Vacula v. Silverman

Because some folks are asking it be pulled out of Twitter into a readable form. Throwing in another voice or two you don’t usually see involved, because ripple effects are part of the point.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337111119208513536″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337224418944229377″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337227005655400449″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337227293254643712″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337228031003340800″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337230332342439938″]

[Okay, one editorial comment I couldn’t resist: When this guy tells you he recognizes hostility, treat him as the expert he is.]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337230819838017536″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337231417534738432″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/RichardReed84/status/337236127247384576″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337237574173208576″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/toxicpath/status/337237258027532288″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337238221392068608″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337238557557141508″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337239145699237888″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337240122766528513″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337240205314621440″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337240359509819392″]

[Another required editorial comment: Does he not know what “defending” means”?]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337240506121740288″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337240704910774273″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337240836964220929″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337241363466817537″]

[Oh, I give up: Yes, just not very well.]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337241519813689344″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337241690446372864″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337241962778357760″]

[That’s 10 tweets. In case you were wondering why he gets blocked on Twitter.]

In response to asking whether Rebeca is sacred:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337243598116511744″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/CamelsHammers/status/337244688794918912″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337245348890288128″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/CamelsHammers/status/337245608379293697″]

In regard to a “LOL” from Vacula on a side conversation:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337245635847802880″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337245954476498944″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337245854844993536″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337246024504582145″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337246449597288449″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337246583521419265″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337246615817576448″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337246694288793600″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337246785556844544″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337247023248064513″]

Going back to conflating criticism and hate:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/CamelsHammers/status/337247373099155456″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337248508425936900″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/CamelsHammers/status/337249711184556032″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337251990096719873″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337252243348787200″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337252488921104384″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/CamelsHammers/status/337253885955674113″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/BirdTerrifier/status/337253887222358016″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/CamelsHammers/status/337254550106955776″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337255201792720896″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/CamelsHammers/status/337255507444248576″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/CamelsHammers/status/337255908352593920″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337256461367377920″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/CamelsHammers/status/337256653491671041″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337256723985342464″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337256916185149440″]

[Vacula finds the slimepit a fun place. He can’t, apparently, figure out why other don’t.]

Dave steps back in to try, one more time to reason with Vacula:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337257947832922113″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337258475203747840″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337263081279340545″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337263648085012480″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337264328019423233″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337264641283612672″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337265112933076995″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/justinvacula/status/337265882436890624″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337266068357799936″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337266342359085056″]

By this time, the “conversation” is general, messy and repetitive, so I’ll just leave it with this, from one of the guys who’s been using the TAM hashtags as dumping grounds for anti-Skepchick BS for the last couple of years and who participated in the Great Penis Debate:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/Sc00ter/status/337278977657950208″]

Vacula v. Silverman

70 thoughts on “Vacula v. Silverman

  1. 2

    So Vacula complains about not being taken seriously, but when someone who could be considered a genuine “leader” in the “movement” (I hate those terms, but…) tries talking to him, he gives Silverman every single reason to not take him seriously.

  2. 3

    Thanks for posting the details of the exchange. I suppose if I were a member of twitter I’d have been able to work out how to see the whole thing. But I hate twitter and I’m not going to join just for the purpose of re-affirming my impression that Bustin Dracula is an asshole and Dave Silverman is one of the good guys.

  3. 5

    This shows me two things:
    – Vacula’s as intellectually honest as William Craig, but not anywhere near as clever
    – Twitter is a shitty medium for communications above and beyond announcing one’s bowel movements

  4. 9

    Thanks for posting the main conversation. Nice to see Fincke going after Vacula as well.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Miri (#4)

    It’s unfortunate that nobody linked to the Skepchick Page o’ Hate at any point, but still, great debate.

    Vacula would just dismiss that by claiming no one has proven that the hate is from atheists. His whole evidence denial shtick reminds me of Dawkins trying to point Wendy Wright at the evidence for evolution.

  5. 10

    It doesn’t matter whether or not the person that created that awful photoshop of Rebecca is part of the A/S community. She is part of the community therefore making it something that the community needs to be concerned about.

    I would love to see much more defending of each other and much less attacking.

