Still Unapologetic, Thanks for asking.

Wonderist's picture

For context, you may want to read this thread: Am I being irrational?

natural wrote:
As for this:

Quote:

Here is a quote from that forum made today relating to you guys:
no-one gives much of a shit about the RRS since they jumped the fucking shark a couple of years ago anyway

I'll come back to this in a bit, after reading your thread (second link I gave).

...

although we know that we're pussycats with a hefty dose of indignation and snark, there is an (undeserved) impression out there in the blogosphere that the RRS are a bunch of bullies. Again, I'll get to that later (the rumour mill)

Okay, so it's later. Had to take a break last night. Time to address this.

After reading Goldenmane's post, I'm disappointed, but I have a feeling his/her reaction was more in regards to how kimsland was posting, than it was directly against the RRS. Could be mistaken on that, but that's how it seems to me.

Goldenmane--and anyone else--is completely entitled to their opinion, but I strongly suspect that opinion is based on third- or fourth-hand rumours than it is based on actual experience with us.

Here's the deal... (continue reading)

The RRS is a very open forum (in the traditional sense of the word, from the ancient Greek/Roman practice). We need to be, in order to reach the kinds of people we want to reach. On one hand, we want to be open to anyone who believes irrational claims, so that we can confront them and put them to the test. On the other hand, we want to be open to anyone along their pathway to freedom of thought, and this may include many of us who simply want to be free to speak our minds without needless self-censorship.

In order to be this open, we have to be pretty accepting of even typically 'outrageous' stuff. Stuff that pushes the limits of reason, but is not actually anything more than free expression and freedom of speech. I speak of things like the Blasphemy Challenge, which was intentionally provocative, but not actually anything more than atheists speaking their minds. I also speak of our general tolerance for trolls, rude language, heated debate, strongly differing opinions, mockery, etc.

We are not "anything goes", however. As I've expressed in this thread, we draw the line at actual unethical, illegal behaviour, and we also have some rules against spamming, empty ad hominems (with no supporting argument), harassment of individuals, and a few other things that 'cross the line'. But the lines are fairly clearly drawn, as anyone can read in the forum rules.

Personally speaking, I was initially reluctant to join the RRS when it first began, because I thought it would end up being just a bunch of flame wars and pointless trolling. But I was wrong. I thought it would be immature and like revisiting high-school drama. But I was wrong. I thought it would be full of assholes who wouldn't listen to reason. But I was wrong. There was rudeness, yes. But the vast majority not only listened to reason, but made passionate and well-spoken defenses of reason.

So I lurked for a little bit, and to my surprise I started to learn a heck of a lot. I was cautious. I looked for hypocrisy. I looked for bullying. I rarely found it, and when it really did occur, the forum mods always (in my experience) came down against outright bullying or hypocrisy, even when it came from regular, well-known forum members.

It didn't take long before I really began to appreciate the openness of the forum, and how it allowed me to talk about things I had long been holding back, for fear of being shut down by people who merely get 'offended' by my opinions. There's a great saying: There's no such thing as a 'right' to not be offended. I agree. I would even add to that: And it is ridiculous to think that there even should be. So you're offended? So what? I'm offended at your being offended. Does that make me right? No! The only thing that matters is "Can you make a rational argument?" Politeness is nice, but you can't expect everyone to conform to your idiosyncratic standards of politeness. That, itself, is a form of bullying, in my opinion, if it is used to stifle dissent.

So, if RRS is so great, how did it 'jump the shark'?

<Looking around> We're still here, still active, still doing what we do, still contributing to the free thought movement, still open to dissent, still striving to educate about reason and science, and still having fun in the process.

What did happen was that the RRS fell prey to persistent and vicious rumour-mongering. Initially, from disgruntled theists with a grudge, occasionally from fellow atheists who came, shat, broke the rules (which is quite hard to do, actually), and left in a huff, or were banned if seriously trolling.

As I said, we are an open forum. Not everyone in the forum represents the RRS (I don't even consider myself a representative, though I'm currently helping as a junior moderator), even though they may be members of the forum. Member =/= representative.

