11
Feb
10

Let the Flames Begin!

Time to fisk this comment; this was originally a reply, but it merits its own post.
I thought about summarizing, but it would be just as long

you have no idea what point he was trying to make.

In his POST, yes, I do; in the original comment thread, nope.

Which is exactly what he wanted – to have his vicious smears tacitly accepted as people assumed he was talking about actual behaviors and focused on the alleged problem in the abstract.

You know, I figured out he was referencing you after reading the comments, but again, the comments are not what I was referencing as a meta-meta. I was dealing with the abstract sense of the discussion. That’s kind of what a “tangent” involves, is it not?

And since his alleged “point” alluded to the behavior of certain people at certain blogs without demonstrating it, you need to address that

But I wasn’t interested in that, I was only interested in the ABSTRACTION and an idea it brought up, perhaps you don’t understand that. Additionally, I don’t NEED to address anything I don’t feel like addressing.

– not simply proceed as though this has been established

Yet again, I wasn’t, I was discussing a tangential and separate idea. That of self-correction and how we should proceed with it as a very loose-knit group. Both on the side of the correctee and the correcter.

Otherwise, you are complicit with his dishonest, baseless accusations

No, I didn’t care about the validity of the accusation, I was interested in an idea it brought up. Do you not get that?

Clearly. And what kind of person does that make you? I hope you don’t expect anyone to speak up for you if you’re accused of something like that, to demand some support for the allegation

No, I really don’t, I generally accept criticisms, evaluate them, and move on, generally trying to find out what I did that they think is wrong. If you’d like an example, the instance where DuWayne thought I was arguing for accommodationism is a perfect example. Come to think of it, your accusation that I was agreeing with Greg on what he said about you is also baseless. HELP, SOMEONE DEFEND ME! (No, really, don’t)

If you read the other thread and believe he was right to say what he did, explain why, offering specifics. If not, you have an obligation to acknowledge that.

I still haven’t made a judgment on it, I’ve stated that already. I, even having READ it ALL, STILL don’t have a conclusion. It just made my eyes hurt, my head hurt, and I’m just as curious as to how this exploded in the first place. I repeat, yet again, that this was a meta-meta discussion concerning an idea tangentially related to a tangent post by Greg. It’s like saying discussion of PCR is the same as discussion of histone modification, so I need to provide examples of where histone modification takes place and how it works before I can discuss PCR.

You should have done so in your post. If this is a real problem that people should avoid, then it would make sense to talk about what specific kind of language you think people should avoid, using real examples.

I should have, huh? Do you even know what the post was about yet? Are you still too blinded by your initial disagreement? I’ll let you reread my post, figure out what it’s about, and discuss it. It has NOTHING to do with ANYTHING involved in your or Greg’s comments. People keep trying to make it about that, it’s not. If anything, your initial conversation and subsequent argument provides an example of “self-correction” to which I was referring. I’m still hoping it ends up being “self-correction” instead of “self-destruction.”

No one is saying there are no examples, just that if you don’t provide them in this context you are supporting a dishonest presentation of the situation.

So, I should provide examples of how histone modification applies to PCR? It doesn’t! My conversation about this is only distantly related to the initial topic. What do I need examples of? I can do that, just ask. Quit confusing me for Greg. I didn’t make ANY accusations about you, hell, that fucking post had nothing to do with ANY specific accusations, it has to do with pointing out when someone is incorrect.

You’re telling people what they need to beware of doing in the vaguest way possible without providing any substantive examples of anyone actually doing it.

No, I’m telling people they need to keep an eye on what everyone ELSE is saying, as well as listen to criticism. Self-correction, remember, it goes both ways.
Considering you think me “blindly agreeing with Greg,” I only have to laugh. I’m not even making a CLAIM about what you said, or what Greg said in that context, I am, indeed, not making any claims anywhere. I was only stating what I gathered he was saying. For my post, it doesn’t matter. The discussion should be regarding how we approach issues between one another.

And for reference, yet again, I am not agreeing with Greg, or you, I only think he was trying to make the following point:
“He is not saying she is antisemitic, he is saying her statement could seem antisemitic. He also stated that he doesn’t think she is, but it could be easily misunderstood to be.”
Based upon this quotation:

Much of your commentary together with this statement could lead some people to assume that you have some serious antisemitic issues to deal with. I’m not saying that, but I just want you to know that it could look this way. (I don’t happen to think it is the case.)

I shall repeat: I NEVER stated I agreed with Greg, I only stated what I gathered from his statements on the post here. Please do not confuse one for the other.

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34 Responses to “Let the Flames Begin!”


  1. 1 Recall
    February 12, 2010 at 3:32 am

    I only explain it this way because, for example, think of the last time you heard a moderate Christian criticize a fundamentalist Christian, or the last time you heard a moderate Islamic cleric condemn terrorist acts in the name of Allah? When was the last time you heard an atheist criticize another atheist for being wrong?

