Archive for Freethought Blogs

Random shit for Friday (#triggerwarning: #bullshit)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2014 by Anton A. Hill

I’m seriously gotta take a break from Twitter. I whined about this in my hangout with Frank Skiff. I swear I see something on Twit and Facebook almost every day that pisses me off.

And not even religious shit.

I’m gonna name some names so if you don’t like that, or a ramble fest, go away.

First up, @infuriousbeauty on Twitter told me blah blah misogyny, blah blah, I’m male, therefore STFU. I don’t give a shit when total random strangers tell me to STFU. I actually find it pretty amusing. What irritated me was that she said that criticism of her point (which was some bullshit on males and misogyny) was invalidating to her as a woman.

Right.

Think whatever bullshit you want on the world being run by a patriarchic cabal of misogynists (who hate women). To some small degree, I don’t really care. Crazy is as crazy is. But to equate calling bullshit on bullshit to invalidation… is bullshit. No one, and I even mean us evil white, male, heterosexuals, gets to spew bullshit and be granted a pass because, you know, criticism of one’s bullshit •feels• like invalidation. If I invalidate you, you’ll know. It’ll sound something like, “You’re fucking stupid.” Or, “You’re invalid.” Or, “Shut the fuck up.”

I said none of those.

I questioned the validity of her point/claim. Granted, such questioning may feel uncomfortable, but that’s not my responsibility.

I then asked if, per her reasoning, as a gimp, do I get to say whatever the fuck I want and call anyone ableist who dares call out my bullshit?

Piss, moan, whine.

Here come the names! Yesterday, I see a F’book post by Dave Muscato in which he says he heard someone tell a sexist joke and, gee, what’s to be done? Better call the motherfuckers out on their misogyny!!

I like Dave. He rocks that goatee like nobody (except maybe The Rock). But what the fuck? First, and this annoyed the hell out of me, Dave equated “sexism” with “misogyny.” No, he didn’t literally say, “These two are equal,” but he used them equally. As synonyms.

They’re not.

And I’ll prove they’re not. From dictionary.com:

Misogyny: hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.

Sexism: 1. attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles. 2. discrimination or devaluation based on a person’s sex, as in restricted job opportunities; especially, such discrimination directed against women.

Granted, “devaluation” enters the territory loosely bordering the desert of “hatred,” but it’s not equal thereto.

And yes, I know, an appeal to a dictionary is essentially an appeal to authority; however dictionaries are archives of occurring linguistic phenomena. When languages change, dictionaries reflect that.

And yes, I’m aware that Australia up and decided that “misogyny” and “sexism” are, in fact, synonyms. That’s a separate linguistic discussion, but for now I’ll just say: bullshit.

Back to Muscato. I have a sincere question for you, Dave. Do you care as much about fact as your very public atheism would seem to presume? Because you don’t seem to. You seem to embrace at least two terms (possibly more) and their misuse… because fuck accuracy.

But that’s a small issue. My greater concern with Dave’s post was that he then went on to say how he wasn’t gonna back down from calling people out for sexist/misogynist jokes.

Okay.

I called bullshit on where he drew his line and how he decided that’s where it should be drawn.

Then fucking Penn Jillette stole my goddamn thunder. :) He basically schooled Dave on who the fuck is he to say anything about humor?? (I’ll re-post if I can.)

I mean, seriously, Dave. Honestly. I totally get that there is humor out there that even I would consider in poor taste. But man is it a fuzzy, gray area that whole “taste” thing. What would I do if someone told what I considered a really offensive joke? I don’t know. I wonder, though, what will you, or anyone else do with these?

Q: What’s the first thing a blonde says when she wakes up?
A: Are all you guys on the same football team?

Q: What does Helen Keller do when she falls off a cliff?
A: •Miming fanatic hand-shaking•

Both are in poor taste. Both I find hilarious. Yes, even as a gimp.

Finally, and this is minimal, I saw reference to somebody on Freethought Blogs whom I’d never heard of. The headline was something about sexism and jokes.

Seriously, when the fuck did jokes become the Great Satan??

I didn’t even bother. To quote a billion shrieking social justice warriors, “I don’t need you to tell me what I should find funny.”

“vlog|7 31 13″ w/ no tags* ’cause I’m sick of flame wars!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2014 by Anton A. Hill

I totally missed doing a Random Shit for Friday because I had a long week and took a nap and here we are technically Saturday morning. It’s kinda too bad too as I was gonna write about a few things that have been nagging and I didn’t. Although it’s just as well because I made a bit of a jackass out of myself yesterday on Twitter and I was debating whether to write about it and I’m kind of glad I didn’t.

So here’s this. It’s the third last of the uploads that I never got around to posting here. And that’s not including the ones I have left to edit and upload. Yes, from months ago. Yes, I’ll get around to it. No, I don’t know when.