Several people could not understand that distinction. They may have experienced some rudeness from some members, and took that as a 'sin' of the entire RRS community. We usually told them to fuck off. Eye-wink Again, rude, but what is the actual crime? None. If they wanted to make their case, they were given ample opportunity and failed to make their case. We can't force them to change their minds (nor do we want to!), but we don't have to respect them in their spurious accusations against us, either. So, they can fuck off. Or not. Up to them.

Well, unfortunately, we weren't ready for the brewing Rumour Mill. Behind the scenes, disgruntled people started making shit up about the RRS, and disappointingly, a lot of people who had never directly interacted with us started to believe these rumours.

At the time, I was concerned. I heard the rumours too, and wondered, "Uh oh, this is it. This is what I was fearing might happen. Maybe I was wrong, maybe the core RRS people actually were bullies and hypocrites and behaving unethically."

But you know what I didn't do? I didn't just accept the rumours. After all, I had been a victim of rumour-mongering when I was young (age 11 to 12) when it had come out at school that I was atheist. I had been called a "Devil worshipper" and worse by kids I had once considered friends. They shunned me and there was nothing I could do to stop it. The rumours had a life of their own, and nothing I said had any effect to stop them. In fact, they often made it worse: "See how angry he is?! It's true, he's evil and immoral. I feel sorry for him." (I've learned a lot since then, on how to handle this.)

At the time, this link to my past experiences was just an inkling, but today I see a strong parallel to what happened with the RRS' reputation.

In any case, I followed the rumours, and I tracked them down. I found the original sources (by demanding people provide links and evidence! As any skeptic should!), and I found....

.

.

.

They were ALL fucking bullshit.

I'm not kidding. Don't take my word for it, either. Track 'em down yourself if you want. They are not hard to find.

I was severely disappointed in some of the 'skeptics' who simply repeated nasty rumours about the RRS, who never bothered to check if they were true or not, and I watched in sympathy as Brian Sapient and others tried in vain to fight them off. I had a bad feeling in my throat, but what could I do?

Anyway, that's what they mean when they say RRS 'jumped the shark'. In every case, it is an overblown, exaggerated-beyond-reality, misinterpreted-he-said-she-said, sometimes-outright-lie, bullshit claim.

But that didn't stop the rumour mill from doing its damage.


Which brings me to today. What has changed? Actually, a lot.

I want to focus on a couple fairly recent episodes in the greater free-thought/atheist 'movement' which will help illustrate my point.

1) Accommodationism vs. Gnu Atheism

There has been an on-going dispute among some well-known atheists over the question of the compatibility of science and religion. On the one hand, you have people like Jerry Coyne, who write opinionated-but-polite-and-reasonable articles against the idea that science and religion have any real kind of compatibility. And on the other hand, you have people like Chris Mooney, who--though an atheist himself--thinks it's 'uncivil' for atheists to write their honest opinions about this incompatibility.

Galvanized, Non-violent, UnapologeticThis debate has literally been going on for several years, and I bet you can guess which side I fall on.

At the end of the day, we saw NO significant incivility (aside from sarcastic and/or mocking jabs at absurd claims, which I--siding with Voltaire--do not consider to be incivility in the slightest) from the newly invigourated Gnu Atheists (itself a mocking sneer at the lame epithet "New Atheists"), but on the other side of the fence, we saw repetitive and vicious attempts at character assassination, endless tone-trolling, and a massively embarrassing case of sock-puppetry you just have to gape at in incomprehension of the scale and hypocrisy of it. For complete context, if you're interested, this is a good place to start: The Big Accommodationism Debate: all relevant posts

I was an active spectator to much of this debate, mostly watching and learning, not so much commenting.

What I learned?

  • Atheists are not immune to irrational, strongly held beliefs, even in the face of overwhelming evidence against them.
  • When some of these folks get on their hobbyhorses, they will stoop. Very. Very. Low. Just to try to fuck you over. The atheist 'movement' is not immune from petty and disgusting political disputes.
  • Gnus were right. Accommodationists... not so much.

