumstances. Doesn't that strike you as a major flaw in your reasoning? Like if you were developing a space shuttle and forgot to account for gravity that would be a pretty big problem, right?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: amysrevenge on November 02, 2018, 01:20:49 PM
However, I don't think society should in any way sort people based on their skin color. Society, as in laws and legislation, should not set up laws for affirmative action or anything like that. The state should judge us each as individuals, not as members of groups.

Does this make sense? Even if you don't agree, can you see the logic and rationale behind it?

Here's what this statement reads like:  "Look, if we just assume that there's no unsolved problems, then all the problems are solved.  How simple is that?"  It's a fairy tale.

"I don't think society should in any way sort people based on their skin colour." is a HUUUUUGE ought/is problem.  Sure, it shouldn't.  Guess what, it does.  Pretending it doesn't isn't helping anything, it just looks like a denial of the problems that actual people are facing in the actual world, even directly in the face of people right in front of you telling you personally that they are facing these problems (or equivalent problems with gender or other factors).
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on November 03, 2018, 04:45:21 PM
At the very least I expect you to admit to and apologise for suggesting that heyalison was just imagining things:

But it's all about identifying with one another after they pwned a woman on the intenet, I suppose. Fistbump!

Who do you imagine is doing this?

That's just a start on that trainwreck of a post. Think about it with a little humility, if you can, and see if you can find anything else that might be worth admitting to and apologising for.

You expect me to apologize for suggesting that somebody imagined something that is clearly imaginary?


I have to say, the implication that heyalison is 'imagining' things is pretty gross.

I'm sorry if you find it "gross" to point it out, but it's clearly an imaginary scenario.

How about the equally imaginary false accusations that heyalison slung at me, which instigated this response? Do I not deserve an apology?

Respect is a two-way street.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on November 03, 2018, 04:53:51 PM
At the very least I expect you to admit to and apologise for suggesting that heyalison was just imagining things:

But it's all about identifying with one another after they pwned a woman on the intenet, I suppose. Fistbump!

Who do you imagine is doing this?

That's just a start on that trainwreck of a post. Think about it with a little humility, if you can, and see if you can find anything else that might be worth admitting to and apologising for.

You expect me to apologize for suggesting that somebody imagined something that is clearly imaginary?


I have to say, the implication that heyalison is 'imagining' things is pretty gross.

I'm sorry if you find it "gross" to point it out, but it's clearly an imaginary scenario.

How about the equally imaginary false accusations that heyalison slung at me, which instigated this response? Do I not deserve an apology?

Respect is a two-way street.

So is "she's clearly imagining it so it's not rude to say she's imagining it without any evidence" approaching the subject with humility?

Is it exemplary of trying to understand the other side charitably to presume someone is making things up?

Did you try to agree before arguing with it?

Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on November 03, 2018, 04:57:37 PM
So is "she's clearly imagining it so it's not rude to say she's imagining it without any evidence" approaching the subject with humility?

Is it exemplary of trying to understand the other side charitably to presume someone is making things up?

She even admitted in her own words that it was just a supposition.


Did you try to agree before arguing with it?

Try to "agree" with false accusations?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Desert Fox on November 03, 2018, 05:23:17 PM
I think I've hinted at this in the Books section but maybe not explicitly said it - I think everyone that reads should make some sort of effort to pick up books by black authors every once in a while.  I don't think it really even matters who (although I suppose an economics book by Thomas Sowell counts for negative points).  Read literally anything that's been written about race relations from the last 40 years and you figure out pretty quickly why black people aren't always keen to debate random strangers on the internet.  Ditto for women.
I have mentioned Ebony Exodus a lot, but the black female atheists in that book say this is pretty much why they avoid organised atheism.

There is Black Non Believers?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on November 03, 2018, 05:34:22 PM
Arthwollipot, SkeptiQueer, and Harry Black, you guys appear to have reacted so specifically to my choice of the word "imagined" that you completely ignored the context.

I asked which members of this forum does heyalison perceive as congratulating and fist-bumping one another after having "pwned a woman on the Internet"?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on November 03, 2018, 06:32:55 PM
So is "she's clearly imagining it so it's not rude to say she's imagining it without any evidence" approaching the subject with humility?

Is it exemplary of trying to understand the other side charitably to presume someone is making things up?