Anyway:

*In grabbing the YouTube link, I was looking forward to seeing whom to tag on the Twitter post and felt a sinking feeling as I’d basically be calling out everyone… which I don’t feel like doing. “Why the fuck did you call them out in the vlong, then, asshole?” you might be wondering. Well, because as much as I’d announced at the time that I was trying not to shit on people publicly, I guess I hadn’t fully gotten it out of my system yet.

“vlog|11 19 13″ #LeeMoore w/ @WeAreAtheism, #EllenBethWachs’ apologia, @Dan_Aykroyd’s #woo, & #FtB!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2013 by Anton A. Hill

I’m just now getting to this because there have been a couple of delays. One is that I just moved and, though the physical move itself didn’t take long, the preparation and post-move unpacking etc. has taken a while. I’ve also in the last 24 hours experienced this really irritating thing where my iMac trackpad registers clicks when I haven’t pressed it. This has made even basic tasks really difficult and time-consuming to accomplish.

Pant, pant.

This entry, like the previous, is quite long at about 24 minutes. The difference is I cover more. And the good news is it’s the last long one, for now anyway.

First up, Lee Moore joins We Are Atheism, a site which I admittedly only just started paying attention to due to Moore’s involvement. This is absolutely nothing against WAA, just that I never found the time to get to it on my long list of atheist-related stuff to check out.
Next, and I feel I need to be really clear on this before I even get into it because some people have a tendency to completely (and perhaps intentionally?) get wrong what I mean… I don’t hate EllenBeth Wachs. I don’t even dislike her. So if anyone suspects either, including Wachs herself, they can rest assured it’s not true. I do, however, find some of her actions irritating, which I get into. But it’s not all umbrage. Lots of fun stuff in there too.

StarTalk Radio is a great podcast right up until the point where Neil DeGrasse Tyson doesn’t challenge Dan Aykroyd’s woo at all. Way to science, there, Neil. :|

And finally, I do a bit of a compare between Julian Assange’s behavior and some things I’ve noticed about FreeThought Blogs.

#hyperskepticism = a big, fat pile of bullshit!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2013 by Anton A. Hill

A few months ago, I encountered this ridiculous term. I don’t remember where or how. I think I was reading someone’s Twitter feed. I saw it pop up and thought, “Gee, what’s that?” I was unfortunately not soon to be satisfied with a straight-forward definition. It seemed, though, to mean the doubting of something beyond a reasonable amount.

Huh?

That sounds like bullshit! Why? Because that establishes an arbitrary, artificial threshold on what is “reasonable.” As has been pointed out in many of my discussions with the religious, something like miracle claims, to them, seems perfectly reasonable given a world created and controlled by an omnipotent god. Yes, I know, this then begs the questions on how we know about this god, etc., but the question alone of miracles does fit into this model as being perfectly reasonable.

I decided to google “hyperskepticism” just to see what came up. You know, shits and giggles. My hypothesis was that it’d been coined by any of the not-so scrupulous at Freethought Blogs or Skepchick or the like. Yes, yes, I even thought it might’ve been coined by PZ Myers. Not for any ad hominem reason, just I swore I saw some mention of him having said it.

I was wrong.

About Myers. Not about FtB and S’chick. In fact, I was the opposite of wrong regarding one of those two. What’s the opposite of wrong?

It’s right.

Yep. The first three results on google as of this writing were 1. Lousy Canuck of FtB (seems he coined it), 2. someone else of Atheism+, and 3. Justicar.

Huh?

To be fair, Justicar’s vid is entitled “skepticism vs. hyperskepticism” and I haven’t watched it so I don’t know what it says.

The usual suspects. (With S’chick not too far below the others.) Why is it whenever I hear something within the freethought community that sounds like absolute horseshit, the pantheon of (some) bullshitters inevitably comes up? I feel like I never see people like Secular Students or Black Non-Believers. It’s always fucking FtB, A+, and S’chick!

Anyway, A+ gives us a definition.

Hyperskepticism is a tactic of intellectually dishonest argument where unreasonably high standards of evidence are required for a claim to be accepted.”

–Atheism Plus Forums

Intellectually dishonest. How so? This supposes that it’s ever dishonest to question or doubt. But how could that be true? Isn’t it more dishonest to proclaim a priori that there is such a thing as too much doubt?

Unreasonably high standards. What, pray, then, is unreasonable? And who decides this? The moderators of A+? I fucking hope not because they haven’t had a great track record with being reasonable.

Scientists, then? I doubt it, they tend to tell us to doubt everything. Yes, everything.

Let’s end on my perfect example of this bullshit in action. A few days ago, I was having a conversation on Twitter with someone whose name I’ve since forgotten and screen caps of which I neglected to take. So yeah, you’ll have to take my word for it (or simply skim my timeline).