One thing that I did contribute in my own little way, was a suggestion towards an attitude of "unapologetic" atheism, and this sums up my attitude well: I've got my opinion, and I'm not doing anyone any harm by talking about it, so stop trying to shut me up. If I've done nothing wrong to you or anyone, I have nothing to apologize to you for. This attitude is (if I may speak a little bit for others here) quite prevalent at the RRS, and is one of the reasons I like it here. As long as I'm not doing anything unethical or wrong, you can disagree with me all you want, and as long as you're not doing anything unethical or wrong, you are free to do so. But don't throw me under the bus just for disagreeing with you. That's not cool.

Elevator Gate

Not to get side-tracked into the specifics of this event (feel free to explore it via google if you're interested), but this has been a ridiculously heated and divisive episode in the 'atheist movement'. I only bring it up to make one (well, two) basic point(s):

  • People (including atheists and skeptics) who you think are very intelligent, rational, reasonable, logical, defenders of science and reason... can nevertheless have enormous blind-spots that they are completely unaware of, in fact are in denial about, will aggressively defend as their hobbyhorse, will make wild and crazy presumptions about peoples' motives and character just for disagreeing with them, will forget all they learned about bias and fallacious reasoning, will not examine their own biases, will get incredibly offended at people for even pointing out said biases, will accuse said people of evil, disgusting things that said people would never support, and will congratulate themselves at the end of the day for their closed-minded bigotry directed towards others.
  • You might be one of those people.

Yes, and I might be, too! That's the point! Self-skepticism is probably the most important kind of skepticism there is. It's how people break out of religion, it's how to free your mind from dogma, it is the bedrock of science, it is extremely powerful. Use it. Don't take my word for it either. Find out for yourself. I constantly ask myself, "How do I really know that? What if I could be wrong? Can I really justify that?" If only more people would do this!

Richard Feynman gave us one of the greatest reminders ever:

Richard Feynman wrote:
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.


I dabbled briefly in Elevator Gate. It was an experiment for me. I had seen already, dozens of times, how readily people would jump at the chance to misinterpret what was being said, to engage in character assassination, to... well... bully.

I wanted to see if I had learned anything. Whether I could be bravely unapologetic, and withstand the inevitable shit-storm of abuse that would come my way (regardless of which side of the debate I happened to be on), merely for strongly stating my opinion on the matter.

So, I jumped in. And I survived! There was abuse. But I stood my ground and did not return abuse for abuse, insult for insult, misinterpretation for misinterpretation.

Instead I asked questions, to check my assumptions. I was open to being shown wrong, even though I was pretty sure I wasn't. But I also straight-forwardly challenged false accusations without getting 'offended' by them. I had a strategy, and I stuck to it. And it worked, from my perspective. I feel like I stood up for my point of view and for myself. I feel like someone out there may have read what I wrote and agreed gratefully with me for expressing the same idea, even though I only ever got responses from those who aggressively disagreed. I'm pretty sure, in fact, because I had experienced the same feeling of gratitude after reading some of the brave people who stood up to speak out their similar ideas.

The details of this debate are not important (if you really care, it's not hard to find). They are mere transient events, and will be completely irrelevant in a very short time (relatively speaking).

The important thing here is the tactics. The strategy. The long term.

I spoke out. I kept my cool, stood my ground. I wanted to remain unapologetic, and so it was important that I do nothing wrong myself. I had a long term goal in mind, and I kept it in focus. I didn't let petty personal slights distract me from that goal. I didn't let egregious irrationality ruin my mood or trigger my sarcasm/ridicule habit. I don't think sarcasm or ridicule would have been wrong, per se, I just don't think they would have worked in this particular situation. These were not hopelessly intransigent theists I was confronting. These were people who, under normal circumstances, on just about any other topic, would have been far more reasonable and measured. I didn't want to burn my bridges. I just wanted to say my piece, and maybe reach one or two other spectators.

Having met my own expectations in that encounter, I've been experimenting more and more in recent debates I've had. And repeatedly, time and again, this strategy has been quite successful, in my opinion.

It doesn't take much. It doesn't require me to change my convictions, or to compromise my principles. In fact, it is very much in line with them.

It allows my voice to be heard. It keeps my message afloat, though some would try to drown it. It allows me to speak my mind, without fear of retribution. It allows me to do something bold, without doing something wrong. It allows me to stand up for others, and encourages others to stand up for me.