She even admitted in her own words that it was just a supposition.


Did you try to agree before arguing with it?

Try to "agree" with false accusations?

You're begging the question, and dodged all the rest. Do you recognize that you did the opposite of what you praised on the last page? If so, would it not be prudent to acknowledge that and they again instead of doubling down?

"I don't have to behave skeptically because I already decided it's wrong" is the opposite of a skeptical approach.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on November 03, 2018, 06:48:53 PM
Yes, that is fallacious, but I don't fully agree with any political tribe, especially not any of the American ones. I'm not going to take the rough with the smooth, because I don't want to lend support for things I don't agree with. When it comes to American liberals, which I really a very large and diverse group, I agree with somethings, and disagree with other things. Ditto for conservatives and libertarians. I agree with American liberals more than I agree with American conservatives. But again, I don't agree with all of their ideas, and I am going to criticize those ideas I don't agree with. I don't owe them anything, and I am not at all loyal to American liberalism as an ideology.

It seems I should clarify a bit, as I think this is going off the rails a bit. What people choose to identify with is their own private choice. Yes, some people choose to identify with their skin color. I'd think that is a rather empty identity, and one that is not conductive for society, but that's their personal choice, and I absolutely support their right to do so. I do support the right of people to make what I consider to be poor decisions.

However, I don't think society should in any way sort people based on their skin color. Society, as in laws and legislation, should not set up laws for affirmative action or anything like that. The state should judge us each as individuals, not as members of groups.

Does this make sense? Even if you don't agree, can you see the logic and rationale behind it?

You might then argue that some people in the US have been mistreated historically, and still suffer from that. And you have a valid point. So what's the solution? I think the solution should be a very good school system that educates all students. In general, the American education needs a massive overhaul (and yes, before you point, I know that the Swedish public education system is also a disaster). It is even messier because states are apparently free to set their own standards, and some are not doing a very good job at it. But that's what you should be aiming for, IMO. I certainly don't think that sorting people based their "race" is a good idea. How anyone, ever, thought it was a good idea is a bit of a mystery to me.

That you choose not to read those quotes and watch that short clip is unfortunate. Even if you completely disagree with all of their content, you might still learn something. And learning something new is a good thing. :)

You don't have to agree fully with a tribe to behave tribally. Nobody (almost nobody) agrees fully with anything, but that doesn't mean that most people are free from reacting to things based on identity or perceived identity. Again, you've arrived at a false conclusion.

You're only considering the identity that people choose. You're not considering that society might already be sorting those people. Your reasoning assumes that it's people self-selecting as an ethnic group, but that's not how a society works. I don't recall who said it, but I recall hearing a black man say that regardless of what he wanted, society was constantly reminding him that he was black. You are assuming that without affirmative action employers and admissions counselors would be unbiased, but the reason we have those programs is to counteract the bias we found and continue to find. We have these programs because society does not judge people as individuals. You don't judge people as individuals, your brain does not work that way. Nobody's brain is free from the biases that come from categorizing people. Your reasoning is only sound if you assume society is already perfect, but it's scientifically flawed to assume people will just judge individuals and it's assuming a false premise by ignoring the history and continuing extant discrimination.

Yes, we need better schools. If we fixed all the schools today, we could make some real changes in 50-60 years. That doesn't work for today though. If your pipes are leaking, choosing to just save money to buy a new house in 10 years doesn't stop the leaks or deal with the current water damage. In this analogy, affirmative action is like having buckets on the floor to catch water and a dehumidifier in the basement. It's not ideal, and if you had to opportunity to fix everything you would, but we can't fix everything overnight and if we don't keep working on the stopgap programs to mitigate the current damage we're going to lose the house.

So do you see what I'm talking about? This isn't a new conversation, and I've said the same things to you before. You've continually failed to account for the current circumstances. Doesn't that strike you as a major flaw in your reasoning? Like if you were developing a space shuttle and forgot to account for gravity that would be a pretty big problem, right?

You made good points, rep is due.