  6. 11

    See… this.. American Atheists can come across as needlessly offensive and bit proselytizy with things like “you know it’s a myth” and such, but then David Silverman goes on to be all awesome and shit and all I can think is “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    You know, if CFI falls through, maybe AA will sponsor WiS3?

    Just thinking…

  7. 12

    Marcus Ranum @ # 5: Twitter is a shitty medium for communications above and beyond announcing one’s bowel movements

    Some people seem able to use it effectively for flinging same.

    Can we move on to a better dumb fad now?

  8. 15

    Easy to see who’s the grown up here. Dave has his faults (don’t we all?) but he sure does know how to call BS BS. Guess I know where this month’s atheist charitable donation is going! Maybe I’ll even forego saving the rhinos for a month, and send the money to a tiger (a human tiger).

  9. 16

    Hmm Travis Roy aka @Sc00ter agrees with Dave Silverman eh? I seem to remember adding him to the block bot for being a condescending asshole to Melody Hensley when she was asking ppl to leave her alone. https://twitter.com/Sc00ter/status/293863869124853760

    Another of his missives also stood out to me… https://twitter.com/Sc00ter/status/335826136292532224

    @saramayhew @anneymarie just today I was told by someone they are AFRAID to give any criticism to Rebecca because of fear of being attacked.

    How is any of that standing up against bullying and harassing online? Minimise and ridicule someone for not wanting to be contacted by ppl on Twitter. Spread disinformation and false equivalences about RW being the “real” bully which enables her attackers.

  10. 17

    EllenBeth nails it:

    It doesn’t matter whether or not the person that created that awful photoshop of Rebecca is part of the A/S community. She is part of the community therefore making it something that the community needs to be concerned about.

    Exactly. Vacula et al seem to think that as long as they can maintain some kind of “plausible deniability” around the idea that any of this comes from anyone “in the A/S community” that it can simply be dismissed.

    Even if it were true that none of this stuff comes from people “in the A/S community” Vacula and the `pitters are contributing to the problem by smirking form the sidelines and not speaking out against it. They are, in that case, participating in harassment by proxy.

    And of course one has to be awfully naive to think that none of the “shit” as Silverman puts it is coming from other atheists and skeptics. In fact one has to ignore a whole boatload of evidence to the contrary…http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/02/02/what-is-more-important-than-peace-nsfw/

  11. 18

    So Vacula really doesn’t grok that even if the enemies of your enemies are vile, repugnant people, they will be seen as your friends unless you repudiate their vile, repugnant actions?

    oolon @16: Note also how Vacula accepts Roy’s tweet about “someone” uncritically, without asking if that “someone” is an atheist or otherwise part of the movement. That kind of bold, unashamed hypocrisy really gets my BP up.

  12. 19

    It pretty much boils down to Dave and Dan banging their heads off a brick wall and Vaculas repeatedly and deliberately failing to connect their dots. It’s painful because it’s so obvious. He does not want to be seen to agree or learn or change or do anything but be a scum bag. It’s not even about being wrong – he just wants to keep crapping on people because it’s fun.

  13. 20

    @Dave,W, Yeah and even the smallest claim from us that is not citationed to the hilt is proof of #FTBullies not being proper “sceptics” … That is a serious accusation and hence needs some serious backing up!

    They love to throw them out as if there is no question of X allegation being true and no one their side challenges it at all. Sceptics my arse.

  14. 21

    @Sercee, maybe not… http://www.skepticink.com/justinvacula/2013/05/22/upon-request-of-david-silverman-a-condemnation/

    Although Dave asked for him to condemn some specific instances from his allies, he didn’t do that.
    https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/337277990973100032

    @justinvacula if you wish to improve relations let me see you denounce shit from those perceived to be your allies. Then I will come on.

    Don’t see how the post qualifies, but to see Dave Silverman rip him apart its worth it. Hope someone on FTBs listens to the podcast and reports on it as I don’t want to add to his download stats. Probably his primary reason for capitulating to Dave, self-promotion.

  15. 22

    Oh ick. JV openly disavows “Criminal acts”. Of course, the slymers spend much time arguing that the volumes of hate mail received by Stephanie, Greta, Ophelia, Amy, Rebecca, etc. aren’t reported to the authorities, ergo aren’t *real* threats (aka “criminal acts”), but mere professional victimization. So, let’s not imagine JV has adjusted his position one iota, based on this clumsy little dance of a blog post.