I think if we, as a community, as individuals, want to have our voices heard, this is the kind of thing we need to learn about and practice. I've got my preferred method. Maybe it will work for you, maybe not. Maybe you just prefer to do things differently. I have no problem with that. More power to you. I'll support you, if you return the favour. Just don't throw me under the bus for merely disagreeing with you. That's just totally not cool.

We are all hoping for a more rational world, but none of us are perfect. Let's not demand perfection when none of us can give it. Let's be a little more understanding of irrational behaviour in others, in the short term, since none of us are perfectly rational either. And let's check our own irrational behaviours too, since we all have them. Rationality is still the goal, and we should still challenge irrationality unapologetically--as long as we, ourselves, don't end up doing something we will need to apologize for in the process.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!

Galvanized, Non-violent, Unapologetic
Cpt_pineapple's picture

I've been around 4 years, so

I've been around 4 years, so I doubt I could be dismissed as getting my info from a third or fourth source. I actually think the RRS is improving somewhat. When I first got here, they were saying that religion was a mental disorder because Tits Mckee read the DSM IV from front to back and was therefore an expert. Now they seem to shy away from making stupid claims, whether or not they still believe them I don't know [I wouldn't doubt it] but it [rightfully] got a lot of flack from the atheist community at the time.

I also remember their weekly show on skype, where they...also made stupid claims but they stopped that too.

So in other words, I think they're improving by not opening their mouths. By them I mean the "core" Sapient, Tits Mckee, Rook, etc....

As for some of the more vicious rumours, such as what Sapient is doing with the donation money, for example, I don't know and I'm not going to demand an audit. I found these claims to be based on speculation, and I doubt they'd be able to hold up in court.

That said, I do think that the RRS is still jumping the shark, assuming they were on the shark to begin with. I haven't seen much of the "GNU" atheists, or at least from many people who said they were GNU, but from the looks of it, I don't think they're on the shark either.

I don't even think atheists should be forming groups like GNU anyway, it opens them too much to group dynamics. That's one thing the RRS is getting right, not attaching labels  atheists, just getting atheists to be more active.

Vastet's picture

Great read. I remember

Great read. I remember running into some of the stuff you mentioned, and doing my own digging at the time, and coming to the same conclusion. The RRS and its original core has had bad bumps in the road, but that's the way life is. Fact of the matter is that it was one of the first, if not the first, high profile atheist site in North America. It's the first one I ever encountered that managed to pull off tv interviews and the like. Those involved in putting atheism in a good spotlight as they did should be proud of what they accomplished, regardless of whatever mistakes may have been made or what people have against them (real or imagined). And the RRS rolls on.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Answers in Gene Simmons's picture

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

Pineapple, you got the metaphor completely wrong. You don't jump off the shark. You jump over the shark.

 

It comes from a 70's American sit com about life in the 50's. One of the characters was an outlaw biker who would occasionally jump stuff with his motorcycle. Every time that they did it, the jumped stuff would be more impressive than before. In one episode, he literally jumped a shark. I will link you shortly but a couple of notes:

 

Notice that he is wearing his leather jacket while on water skis. The Fonz never appeared on camera without that specific prop.

 

Also of note is the speed boat pilot. That was a seventeen year old Ron Howard.

 

Now, on to the show:

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=

Kapkao's picture

Vastet wrote:Great read. I

Vastet wrote:
Great read. I remember running into some of the stuff you mentioned, and doing my own digging at the time, and coming to the same conclusion. The RRS and its original core has had bad bumps in the road, but that's the way life is. Fact of the matter is that it was one of the first, if not the first, high profile atheist site in North America. It's the first one I ever encountered that managed to pull off tv interviews and the like. Those involved in putting atheism in a good spotlight as they did should be proud of what they accomplished, regardless of whatever mistakes may have been made or what people have against them (real or imagined). And the RRS rolls on.