I am certainly in favor of providing help to those of society less fortunate. But what I don't understand is why it has to be "racialized" as affirmative action makes it? Why not help all the people, regardless of their "race"? Or rather, why make "race" a part of it? Why is there a need for that?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on November 03, 2018, 07:25:56 PM
Yes, that is fallacious, but I don't fully agree with any political tribe, especially not any of the American ones. I'm not going to take the rough with the smooth, because I don't want to lend support for things I don't agree with. When it comes to American liberals, which I really a very large and diverse group, I agree with somethings, and disagree with other things. Ditto for conservatives and libertarians. I agree with American liberals more than I agree with American conservatives. But again, I don't agree with all of their ideas, and I am going to criticize those ideas I don't agree with. I don't owe them anything, and I am not at all loyal to American liberalism as an ideology.

It seems I should clarify a bit, as I think this is going off the rails a bit. What people choose to identify with is their own private choice. Yes, some people choose to identify with their skin color. I'd think that is a rather empty identity, and one that is not conductive for society, but that's their personal choice, and I absolutely support their right to do so. I do support the right of people to make what I consider to be poor decisions.

However, I don't think society should in any way sort people based on their skin color. Society, as in laws and legislation, should not set up laws for affirmative action or anything like that. The state should judge us each as individuals, not as members of groups.

Does this make sense? Even if you don't agree, can you see the logic and rationale behind it?

You might then argue that some people in the US have been mistreated historically, and still suffer from that. And you have a valid point. So what's the solution? I think the solution should be a very good school system that educates all students. In general, the American education needs a massive overhaul (and yes, before you point, I know that the Swedish public education system is also a disaster). It is even messier because states are apparently free to set their own standards, and some are not doing a very good job at it. But that's what you should be aiming for, IMO. I certainly don't think that sorting people based their "race" is a good idea. How anyone, ever, thought it was a good idea is a bit of a mystery to me.

That you choose not to read those quotes and watch that short clip is unfortunate. Even if you completely disagree with all of their content, you might still learn something. And learning something new is a good thing. :)

You don't have to agree fully with a tribe to behave tribally. Nobody (almost nobody) agrees fully with anything, but that doesn't mean that most people are free from reacting to things based on identity or perceived identity. Again, you've arrived at a false conclusion.

You're only considering the identity that people choose. You're not considering that society might already be sorting those people. Your reasoning assumes that it's people self-selecting as an ethnic group, but that's not how a society works. I don't recall who said it, but I recall hearing a black man say that regardless of what he wanted, society was constantly reminding him that he was black. You are assuming that without affirmative action employers and admissions counselors would be unbiased, but the reason we have those programs is to counteract the bias we found and continue to find. We have these programs because society does not judge people as individuals. You don't judge people as individuals, your brain does not work that way. Nobody's brain is free from the biases that come from categorizing people. Your reasoning is only sound if you assume society is already perfect, but it's scientifically flawed to assume people will just judge individuals and it's assuming a false premise by ignoring the history and continuing extant discrimination.

Yes, we need better schools. If we fixed all the schools today, we could make some real changes in 50-60 years. That doesn't work for today though. If your pipes are leaking, choosing to just save money to buy a new house in 10 years doesn't stop the leaks or deal with the current water damage. In this analogy, affirmative action is like having buckets on the floor to catch water and a dehumidifier in the basement. It's not ideal, and if you had to opportunity to fix everything you would, but we can't fix everything overnight and if we don't keep working on the stopgap programs to mitigate the current damage we're going to lose the house.

So do you see what I'm talking about? This isn't a new conversation, and I've said the same things to you before. You've continually failed to account for the current circumstances. Doesn't that strike you as a major flaw in your reasoning? Like if you were developing a space shuttle and forgot to account for gravity that would be a pretty big problem, right?

You made good points, rep is due.

I am certainly in favor of providing help to those of society less fortunate. But what I don't understand is why it has to be "racialized" as affirmative action makes it? Why not help all the people, regardless of their "race"? Or rather, why make "race" a part of it? Why is there a need for that?

Nobody is "racializing" social welfare. Affirmative action is not about poverty, it's specifically to counteract the bias against women and people of color that puts them at a default disadvantage.

Does that make sense, and do you agree or acknowledge that the bias against minority groups exists and has existed since before affirmative action programs began?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Desert Fox on November 03, 2018, 09:52:50 PM
You made good points, rep is due.

I am certainly in favor of providing help to those of society less fortunate. But what I don't understand is why it has to be "racialized" as affirmative action makes it? Why not help all the people, regardless of their "race"? Or rather, why make "race" a part of it? Why is there a need for that?

