Monday, February 11, 2013

Be Skeptical

In case you don't know it there has been some talk about 'peace talks' as a remedy to the current disagreement among skeptics and some FTB bloggers/A+/skepchicks. PZ Myers has addressed this idea and dismissed it, but for different reasons than mine. PZ thinks that anyone who disagrees with him doesn't respect women. I'm not sure when PZ came to the conclusion he was the end all/be all when it came to what people should think and how they should act. I wonder, did he have some sort of vision? While he eating his alpha-bits cereal one morning did it spell genyous and he thought it was a sign? Did a strip cage fall and hit him on the head while he was 'out with the fellas'? While that mystery may never be solved we still need to deal with the results. PZ has a well known blog. In the past he was at least on our side and focused all his immature behavior at creationists. Now he has dismissed any suggestion he use the scientific method when it comes to social issues. There is only one method for him, his way.
  Now while PZ and I agree that there are not going to be any 'peace talks' that will solve anything, he doesn't echo my reasoning in that I don't think there is any infighting between atheist/skeptics. The atheist/skeptics are doing fine, the atheists are still atheists and the skeptics are still skeptical. Then we have  this other group of poser skeptics.
PZ Myers and company are to skepticism what these guys are to Slayer
We don't need peace talks, we don't need debate. We need to keep in mind what it is that defines us. I'm going to leave atheism out of the rest of this discussion because it really is specific and no matter how many +es you add to it your idea stems from a specific belief and that limits the effectiveness of it. Whoever came up with A+ as a title for a 'next wave' was clearly not well-versed in the already existing groups involved in secularism.
 That leaves us with skeptics. Steven Novella has an excellent blog post where he discusses the role of skeptics. His original post is followed by his reply to popular 'poser skeptic' PZ Myers.

PZ says the following in his reply to calls for a cease fire-
 "They have not said what I’m supposed to stop doing or change…well, other than stop being an evil feminist or whatever, which we know isn’t going to happen. It also doesn’t matter what they want, I’m not planning to change anything."

  I think it is very important to note that PZ Myers has condemned the forum which goes by the name  Slymepit. He refuses to allow anyone who has anything to do with the slymepit to comment on his blogs. If someone from there does leave a comment it is removed and the person is subject to "instant ban" or the comment is "disemvoweled" (no I'm not talking about about a third grade kid, he really does that)
 PZ can not see how this is not a reasonable position, he thinks everything is science on his blog. That's why he is a poser skeptic. (and he is also a few rides short of a carnival)

PZ also says "My silence on issues I care about will not be a bargaining chip." There may be someone  who has a problem with PZ trying to gain equal rights for women but I don't know who it is . If anyone does know who PZ has been getting this idea from then please let me know cause I would like to tell that person to pass a message to PZ.- QUIT ENGAGING IN CHARACTER ASSASSINATION, QUIT SPREADING GOSSIP/DISINFORMATION, AND QUIT LYING ABOUT THE WAY YOU DEAL WITH OPPOSING OPINIONS
This person that he seems to be drawing his conclusions from could possibly be the only person on earth PZ Myers actually listens to. He doesn't listen to any of the people who disagree with him about his behavior. In fact, if you read his post it will leave you in awe. If ignorance is bliss PZ Myers is multi-orgasmic when it comes to his behavior. The degree of retarded social development he would have to possess in order to take his position on this subject is incredible. He makes Charles Manson look like Dick Clark. when you compare skills at social interaction......poser skeptic.
  The slymepit forum is not against women's rights. A short visit to the forum will prove that. Some of the humor is a bit juvenile or raunchy for some and the language is not the type you blurt out in the library but no one is trying to censor thoughts and no one is wishing any harm on others. Now as a contrast to the slymepit  lets take a look at the interaction in the Pharyngula comment section on this post . A guy named scooterskutre posted  a link that was related to the subject of the blog. He is attacked by the band of merry morons. Even after he posts a link to a very friendly  podcast he did with PZ and Rebecca Watson and tells the morons he considers PZ a friend. Well, the guy gets overwhelmed by stupidity and is never even given a sliver of mercy by the head moron running the blog.