    I see all three happen all the time. Where were you going with that?

  2. 2 jaredcormier
    February 12, 2010 at 3:51 am

    That was the whole point of the post…

    DuWayne, I think, summed it up best:

    It is much better to criticize a friend, than to hope that someone else will do it. When you criticize a friend, they will likely listen. When someone else who is not a friend does it, it is just as likely to get their back up and dig their heels.

  3. 3 Recall
    February 12, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    To be fair, his criticism wasn’t very helpful. Even if we take everything he asserted as given, how was anyone supposed to improve their speach?

  4. 4 jaredcormier
    February 12, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Who is “he” and I already explained my opinion of the second part of your question; the answer is “listen to your friends.”

  5. 5 Recall
    February 13, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Greg Laden, in the ‘Firing Squad’ post. I was wondering what you what sort of action you thought Laden was prescribing in that paticular post.

  6. 6 jaredcormier
    February 13, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I don’t think he was recommending any particular behavior, just asking people to think about what they say a bit more, keeping in mind discriminations and genocides which have occurred.

  7. 7 Recall
    February 14, 2010 at 1:23 am

    And likewise you should keep in mind this country’s history of witchhunts for ‘godless Communists’ in mind when you ask atheists to be careful with what they say.

  8. February 14, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Whatever personality wars are linked to that original post of Greg’s aside, I think the possibility of people bigotted against a specific kind of religious expression finding refuge and support in a community of sufficiently anti-theistic atheists is very real. What it highlights, actually, is the difficulty of discriminating between dislike of religion in general, dislike of a specific religion, and dislike of practitioners of a specific religion. And, of course, the problem of discerning which of those are considered bigotry in of itself or what specific rationale for the dislike, or expressions of dislike count as bigotry. Hard to say where the boundaries, honestly. Blame untold centuries in which religious affiliation is treated as if it were property of an individual rather than just a collection of ideas that can be praised or criticized like any other.

  9. 9 jaredcormier
    February 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Seeker, that is precisely what I took out of it.

    Recall, please indicate the recent time in which thousands of atheists were rounded up and shipped to labor/death camps on the basis of religious or political affiliation. I would greatly appreciate this for future reference. You can’t equate “anti-communist witch hunts” for genocide, no matter how much you would like to.

  10. 10 Recall
    February 14, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Why must I conflate the two? Surely, the McCarthy era can be a vital cautionary tale on its own.

  11. 11 jaredcormier
    February 14, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Actually, I’m saying that you shouldn’t conflate the two.

    While the McCarthy era does indicate how paranoid asshats can use rhetoric to encourage discrimination against specific people based upon a “group” they “belong” to, it still didn’t involve millions of people being killed. No matter how badly “atheists” have been discriminated against, it does not, nor will it ever, give anyone the right to discriminate against anyone or to encourage such behaviors or statements.

    I know the “tu quoque” fallacy isn’t well known, but it is still (at least a variation of it) what you are applying here. “We were also discriminated against” doesn’t mean “we have the right to discriminate or encourage discrimination.” If discrimination is wrong, being previously discriminated against doesn’t mean that person has the right to turn around and do the same. It’s still wrong.

  12. 12 Recall
    February 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Is ‘tu quoque’ Latin for expecting someone to follow their own rules? If you want other people to be mindful of history and watch what they say, you should be expected to do the same.

  13. 13 jaredcormier
    February 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    No, “tu quoque” means “you, also.” Your argument is that just because person A is guilty of C (the same thing he or she was criticizing B for), he or she should not make any statements regarding that behavior. What it should mean is that B can use A’s arguments against them to demonstrate inconsistency, not say that C is acceptable just because person A is also guilty of it.

  14. 14 Recall
    February 14, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    I never said you shouldn’t make any statements; I just said you should watch what you say. It’s interesting how that phrase takes on a different meaning when someone else says it to you.

  15. 15 jaredcormier
    February 14, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    And likewise you should keep in mind this country’s history of witchhunts for ‘godless Communists’ in mind when you ask atheists to be careful with what they say.

    and

    Is ‘tu quoque’ Latin for expecting someone to follow their own rules? If you want other people to be mindful of history and watch what they say, you should be expected to do the same.

    Between the two of those, I concluded that argument.

  16. 16 Recall
    February 15, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Perhaps you should reread the ALLCAPS portion of your own post and remember that this is an abstract discussion.

    I am, as you put it, not recomending any particular behaviour.

  17. 17 jaredcormier
    February 15, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Recall, precisely what are you implying? I really would like clarification before I jump to the conclusion that you are just trying to derail a legitimate conversation.