In US society, people of African descent are disadvantaged. It is simply how it is. As such, they are going to need more assistance than whites.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on November 04, 2018, 06:11:30 AM
You made good points, rep is due.

I am certainly in favor of providing help to those of society less fortunate. But what I don't understand is why it has to be "racialized" as affirmative action makes it? Why not help all the people, regardless of their "race"? Or rather, why make "race" a part of it? Why is there a need for that?

In US society, people of African descent are disadvantaged. It is simply how it is. As such, they are going to need more assistance than whites.
I know you can only speak for your own country but fwiw, they are disadvantaged elsewhere too.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: heyalison on November 04, 2018, 07:11:41 AM
And look, Mr. Gaslight is doubling down on his gaslighting, and now seems obsessed with making me into some kind of lying feminazi who attacked him? What bullshit.

Oh, well, I tried, but expecting women to deal with angry, aggressive men daily just to take part in a message board is really not my thing. But I'll leave you with this link to consider:

Tallahassee Yoga Shooter Was A Far-Right Misogynist Who Railed Against Women And Minorities Online (Buzzfeed) (http://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/davidmack/tallahassee-yoga-shooter-incel-far-right-misogyny-video)

How you let men treat women online creates a world where their hatred of us festers and creates monsters like this dude. Wash your hands of it as much as you want, but if you're allowing a platform for men to harass women online, you're normalizing a world where they kill us in person.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Desert Fox on November 04, 2018, 08:38:11 AM
You made good points, rep is due.

I am certainly in favor of providing help to those of society less fortunate. But what I don't understand is why it has to be "racialized" as affirmative action makes it? Why not help all the people, regardless of their "race"? Or rather, why make "race" a part of it? Why is there a need for that?

In US society, people of African descent are disadvantaged. It is simply how it is. As such, they are going to need more assistance than whites.
I know you can only speak for your own country but fwiw, they are disadvantaged elsewhere too.

My sense (which could certainly be wrong) is that it is especially bad in the United States compared to other developed nations.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: haudace on November 04, 2018, 11:45:47 AM
I agree and I've said before one of the major flaws with the skeptic movement/community is that it's been marketed largely by debunking other people, presuming other people are wrong. It should be about self-analysis, and then coming to people on equal footing. Instead it's been dominated largely by people memorize the words like I used to memorize scripture; to be barked at people or recited as a bludgeon rather than as a method of self-analysis.

PREACH!

Yes, the sense of superiority over others that I have witnessed on SGU forums is really disturbing. Atheists and skeptics are just as likely to fall prey to misleading biases and false information disguised as truth.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Harry Black on November 04, 2018, 12:45:35 PM
You made good points, rep is due.

I am certainly in favor of providing help to those of society less fortunate. But what I don't understand is why it has to be "racialized" as affirmative action makes it? Why not help all the people, regardless of their "race"? Or rather, why make "race" a part of it? Why is there a need for that?

In US society, people of African descent are disadvantaged. It is simply how it is. As such, they are going to need more assistance than whites.
I know you can only speak for your own country but fwiw, they are disadvantaged elsewhere too.

My sense (which could certainly be wrong) is that it is especially bad in the United States compared to other developed nations.
It definitely is, but many of the issues that affect people of colour in the US also affect minority people in other countries.
When people loudly state "thats just an american thing" it implies that they have not really looked outside of their bubble to see how people are treated outside the US and even UK.
And because more is happening in the US, there is more discussion and effort to tackle these problems and so we get many useful tools and concepts that actually fit quite well into non US situations. But unfortunately there is a distrust of language or concepts that sound too self helpy or 'american' because we are used to deriding you all due to our media where newspapers feature stories about crazy americans or the meme that you are all so hugely litigious because of the hot coffee suit which you just cant convince people was a propaganda hit piece.

Its kind of a clever bait and switch where people seem reasonable by acknowledging that there are problems and then seem smart for telling us they arent what we thought.