  16. 23

    Oh ick. JV openly disavows “Criminal acts”. Of course, the slymers spend much time arguing that the volumes of hate mail received by Stephanie, Greta, Ophelia, Amy, Rebecca, etc. aren’t reported to the authorities, ergo aren’t *real* threats (aka “criminal acts”), but mere professional victimization. So, let’s not imagine JV has adjusted his position one iota, based on this clumsy little dance of a blog post.

    Then they toss this right out the window soon as someone calls out someone like Shermer, or any of the other skeptical failures, for sexism or sexist language. Because calling someone a misogynist is a Very Serious Allegation™, despite it not being fucking illegal in the least.

    What snivelling cowards these shitbags are.

  17. 24

    JV openly disavows “Criminal acts”.

    Ah, well: that’s one way to deal with sexism. Legalise it! Like they did in Saudi Arabia.

    On the other hand, was he really against ‘sodomy’ in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia prior to 2003?

    Nonetheless, that’s some gold standard for ethicality they’ve set themselves: it’s fine as long as the State doesn’t explicitly prohibit it…

    #braveheroism is brave.

  18. 25

    Vacula is really, really a shitty communicator. I mean, I get the limitations of 140 characters for having a real discussion. But it’s not just his tweets. He really can’t seem to express a clear, logical, and coherent line of thought. It all seems as if he’s just writing almost stream-of-consciousness while trying to use ‘fancy’ words that he sees other people use. But it seems as if he utterly fails to grasp the connotation of those words in the context in which he is using them.

    Like his use of ‘pandering’ to apparently mean condescending. ‘Pandering’ implies that Silverman is consciously trying to appeal to women based on how they view themselves. So is he suggesting that women believe that they cannot stand on their own merits, and are therefore flattered by Silverman’s appeal to that trait? What a crock! And doubly insulting, no less.

    But I don’t think that is what he is trying to communicate. I think he is trying to argue gender-blindness, as if generations of being intentionally marginalized within the secular and science communities doesn’t require some actual effort to correct. Nope, it’s all fixed just by pretending that we can’t see gender any more. Has he expressed the same garbage about racial-blindness as well? Or at least expressed it as murkily as he expresses anything other than petulant derision. Just wondering.

  19. 26

    Hmm Travis Roy aka @Sc00ter agrees with Dave Silverman eh? I seem to remember adding him to the block bot for being a condescending asshole to Melody Hensley when she was asking ppl to leave her alone.

    I know him in person and thought he was an okay guy until he developed a bizarre vendetta against Surly Amy and Rebecca Watson. He’s been an enabler of harassment ever since and I have cut off communication with him.

  20. 27

    I know it’s not funny but, damn, JV sounds like my kids when they were 10 yrs old and got called out for something. The evasions, the rationalizations, the over the top hyperbole – anything to avoid admitting they had done something wrong..
    It seems to be a hallmark of this crowd – creating the FTBullies hashtag sounded just like something a junior high school student would do – and a not very mature junior high school student, at that.
    #26 kaboobie

    until he developed a bizarre vendetta against Surly Amy and Rebecca Watson.

    It is a vendetta, isn’t it? And they are so totally unaware of how obsessive and completely irrational it looks.

  21. 29

    Justin Vacula tweets

    @MrAtheistPants What is the evidence? Who are these “genuinely hostile” people and how do you know they are part of community?

    @ 17 A Hermit

    Even if it were true that none of this stuff comes from people “in the A/S community” Vacula and the ‘pitters are contributing to the problem by smirking form the sidelines and not speaking out against it. They are, in that case, participating in harassment by proxy.

    And of course one has to be awfully naive to think that none of the “shit” as Silverman puts it is coming from other atheists and skeptics. In fact one has to ignore a whole boatload of evidence to the contrary.

    Yes, but one also has to ignore logic, reason and Occam’s razor. I mean… Rebecca is only a well-known figure within the atheist/skeptic community. You have to listen to certain podcasts, read certain blogs, attend certain conferences to even know who she is. So what’s the alternate hypothesis? That a bunch of people with no interest in atheism or skepticism, and no particular reason to know who she is, all simultaneously decided to launch a hate campaign against the same random woman?!