  18. 18 Recall
    February 15, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Consider this comment from Greg Laden’s blog:

    Do you understand that they are things that are deliberately vague, deliberately elusive, designed to sound just like the things people say every day without any ill intent or possibly even ill effect (i.e., like the things SC said), designed to be impossible to object to without the objection looking paranoid?

    To me, this resembles a type of thought that expresses itself as a destructive form of hyper-vigilence to perceived threats. It pops up again and again in American history, and we should be aware of it when we express it ourselves.

  19. 19 jaredcormier
    February 15, 2010 at 1:47 am

    …that statement above makes no sense; strike 2

  20. 20 Recall
    February 15, 2010 at 4:12 am

    That quoted comment doesn’t stike you as the slightest bit paranoid?

  21. 21 jaredcormier
    February 15, 2010 at 10:50 am

    nope

  22. February 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    OK, Jared, if I posted on my blog that I had evidence that you’re a child molester, then later posted about how easy it was for child molesters to thrive in a group to which you belong, I assume you wouldn’t be bothered by other bloggers then linking to and using that as a jumping-off point to an abstract meta-meta discussion about child molestation.

    Look, I’m asking for examples of the sort of behavior that you think people should “think” about, the language that comes across as bigoted, the actual realized instances of this alleged possibility. Anything is possible – you need to show that it’s happening in a way that warrants people’s concern, and offer some idea of what language you’re talking about if you expect positive change. If you provide nothing specific, your post is worse than useless, on top of being unethically willfully oblivious.

    You should think about your own words more carefully.

  23. 23 jaredcormier
    February 15, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I rather like your analogy, SC; I would certainly have no problems at all with other bloggers using that as a jumping-off point to abstract discussions on child molestation. I may have a problem with the original post, if, of course, it were unsubstantiated, but the abstract discussion itself isn’t a problem. Additionally, my post was a question about self-correction, you, and others, keep trying to bring it back to the original post which got me on the tangent itself.

    If you want examples of where rhetoric can come off as bigoted: in this thread, alone, I can demonstrate language which could come across, to the naive observer, as bigoted; the above equating of the McCarthy era “communist witch-hunts” to the Shoah is a wonderful example of things which can seem quite antisemitic. They are two completely different events with vastly differing effects on the individuals targeted and the reasons they were targeted.

    While I agree with you that evidence should be provided for accusations, (in your case, you requested evidence that the US-left was antisemitic) saying this particular individual’s heritage has nothing to do with the discussion ignores the fact that he or she may actually have experienced such discrimination.

    I will remind you, and others, yet again-for the last time, that this post is not the place to discuss the point Greg was making; discuss it with him. This is to discuss self-correction within communities. I’ve explained this numerous times, and I’m getting very tired of having to say the same thing over and over and over and over.

    Trying to get a tangential post back to the original topic is very annoying. Indeed, I could take the entire discussion between you and Greg as a horrible example of self-correction gone very wrong, if it continues in the current direction.

  24. February 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    “I rather like your analogy, SC; I would certainly have no problems at all with other bloggers using that as a jumping-off point to abstract discussions on child molestation.”

    You’re either lying or a complete idiot.

    “If you want examples of where rhetoric can come off as bigoted: in this thread, alone, I can demonstrate language which could come across, to the naive observer, as bigoted; the above equating of the McCarthy era “communist witch-hunts” to the Shoah is a wonderful example of things which can seem quite antisemitic.”

    That is quite explicitly not what was being done.

    “While I agree with you that evidence should be provided for accusations, (in your case, you requested evidence that the US-left was antisemitic) saying this particular individual’s heritage has nothing to do with the discussion ignores the fact that he or she may actually have experienced such discrimination.”

    You’re illiterate.

    “This is to discuss self-correction within communities.”

    And self-correction of what precisely was what I was asking for examples of. Now that you’ve given a supposed example, I am confirmed in thinking that you’re not worth bothering with. Yours was a worthless post. Have the last word.

  25. 25 jaredcormier
    February 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Why bother? You have already concluded I am an illiterate idiot, so any more discussion with you would be a waste of my and your time. If you are actually interested, I give you the following:

    I’m asking for examples of the sort of behavior that you think people should “think” about, the language that comes across as bigoted

    That is not the same as: “self-correction of what precisely was what I was asking for examples of”

    That is quite explicitly not what was being done

    Really?
    I said:

    just asking people to think about what they say a bit more, keeping in mind discriminations and genocides which have occurred.

    And Recall responded:

    And likewise you should keep in mind this country’s history of witchhunts for ‘godless Communists’ in mind when you ask atheists to be careful with what they say.

    It was a cheap “well, I’ve also been discriminated against, so I don’t care about what has happened to other people.”

    I’m glad you disagree, perhaps, given more discussion, we could figure out why we disagree. Resorting to stating that I am “illiterate” and an “idiot” effectively stops the conversation. You provide, in a stroke, a wonderful example of how not to handle confrontation or disagreement.