This new focus then stops us from focusing on the original, actual problem.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on November 04, 2018, 01:11:35 PM
Yes, that is fallacious, but I don't fully agree with any political tribe, especially not any of the American ones. I'm not going to take the rough with the smooth, because I don't want to lend support for things I don't agree with. When it comes to American liberals, which I really a very large and diverse group, I agree with somethings, and disagree with other things. Ditto for conservatives and libertarians. I agree with American liberals more than I agree with American conservatives. But again, I don't agree with all of their ideas, and I am going to criticize those ideas I don't agree with. I don't owe them anything, and I am not at all loyal to American liberalism as an ideology.

It seems I should clarify a bit, as I think this is going off the rails a bit. What people choose to identify with is their own private choice. Yes, some people choose to identify with their skin color. I'd think that is a rather empty identity, and one that is not conductive for society, but that's their personal choice, and I absolutely support their right to do so. I do support the right of people to make what I consider to be poor decisions.

However, I don't think society should in any way sort people based on their skin color. Society, as in laws and legislation, should not set up laws for affirmative action or anything like that. The state should judge us each as individuals, not as members of groups.

Does this make sense? Even if you don't agree, can you see the logic and rationale behind it?

You might then argue that some people in the US have been mistreated historically, and still suffer from that. And you have a valid point. So what's the solution? I think the solution should be a very good school system that educates all students. In general, the American education needs a massive overhaul (and yes, before you point, I know that the Swedish public education system is also a disaster). It is even messier because states are apparently free to set their own standards, and some are not doing a very good job at it. But that's what you should be aiming for, IMO. I certainly don't think that sorting people based their "race" is a good idea. How anyone, ever, thought it was a good idea is a bit of a mystery to me.

That you choose not to read those quotes and watch that short clip is unfortunate. Even if you completely disagree with all of their content, you might still learn something. And learning something new is a good thing. :)

You don't have to agree fully with a tribe to behave tribally. Nobody (almost nobody) agrees fully with anything, but that doesn't mean that most people are free from reacting to things based on identity or perceived identity. Again, you've arrived at a false conclusion.

You're only considering the identity that people choose. You're not considering that society might already be sorting those people. Your reasoning assumes that it's people self-selecting as an ethnic group, but that's not how a society works. I don't recall who said it, but I recall hearing a black man say that regardless of what he wanted, society was constantly reminding him that he was black. You are assuming that without affirmative action employers and admissions counselors would be unbiased, but the reason we have those programs is to counteract the bias we found and continue to find. We have these programs because society does not judge people as individuals. You don't judge people as individuals, your brain does not work that way. Nobody's brain is free from the biases that come from categorizing people. Your reasoning is only sound if you assume society is already perfect, but it's scientifically flawed to assume people will just judge individuals and it's assuming a false premise by ignoring the history and continuing extant discrimination.

Yes, we need better schools. If we fixed all the schools today, we could make some real changes in 50-60 years. That doesn't work for today though. If your pipes are leaking, choosing to just save money to buy a new house in 10 years doesn't stop the leaks or deal with the current water damage. In this analogy, affirmative action is like having buckets on the floor to catch water and a dehumidifier in the basement. It's not ideal, and if you had to opportunity to fix everything you would, but we can't fix everything overnight and if we don't keep working on the stopgap programs to mitigate the current damage we're going to lose the house.

So do you see what I'm talking about? This isn't a new conversation, and I've said the same things to you before. You've continually failed to account for the current circumstances. Doesn't that strike you as a major flaw in your reasoning? Like if you were developing a space shuttle and forgot to account for gravity that would be a pretty big problem, right?

You made good points, rep is due.

I am certainly in favor of providing help to those of society less fortunate. But what I don't understand is why it has to be "racialized" as affirmative action makes it? Why not help all the people, regardless of their "race"? Or rather, why make "race" a part of it? Why is there a need for that?

Nobody is "racializing" social welfare. Affirmative action is not about poverty, it's specifically to counteract the bias against women and people of color that puts them at a default disadvantage.

Does that make sense, and do you agree or acknowledge that the bias against minority groups exists and has existed since before affirmative action programs began?

Yes, I accept that bias against minorities exists. Numerous studies show that.

For clarification, the sort of affirmative action that you propose, where do you want it implemented? For universities? For employment? For other things I have not so far thought about?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: arthwollipot on November 04, 2018, 05:01:48 PM
Arthwollipot, SkeptiQueer, and Harry Black, you guys appear to have reacted so specifically to my choice of the word "imagined" that you completely ignored the context.

