Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Debate With No Sides

What actual debate may look like

   So I am over at the A-News post where Lee Moore is attempting to put together a debate in order to stop the fighting between some of the FTB blogger/skepchick and A+ supporters on  one side and the other side comprised of all the people who aren't overly concerned about the things the FTB blogger/skepchick and A+ supporters are ranting about, and a forum which goes by  the name Slymepit. In case you don't know it I am maybe a bit biased towards the slymepit . I am not however, an unfair man. I take pride in being straightforward, honest, and blunt as a rule. This has caused many people to dislike me but it is their own issue, I can do little about it.

PLEASE NOTE- Not official slymepit logo

 Please note I am only speaking from my perspective. This comment was originally in reply to Matt Dillahunty claiming Renne Hendricks and John Welch were misrepresenting claims which they were not doing IMO.(here) I doubt Matt will reconsider his position at this point  so I figured it may be better to offer a public reply that others may consider, or not.
Matt Dillahunty says:
They’re not telling you where you may roam. They’ve been asked to participate and they’re defining who they’re willing to negotiate with. It’s not only acceptable, it’s the norm – and it’s a good idea.
If you’re going to debate or negotiate, you want people who are willing to make decisions based on reason and who are willing to denounce slimy attacks.
When people, like you and John, misrepresent the claims from the other side, you exacerbate the problem an inhibit progress.

  There is a reason the slymepit was created and has grown. Each individual has their own story. PZ Myers has dismissed the entire forum as evil and hateful, unworthy of consideration. Over 500 people all declared no better than creationists (or even worse) by one of the more influential (arguably) atheist bloggers on the internet. Also a man who is a regular speaker at  conferences. Why? Because people want to listen to him. That is an important fact to remember as you read this or if you wonder why I am writing about the subject.Well, he is, in some cases, a liar. He also has demonstrated a lack of reason and responsibility by condemning the slymepit.There is a clear issue with PZ Myers, he is the catalyst in this. His readership and influence have enabled him to keep this entire thing going by accusing many skeptics/atheists of being potential rapists, racist, misogynist, and sexist. Not to mention the usual name calling you expect from a college professor like asshole or dumbass and then banning people who take issue with being treated that way. What does anyone expect to result from such behavior? Along with A+ which was an outright declaration of Us vs Them to many people. This was then supported by Richard Carrier in his blog posts. Throw in some Adam Lee, Lousy Canuck, Ophelia Benson and other random players, you get what we see today. It would have been nice to see some reason and logic pop up among the popular figures but they were all too busy staying out of it. Now we have a mess that isn't going to be resolved easily. I got involved because of the attack on Justin Vacula, it was just wrong. I refused to sit and watch as a young, active, energetic, and sometimes overeager adult was attacked and his character assassinated because he pissed off the wrong group of immature skeptics. When I stood up for him then I was a target. I'm not going to be anyone's target. I am going to answer back in my own style. That is what I am guilty of. I am guilty of informing people who want to tell me what it is I mean, to screw off. I am guilty of telling people who claim I am a racist or misogynist, despite overwhelming evidence showing that is not the case, to shut the hell up. As far as I am concerned there is no debate over the things I have a problem with. I am not going to debate whether it is okay to accuse me of being a racist or anything else because I didn't allow someone to do as they pleased while I sat silent and watched. There is one side that carries the brunt of this and it is those who are casting judgement on others when they can not possibly know what they say is true. It is a catastrophic failure in skepticism because it harms people on a personal level. That is the misrepresentation you should be paying attention to.

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