 

Similarly impressed, but not because moderator X or senior moderator Y happens to be a good keyboard commando. That one of the most prolific keyboard warriors also happens to be quite a senior member here, and even then apparently brags about it in a highly auspicious manner, positively impresses me even less. That some theists and atheists that have posted in the past absolutely can not withstand an opinion in opposition to their own, fails to impress me whatsoever*. I've met 100s just like them, BTDT, "a winner is not you/them", etc. You are welcome to be similarly unimpressed with my posts, but it still won't phase me. Of course, to mock someone for being a "Keyboard Warrior" does ignore the likelihood of me being such at one point in time or another in the plus fifteen years on the net. Also, I should point out before a flame war starts that this blogpost does not appear to revolve around one person. Not DJ, not Sapient, "Tits McKee", not Rook, Jake, Tom and Jerry, I AM AS GOD AS YOU, Max Hardcore, etc...

 

That I can say many cold, (arguably) calculated and narcissistic remarks here that wouldn't be allowed or tolerable anywhere else, and make the occasional salient point and run into several salient points in the process of reading, does impress me and will stick with my memory long after I have forgotten this-or-that atheist's twatish behavior. So yes, I do believe the rumors I've read about RRS so far are largely undeserved.

*DarthJosh? Mr Metaphysics? Care to make a rebuttal about this? Oh, sorry Metaphysics, you're banned, and Josh has a family life or some such to keep him busy. Out with the old, in with the new.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)

Kapkao's picture

Cpt_pineapple wrote:I've

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I've been around 4 years, so I doubt I could be dismissed as getting my info from a third or fourth source. I actually think the RRS is improving somewhat. When I first got here, they were saying that religion was a mental disorder because Tits Mckee read the DSM IV from front to back and was therefore an expert. Now they seem to shy away from making stupid claims, whether or not they still believe them I don't know [I wouldn't doubt it] but it [rightfully] got a lot of flack from the atheist community at the time.

I also remember their weekly show on skype, where they...also made stupid claims but they stopped that too.

So in other words, I think they're improving by not opening their mouths. By them I mean the "core" Sapient, Tits Mckee, Rook, etc....

As for some of the more vicious rumours, such as what Sapient is doing with the donation money, for example, I don't know and I'm not going to demand an audit. I found these claims to be based on speculation, and I doubt they'd be able to hold up in court.

That said, I do think that the RRS is still jumping the shark, assuming they were on the shark to begin with. I haven't seen much of the "GNU" atheists, or at least from many people who said they were GNU, but from the looks of it, I don't think they're on the shark either.

I don't even think atheists should be forming groups like GNU anyway, it opens them too much to group dynamics. That's one thing the RRS is getting right, not attaching labels  atheists, just getting atheists to be more active.

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

Pineapple, you got the metaphor completely wrong. You don't jump off the shark. You jump over the shark.

It comes from a 70's American sit com about life in the 50's. One of the characters was an outlaw biker who would occasionally jump stuff with his motorcycle. Every time that they did it, the jumped stuff would be more impressive than before. In one episode, he literally jumped a shark. I will link you shortly but a couple of notes:

Notice that he is wearing his leather jacket while on water skis. The Fonz never appeared on camera without that specific prop.

Also of note is the speed boat pilot. That was a seventeen year old Ron Howard.

Now, on to the show:

Picking nits, on the other hand, is something we could always work against. It's an almost universal ailment of discussions on the internet.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)

Wonderist's picture

Cpt_pineapple wrote:That

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
That said, I do think that the RRS is still jumping the shark, assuming they were on the shark to begin with. I haven't seen much of the "GNU" atheists, or at least from many people who said they were GNU, but from the looks of it, I don't think they're on the shark either.

We luv you 2, Cpt! We're still looking for the shark, but if you spot it, let us know, and we'll get right back on it!

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

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BobSpence's picture

natural wrote:Cpt_pineapple

natural wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
That said, I do think that the RRS is still jumping the shark, assuming they were on the shark to begin with. I haven't seen much of the "GNU" atheists, or at least from many people who said they were GNU, but from the looks of it, I don't think they're on the shark either.

We luv you 2, Cpt! We're still looking for the shark, but if you spot it, let us know, and we'll get right back on it!

Yeah - I want to see this shark, and wondering what being on the shark has to do with 'jumping' it.

Have you been drinking again, Cpt?

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

Answers in Gene Simmons's picture

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

Umm, Bob, look up a couple of videos. I posted the actual shark jump. It lack on cultural context though...

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=

Cpt_pineapple's picture

Aig how old do you think I

Aig how old do you think I am?