I asked which members of this forum does heyalison perceive as congratulating and fist-bumping one another after having "pwned a woman on the Internet"?

You.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on November 04, 2018, 05:03:42 PM
Arthwollipot, SkeptiQueer, and Harry Black, you guys appear to have reacted so specifically to my choice of the word "imagined" that you completely ignored the context.

I asked which members of this forum does heyalison perceive as congratulating and fist-bumping one another after having "pwned a woman on the Internet"?

You.

Well then, that's just a lie.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on November 04, 2018, 05:12:28 PM
I agree and I've said before one of the major flaws with the skeptic movement/community is that it's been marketed largely by debunking other people, presuming other people are wrong. It should be about self-analysis, and then coming to people on equal footing. Instead it's been dominated largely by people memorize the words like I used to memorize scripture; to be barked at people or recited as a bludgeon rather than as a method of self-analysis.

PREACH!

Yes, the sense of superiority over others that I have witnessed on SGU forums is really disturbing.

"Preaching" is precisely the problem. Preaching has no place in a skeptical discussion. Preaching is rhetoric, not skepticism.

What SkeptiQueer said about skepticism may be true (it is about examining one's own beliefs), but it's also more than that. The kind of "skepticism" we're referring to in the skeptic movement is scientific skepticism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeptical_movement#Scientific_skepticism), which is about challenging ideas. That means not just questioning one's own ideas, but any ideas about the material world that seem unreasonable or unsupported by evidence.

At the end of the day you cannot count on changing somebody else's opinion, no matter how obviously unreasonable their opinion may seem. But the point of the exercise should be to examine and evaluate the evidence to get as close as we can to the empirical truth of the matter. If you're not interested in doing that, then you're not doing skepticism.

Everybody feels uncomfortable about having our opinions challenged, but skeptics ought to understand it's necessary for the advancement of knowledge. Anybody who can't stand having their beliefs examined is by definition a poor skeptic.

What skepticism is not about, is personally attacking people for having views or opinions that diverge from one's own. One who lashes out with personal attacks and false accusations whenever their ideas are challenged is not only a poor skeptic, but is just another asshole on the Internet. 
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on November 04, 2018, 05:29:41 PM
You're begging the question, and dodged all the rest.

Now you're just lying again.


Do you recognize that you did the opposite of what you praised on the last page?

No, I did not do the opposite of what Billzbub said. What transpired was completely different from the type of scenario than Billzbub proposed. Answering personal accusations is not the same kind of situation as skeptically questioning some empirical claim.

What happened was this: heyalison replied to a post I'd made, with some (admittedly supposed) accusations about some unspecified members of this community bonding and fist-bumping over sexist behavior.

That accusation is not consistent with any verbal exchange I've personally witnessed on these forums, and its very wording reads like a fanciful exaggeration. So I asked which particular members she envisions as having done this.


If so, would it not be prudent to acknowledge that and they again instead of doubling down?

This sentence makes no grammatical sense. 


"I don't have to behave skeptically because I already decided it's wrong" is the opposite of a skeptical approach.

Again with the strawman arguments. Why do you find it so difficult to just have an honest discussion, instead of mischaracterizing people and putting words into their mouths?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: arthwollipot on November 04, 2018, 05:48:17 PM
Arthwollipot, SkeptiQueer, and Harry Black, you guys appear to have reacted so specifically to my choice of the word "imagined" that you completely ignored the context.

I asked which members of this forum does heyalison perceive as congratulating and fist-bumping one another after having "pwned a woman on the Internet"?

You.

Well then, that's just a lie.

Are you saying that you believe that heyalison meant that people were literally fist-bumping? With actual physical fists?
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on November 04, 2018, 05:53:52 PM
Arthwollipot, SkeptiQueer, and Harry Black, you guys appear to have reacted so specifically to my choice of the word "imagined" that you completely ignored the context.

I asked which members of this forum does heyalison perceive as congratulating and fist-bumping one another after having "pwned a woman on the Internet"?

You.

Well then, that's just a lie.

Are you saying that you believe that heyalison meant that people were literally fist-bumping? With actual physical fists?

I'm not even saying that.

You said that I was the one being accused of the misogynistic bonding and (metaphorical) fist-bumping. I am saying that is an outright lie. I've never done anything like that.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on November 04, 2018, 06:10:01 PM
I am a true skeptic. I believe in continually reminding people to practice the principle of charity and one page ago said respect is a two way street.