The subject of harassment came up. I suggested that such a thing, and the label of “victim,” should be qualified with “alleged” until the victim, crime, and perpetrator were all proved through due process of law. I was accused of being hyperskeptical.

What??

It’s hyperskeptical to expect presumed innocent until proven guilty to be applied in all cases? Isn’t that just how the American justice system works and should work to both protect the innocent and punish the guilty? You know, as in we don’t punish the innocent until we’re sure they’re guilty?

It got better.

I asked this Tweeter how he’d go about assessing the fact of a harassment situation. He said, basically, that he’d first believe the victim (alleged victim!), trust the more trustworthy of witnesses for either side (we’re measuring trustworthiness now??), and if the perpetrator were proven innocent… What?? If they’re •proven• innocent?? No, no, no. It’s presumed innocent until proven guilty! Did no one attend grade school but me??

I went on to point out that this was an identical argument Christians make of the Gospels. That they should be assumed to be eyewitness accounts until proven otherwise. He said they were unreliable. I pointed out that this was his opinion. And I wished him the best should he ever be accused of harassment and deemed less trustworthy than his alleged victim.

So now @ZJemptv hates me too, and other sad tales.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 31, 2013 by Anton A. Hill

Well, here we are! Only day two of my recent semi-committment to write about just, you know, whatever, and already I have a pingback from Zinnia Jones linked to a post she wrote entitled “I Don’t Want to Be One of the Good Ones” which was a bit of a reaction to the bit I wrote here, which had a long title, and went something like “Why (A Bunch of People, Including Jones) Are Better Than You Are.” My post, as I recall, was basically about how some people with whom I’ve interacted (like my Best Friend and Biggest Fan) were naughty, but how others (like Jones, among many others) were nice. It was largely congratulatory in that it spoke on how in the recent infighting times of atheism, there were still those who, even if they disagreed with me, were willing to deal with me with an ounce of courtesy, rather than slip-slide directly down to ad hominems and the like.

And to be clear, though it absolutely delineated between the naughty and nice, it was never intended to be a line-drawing in the sand, as if the naughties couldn’t be nice and vice versa. Maybe Jones didn’t get that.

What was her criticism? Well, okay, I didn’t read the whole thing. Sorry. Once I got the tone of “Anton’s a naughty boy,” I kind of failed to see the purpose of continuing. Jones doesn’t approve, that’s fine, totally her right, but I don’t feel the need to fill my morning with “Anton’s a naughty boy,” then, “Here are some quoted examples,” then, “Oh, and here are some caps of tweets,” then a bunch of commenters who say, “Yeah, he sure is naughty,” and, “I agree.”

From what I gleaned, her criticism seemed to be that she didn’t want to be used as a board in my argument about how people should behave. If I got that wrong, remember I didn’t read the whole thing.

Okay.

I guess I understand that. Sort of a “don’t use me”?

There also seemed to be a darker tone, though. And this I’ll find it harder to substantiate. She pointed out how I said that I’d called someone on her bullshit. I don’t remember who the someone was or what the bullshit was. I think it was some transgender thing. Wouldn’t surprise me, I’ve been ignorant of and critical of many claims made by many in the trans community.

Let’s just say it was really, really offensive. The tone definitely seemed to lean toward I did something wrong and fuck me. Remember what I said above? That’s right.

Okay.

I guess I just don’t see why I should care. I mean, rather than choose to have a dialogue about it with me, Jones has made an example of me on her site. No, I don’t see anything inherently wrong with that, I did the same, yet opposite, thing in the post she criticized, but it is kind of indicative, isn’t it? Rather than writing to me directly (or tweeting) and saying, “Hey, Anton, I had these thoughts about your post a while back. Mind if I share them with you? I had a bit of a bone to pick with some of it,” she lazily pointed fingers. I probably would’ve said, “Hey, Zinnia, nice to hear from you. What’s on your mind?” Oh, and Zinnia, if you’re reading this, that invitation still stands. :)

But boo-hoo, that didn’t happen. Oh, well. I’m on Jones’ shit list and I’m still gonna go to that barbecue in a couple of hours and have a nice holiday weekend. Toodles!

No, no, not toodles. This is a terrible trans-ition (har har!) into a thought I’ve had for a while and will now attempt to articulate. This transgender issue, I’ve noticed, seems, anecdotally, to be dominated by white women. Privileged white women. And if they’re trans white women, doesn’t that mean they used to be…

WHITE MEN!!!!???

Oh, fuck! Isn’t the trans issue, then, possibly just a socially acceptable way for used-to-be white men to have a cause? To be granted the right never to be questioned? Never to be criticized? To scream, “You’re just ignorant/bigoted/a trans hater” to people like me and then when people like me say, “Hey, I’m just trying to understand,” they can scream back, “It’s not my job to educate you!”? I’m not saying Jones has done that to me, but aren’t all those things socially justified? Just a teeny bit?

Okay, now toodles.

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