  26. February 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    “No matter how badly “atheists” have been discriminated against,”

    Before I go, I want to point out that people have been rounded up, tortured, had their children taken away, and killed by firing squads (sometimes with guns blessed by priests) for being leftists in fascist and Catholic dictatorships, and sometimes their primary “crime” was atheism or opposition to the Church. (And don’t think for a second that people haven’t been persecuted as anarchist atheist Jews.) I know this because I have read their accounts of harassment, imprisonment, and torture, spending years in archives studying this history. My personal and professional commitment to studying authoritarianism and political violence and their causes, as I mentioned at Laden’s blog, was born from years of studying the Holocaust, fascism, and resistance.

    “it does not, nor will it ever, give anyone the right to discriminate against anyone or to encourage such behaviors or statements”

    Which you haven’t shown people are doing or advocating, so your obvious point is moot.

  27. February 15, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    “It was a cheap “well, I’ve also been discriminated against, so I don’t care about what has happened to other people.””

    Like I said – illiterate.

  28. 28 jaredcormier
    February 15, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Yet again, the Inquisition is not the same as the Holocaust.

    If you have studied authoritarianism-I believe you, but the point is moot-please answer me this question:

    During cases of genocide, what group actually commits the bulk of the actions; are they died-in-the-wool believers?

  29. February 15, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    “‘I’m asking for examples of the sort of behavior that you think people should “think” about, the language that comes across as bigoted’

    That is not the same as: “self-correction of what precisely was what I was asking for examples of””

    Yes, they are exactly the same request.

    “stating that I am “illiterate” and an “idiot” effectively stops the conversation”

    Yes, that was my intention. I’m not interested in having an online debate with an illiterate idiot.

    OK, now I’m done.

  30. 30 Recall
    February 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    If you want examples of where rhetoric can come off as bigoted: in this thread, alone, I can demonstrate language which could come across, to the naive observer, as bigoted; the above equating of the McCarthy era “communist witch-hunts” to the Shoah is a wonderful example of things which can seem quite antisemitic.

    I’m sorry for offending your rhetorical sockpuppet.

    They are two completely different events with vastly differing effects on the individuals targeted and the reasons they were targeted.

    They are both things that were sufficiently bad enough that we should take care to avoid them in the future.

    They are two completely different events with vastly differing effects on the individuals targeted and the reasons they were targeted.

    And as I’ve said repeatedly, I’m using the Red Scare as a case example of a certain type of paranoid discourse prevalent in American society from time to time.

  31. 31 jaredcormier
    February 15, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Yes, Recall, I agree these instances of paranoia and scare tactics are wonderful examples of rhetoric which has real consequences for many individuals; any behavior which targets large groups based upon a perceived threat is something we should go out of our way to avoid. I have yet to argue with you about that.

    I am simply stating that countering the drum-beat paranoia with equally caustic rhetoric is not the way to do it. Comparing the “Red Scare” to the Holocaust does nothing in the context of this discussion other than giving the appearance of antisemitism.

  32. 32 Recall
    February 15, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Comparing the “Red Scare” to the Holocaust does nothing in the context of this discussion other than giving the appearance of antisemitism.

    No, I was comparing your speech, and your behaviour to the mentality behind the Red Scare. By the way, I didn’t coin the term, so there’s no need for quotation marks.

  33. 33 jaredcormier
    February 15, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    I know, but you didn’t specify which one, so I was justified in the use of quotation marks. In which way is my mentality like that of the Red Scare? Do you think me being paranoid about something?

  34. 34 jaredcormier
    February 16, 2010 at 4:53 am

    I’ve read this far too many times, and the arguments seem to jump around more than a Jack Russell on amphetamines. Underhanded attempts at insults are then thrown, effectively derailing any hope of peripeteia. I have no idea why this happened not once, not twice, but three times.

    I think I finally understand why SC was so pissed off at Greg, though. It took me over six hours of tracking down and reading practically every single comment made by either of the two on Pharyngula going back far longer than I care to think, and on Greg’s post on civility (among others). Fundamentally, it deals with a misunderstanding and not an actual disagreement; something which should have actually be rather easily alleviated.

    I’m not going to spend my time bashing either of them, because, honestly, this could serve as an example of how not to handle a disagreement.

    Finally, after all of my own confusion, I have been corrected, if only just a little, and left knowing less than when I began.

    I end this thread with a rather cute observation:

    “stating that I am “illiterate” and an “idiot” effectively stops the conversation”

    Yes, that was my intention. I’m not interested in having an online debate with an illiterate idiot.

    in light of this previous one:

    I’m tired of this. He, a major participant in this debate, has behaved badly towards people and shut down communication

    Any comments relevant to how frequently self-correction fails within a community are happily welcomed.


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