>someone wlaw points out an apparent logical fallacy.

LIAR POSR LIAR YOU'RE A LIAR

I am a skeptic.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on November 04, 2018, 06:13:47 PM
I am a true skeptic. I believe in continually reminding people to practice the principle of charity and one page ago said respect is a two way street.

>someone wlaw points out an apparent logical fallacy.

LIAR POSR LIAR YOU'RE A LIAR

I am a skeptic.

More strawman arguments? Really?

I never claimed to be a "true skeptic." As for myself, I find it rather unseemly to even self-identify as a "skeptic." Nobody is skeptical 100% of the time.

Yes, respect is a two-way street, but I can't do anything about your disinclination to discuss things honestly.

How I respond to your posts is entirely up to you. Stop acting like a petulant child, and you might be deserving of some respect.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on November 04, 2018, 06:30:01 PM
Respect is a two way street principle of charity. It's your fault I dismiss arguments by calling you a liar. I am a true skeptic.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on November 04, 2018, 06:46:07 PM
More strawman arguments.

I did not call you a "liar." I have addressed your arguments, pointing out instances where you've lied or otherwise argued dishonestly.

You keep trying to make it out as if your dishonesty is my fault. Do you think I enjoy having to repeat myself every time you tell a lie?

The solution is simple. Just stop lying, and you won't have to see me repeatedly pointing out that the thing you just said was a lie.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: SkeptiQueer on November 04, 2018, 07:02:27 PM
I am a true skeptic, which is why I don't apply skepticism to behavior or ideas. Saying the name of a logical fallacy or saying "that's a lie! Why can't you respond honestly!" is totally a legitimate reaponse to an argument and not just an ipse dixit or fallacy fallacy. Nobody can criticize my behavior or point out that I don't live up to the ideas I espouse because they're wrong strawmanning liars.

I am a true skeptic.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on November 04, 2018, 07:44:22 PM
All the nonsense talk doesn't change the fact that a lie is a lie.

Nor is it a fallacy to point out when somebody lies.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Sawyer on November 06, 2018, 09:14:11 AM
So trying to steer clear of whatever the hell that was, Three Arrows has a recent video on succumbing to the anti-SJW worldview starting from skepticism/atheism. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69obN625Fjs

Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: Vicarious on December 07, 2018, 12:07:19 PM
I think most people here forget that discussion forums are mostly made up of the least agreeable people in a population that actually feel pleasure from arguing with anyone. They are also mostly older people (seeing as they are still on a message board in 2018) and thus less malleable. Men are on average less agreeable so there’s no shock that so few women thrive here. There is also the prevalence induced concept change (yes I listen to “you are not so smart” podcast;) which ensures there will be a feeling of regressive attitudes everywhere and ensures conflict amongst humans forever.

That said, I think it’s better not to be on a forum like this as it should be so low on priorities irl that you never get to. So good on OP for moving on to better things!
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: John Albert on December 07, 2018, 12:55:43 PM
So, you posted on a forum to tell other forum posters that posting on forums is a waste of time?  :P

Good point about prevalence-induced concept change though. Progressives tend to respond to decreases in regressive influence in our community by expanding the bounds of what we deem "regressive," so that we can keep on "fighting the good fight." People do the same thing with other ideologies as well. This seems to track with my own experience on discussion forums.

That said, I still feel that Web forums are perhaps the best online format for long-form discussion of complex topics.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: 2397 on December 07, 2018, 01:32:08 PM
People are on discussion forums because they like to discuss things, not simply rate and promote content that they've subscribed to.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: PANTS! on December 07, 2018, 02:36:17 PM
People are on discussion forums because they like to discuss things, not simply rate and promote content that they've subscribed to.

Some people are the former.  I get the impression Vici's is the latter.
Title: Re: Atheism and skepticism as gateways to alt-right ideologies
Post by: stands2reason on December 09, 2018, 10:46:55 AM
They are also mostly older people (seeing as they are still on a message board in 2018) and thus less malleable.

I joined this site when I was 16. I feel that the time I spent trying to socialize on social media platforms was basically a waste of time, other than teaching me that most people are worthless fakes. In that sense, it was a useful skeptical experience.