  22. 30

    … Also, when Vacula chides Silverman for “pandering” to women… why am I reminded of the phrase, “nigger-lover!”?

    Anyway, my respect for Dave has significantly increased. Well done, MrAtheistPants.

  23. 31

    Vacula has totally missed the boat. In his “condemnation” he speaks out against illegal things. Because clearly the US legal system is a perfect arbiter of morality and if it doesn’t result in a guilty verdict in a court it’s zero bad.

  24. 32

    There may be worse things about JV, but this shit just pisses me off:

    This stuff is not needed. The merits of women in this movement stand on their own…and they don’t need to be ‘defended.’

    I don’t defend women and condemn sexism because I think women are too weak to fight for themselves. I mean, jesus fuck, who do you think fought to get me* into feminism? I defend women and condemn sexism because women shouldn’t have to deal with this shit, whether or not they are capable of responding to it themselves.

    *Not me specifically. I just mean I witnessed the arguments being made and was won over by many of them.

  25. 33

    The comparison between images ridiculing Muhammad and the sick, twisted shit flung at Rebecca (and virtually everyone else on that side of the argument) is so utterly moronic that it leaves my jaw agape. Muhammad has been dead for centuries and some of his followers kill people who dare to draw him; under those circumstances, hell yes it’s okay to draw Muhammad in ways that offend fascist murderers. Rebecca is a real person, still alive and facing a constant stream of threats and misogyny. Using ridicule against Muhammad is standing up against barbarism; using ridicule, especially sexually vile ridicule, against Rebecca is only adding to the torrent of abuse and misogyny that is aimed not only at her but at other women every day. The comparison isn’t just illogical, it’s repulsive.

    Can he seriously not understand the differences? I doubt it. He’s not stupid. But it’s convenient for his argument to pretend they are alike, so he does.

  26. 34

    Vacula comes across as an entirely typical troll, a vacuous timesuck, never directly answering a question, just asking questions. It’s nice that he doesn’t condone defamatory images, but still he can’t bring himself to condemn them.

    For me the red flag is at the beginning, accusing Slverman of pandering to women. That says it all.

  27. 35

    For me the red flag is at the beginning, accusing Slverman of pandering to women. That says it all.

    Yup.

    Of course, if an FtB blogger had written something like that, the squawkbots would be asking how one could determine another’s intent was to be ‘pandering’, since one cannot read minds.

  28. 36

    Ah. Hit ‘submit’ too fast.

    For me the red flag is at the beginning, accusing Slverman of pandering to women. That says it all.

    Yup.

    Of course, if an FtB blogger had written something like that, the squawkbots would be asking how one could determine another’s intent was to be ‘pandering’, since one cannot read minds.

    Why assume the most uncharitable interpretation, Vacula?

    Feh. Even if you had no positive arguments for feminism, you could still hang these fucks on their own faulty claims.

  29. 37

    “Pandering to women” is a standard MRA line. It’s related to accusing people of “white knighting”, and then comes accusations of being a “mangina” and a beta trying to get laid. He has absorbed the MRA dogma, that’s for sure.

  30. 38

    Gah, Vacula drove me a little crazy there. No, just because you don’t speak about Mexican drug cartels at every given moment doesn’t mean you are in favor of the Mexican drug cartel. However, if the Mexican drug cartel attacks someone, you watch them do it, and after that you say nothing, then yes, your actions are going to be read as approval. If you can’t even bring yourself to verbally condemn such attacks, then I don’t know what other conclusion you would expect people to draw.

  31. 39

    Tonight’s score:
    David Silverman and AA: $100
    Ron Lindsay and CFI: $bupkus

    I’m far more of a fan of CFI than AA in general but as far as leaders who understand how to lead goes, Silverman wins hands down.

    Lindsay: Mansplaining and being a shitty host, then getting all petty and personalizing an argument when called called out, rather than addressing the issues raised or shutting his fool yap. A sea cucumber would be more professional.

    Vacula: Rank evasive rules-lawyering that makes “I don’t see your NAME on it!” look like David Fucking Hume in comparison.

    Silverman: Calls a spade a spade. Then hits him with one upside his thick head.

    Again, not the biggest fan of the billboard campaign, but after an impact like that David needs a new shovel. If Ron had any sense, he’d lend his to Silverman, if only to prevent himself from digging that hole any further.