  Now I think that we have established that the current main mouthpiece against skepticism is PZ Myers. I have given you some reasons/examples why his position is not one that indicates much if any level of skeptical ability.
  If there is anyone reading this who disagrees then I would love to hear you explain to me how PZ can know none of the people in the slymepit forum is worthy of respect. How can a person take such a position and still be considered a skeptic? Poser skeptic
 The good news in all this is there really is no divide or rift in the skeptical community. Just as there really is no debate over evolution being true. Sure there are some who don't believe in evolution but their arguments cant stand up. They just look silly and it is quite easy to prove evolution is a sound scientific theory. There may be some holes or gaps in it still but there is no gap large enough to cause the entire idea to collapse. Even a poser skeptic could win the argument between creationism vs evolution.(example: PZ Myers)
  Same thing when it comes to skepticism. There are real skeptics(evolution), and there are poser skeptics(creationists). People who realize they can not judge a person or an entire group of people without knowledge, real knowledge, or tested results are skeptics. Those who think an internet post or the actions of one person define everyone they associate with are not skeptics, they are posers. People who call for the shunning of others simply because they won't unite in a certain mindset are posers. Skeptics do not need to lie, or ban/block large amounts of people. Skeptics take the best evidence they have and form an opinion based on only what they know is true or they hold off until they have enough evidence. Poser skeptics make assumptions based on what they want to be true or what supports the things they have claimed to be true without facts in the past. Skeptics realize there are reasons words have solid definitions and those definitions do not change at a flick of a switch.
    I have come out against the 'peace talks' because there really is no divide between two like -minded groups and because some of the problems I had with people pretending to be skeptics were not up for debate. There is no debate whether Adam lee is going to tell me what words I can use or the context I intended when using certain words.There is no debate on whether I am a racist like PZ Myers has said. There is no debate over whether I am able to have a respectful conversation with another person. That I can do so has been proven hundreds of times. Still the poser skeptics refuse to acknowledge any of the proof. That would take the wind from their sails. If they were to do so then they would be admitting to being posers. Rather than do that they will keep piling more and more sand on their already well buried heads. All that sand is enough to fill quite a wide divide.
  The fact that many of the poser skeptics are atheists really means nothing, they may as well all like the color blue. The fact they come to conclusions without any solid proof to support those conclusions makes them posers. The way they fill in any gaps with disinformation and don't realize the problem with that makes them posers. The expectation they have for others to blindly follow them makes them dumb, but least they are not posers in that respect I guess that is something.
  There is no divide because Skeptics are skeptical. This is all anyone expects and all they demand. Be skeptical, just that. Until this happens some people will only be posers there is no disagreement about that among real skeptics


  1. Hi Reap,

    I do agree PZ and many have checked their skepticism at the door, so to speak and that is probably the most annoying thing to me,admittedly being an outsider on the issues. You almost go into a "no true Scotsman" fallacy at the end but it doesn't damper your point and I agree mostly. The "Peace Talks" really are an exercise or better yet a demonstration of the character of each "side". I'm sure that Lee knows that this will drive the PZ+ people deeper on the fringes and a lot of reasonable people will see the behavior of both sides and make up their own mind and hopeful not shun your side along with PZ's just to "stay neutral" and stagnate the movement. Politicians use "peace negotiations" and "talks" all of the time to show the world that they are reasonable and the other side is not. Anyway, keep it up Reap, I appreciate your blog and all the podcast you do, (please don't ban me for not agreeing 100% haha :)

  2. Reap, as usual you put it straight up and straight forward. I can understand your frustration as even old pals of yours like Lee Moore and the hosts of Post Rapture Looting are painting anyone with your objections to this hypocrisy as no different than people like PZ who regularly abuse their positions by attacking others unfairly. According to this growing cowardly bunch of atheists anyone who stands up against bullies are bullies themselves. Fuck'em. Show me the evidence or shut the fuck up is what I say. I appreciate that you and Al haven't rolled over. You have integrity