Answers in Gene Simmons's picture

You have already stated

You have already stated claims.  Do you now wish to assert your status of being a liar?

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=

Vastet's picture

Kapkao, are you sure you

Kapkao, are you sure you quoted the right response there? Nothing you responded with had any relation to anything I said.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Kapkao's picture

Vastet wrote:Kapkao, are you

Vastet wrote:
Kapkao, are you sure you quoted the right response there? Nothing you responded with had any relation to anything I said.

Yes, I did pick the right one. And I am similarly impressed as you are. Most of it has little to do with your post. That's stuff I added on at no additional charge.

(Yes, I probably did go off on a tangent there)

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)

Kapkao's picture

Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

You have already stated claims.  Do you now wish to assert your status of being a liar?

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)

Kapkao's picture

natural wrote:We are not

natural wrote:
We are not "anything goes", however. As I've expressed in this thread, we draw the line at actual unethical, illegal behaviour, and we also have some rules against spamming, empty ad hominems (with no supporting argument), harassment of individuals, and a few other things that 'cross the line'. But the lines are fairly clearly drawn, as anyone can read in the forum rules.

Unless it involves Jean Cauvin. Then absolutely fuck all happens. Most the board appears tired of reading his shitposts, and there's no shortage of caricature-worthy theists, so I'm at a loss why we keep him around. Or why anyone that wants a productive discussion would keep him around.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)

Wonderist's picture

Kapkao wrote:natural

Kapkao wrote:

natural wrote:
We are not "anything goes", however. As I've expressed in this thread, we draw the line at actual unethical, illegal behaviour, and we also have some rules against spamming, empty ad hominems (with no supporting argument), harassment of individuals, and a few other things that 'cross the line'. But the lines are fairly clearly drawn, as anyone can read in the forum rules.

Unless it involves Jean Cauvin. Then absolutely fuck all happens. Most the board appears tired of reading his shitposts, and there's no shortage of caricature-worthy theists, so I'm at a loss why we keep him around. Or why anyone that wants a productive discussion would keep him around.

Honestly, I rarely read anything of his, so some of this may be due to unawareness. If you believe he's 'crossed the line', that's a totally legitimate thing to bring up. We'll review it and take action if necessary. Maybe you could post something in the VIP forum, or Freethinking Anonymous, if you're serious?

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Kapkao's picture

It certainly seems like he's

It certainly seems like he's crossed the line, given what you have said. Shocked As for recently done anything, or anything you aren't aware of,  I don't have the first damn clue.

 

BTW, is it necessarily true Cpt Alice isn't very high on the totem pole around RRS? Cuz it certainly seems like it.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)

Wonderist's picture

Depends what you mean by

Depends what you mean by totem pole. She's an unapologetic critic of many of us, but she's also a long-time member with tons of contributions to discussions. We respect her highly as a person, but it's ups and downs on her opinions, depending on the topic. I think she's a very good example of the kind of thing I was talking about above, in terms of disagreeing loudly, but not throwing each other under the bus over it. I was only half-sarcastic in my comment to her.

Edit: Let me put it this way. If I ever threw an RRS get-together party (which, merely due to circumstances, is actually extremely unlikely for me), she would be one of the first people invited.

Edit 2: We would only need to work out the logistics of who guards the liquor cabinet. 

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DanDare's picture

Interesting read, thanks. I

Interesting read, thanks. I remember vaguely hearing some snark about RRS a long time ago, but I didn't now anything about RRS or care much at the time. And obviously for a newbie to the forum I have no idea who is being discussed in the comments, but I can see history there.

 

I like that a number of forums have built up cultures that rotate around the idea of reasoned discussion but have very different styles. These seem to be the heavyweight core of a very nebulous network of rationalist, old hands and learners, from around the planet.

If an individual can't have

If an individual can't have science(I must be misunderstanding you, because science isn't really something one can possess) and religion, then what about all the people who had religion to some extent or another who helped build science up into what we have today?

 

Did they lack science somehow or does it not count because it was just proto-science rather than the proper science we have today?  Is there enough evidence to really argue that they were all closeted atheists or deists?

 

Or do we pretend that the past isn't relevant and only modern science and modern religion are?