    Also, Silverman had the grace not to call out O’Reilly on his “tides go in” comedy routine. He can handle the Ovaltine He-Man Bwave Hewo Hour…

  32. 41

    Nothing to do with anything, but isn’t “Vacula versus Silverman” the perfect title for a low-budget vampire movie?

    ….

    More seriously – I’m astonished at the lengths these guys can go to to maintain the pretence that they are the good guys. The “pandering” thing for a kickoff… oy.

  33. 42

    I must be doing something right in life, because I’ve been accused of whiteknighting before. If that’s supposed to be a tactic to get laid, why is it so often flung at people like PZ (I presume) & myself who have all the sex they need? Projection?

    In other news, Silverman going on the JV show seems like a really crap idea, but I hold out some hope that it won’t be too enjoyable for J, but I can’t help but feel his big publicity stunt of attending WiS payed off – and that’s fucking disgusting.

  34. 43

    oolon:

    Hope someone on FTBs listens to the podcast and reports on it as I don’t want to add to his download stats. Probably his primary reason for capitulating to Dave, self-promotion.

    If Dave Silverman really ends up on a BraveHero radio show, I’m going to listen to it and live tweet. There are a few things I’ll be bookmarking between now and then so that I’ll have links to choose from as additional commentary. As several have pointed out here, Vacula’s own words can be some of the best arguments against him.

    As for adding to his download stats, I can’t imagine that one peak–with a high-profile guest–will do him any good in the long run.

  35. 44

    Anthony K

    it’s fine as long as the State doesn’t explicitly prohibit it…

    This is essentially their ‘equity feminism’. If something’s not illegal, why worry about it? if it is illegal, report it and sit back and watch the 100% perfect justice system take care of it!

    Meanwhile, the hyperskepticism of ‘but we don’t know it’s skeptics who are sending RW abuse!’ is so fucking boring.
    RW is best known for the Skeptics Guide to the Universe, Skepchick and speaking at Skeptical conferences.
    Yeah, we really need 1000 citations before we make the suggestion that it’s probably skeptics who are the ones so enraged by her.

  36. 45

    This is essentially their ‘equity feminism’. If something’s not illegal, why worry about it? if it is illegal, report it and sit back and watch the 100% perfect justice system take care of it!

    Yeah, but you know what’s really bad? Telling somebody to shut up, but that they’re wrong. For not worrying about anything that’s below illegal they surely make a lot of fuss about being called a misogynist

  37. 46

    If you were at the conference this week, you would have been enlightened to the fact that Justin is truly a Vaculous person:

    @SubManUSN @ElevatorGATE I challenged her on gender wage gap debate. No response yet. @amandamarcotte #WhyTheWait

    http://www.skepticink.com/justinvacula/2013/04/11/skepticism-of-gender-pay-gap-and-president-obamas-equal-pay-day-proclamation/

    You got it right there. Justin denies there is a wage gap.

  38. 47

    See, I think a big part of the problem is that Vacula is rather dumb. As in “not bright,” or “barely and maybe not average in competence.” I’m not inclined to let venal people off the hook by assuming they must not understand what they’re saying. But in Vacula’s case, I think he is genuinely dull–that he’s also mean-spirited and vicious makes for trouble.

    Sometimes genuinely dull-witted people rise to place of (relative) prominence and others start listening to them because they confirm what the crowd wants to hear. I think this is what’s happened with JV and the pitters. It’s darkly comical—and provokes some resentment in me, truth be told—to see so many people have to argue and fight against someone so blasted dumb as if he were any kind of force to be reckoned with. I know it’s necessary, but it’s irritating.

  39. 48

    The sad truth is that some of those attacks on Rebecca may actually not be from atheists, now that Vacula and his ilk have invited their AVFM friends into the fray. Alas, Vacula is not alone in thinking that repeating the same nonsensical lines every day can actually substitute for reasoned debate.

    When will so-called Skeptics learn that reasoning logically from absurd premises will invariably lead to absurd answers?

  40. 49

    @Katherine Lorraine… #46

    The pay gap is a win-win for MRAs. If they can’t deny it, they complain about the fact that it is closing: See, if women previously earned $.50 for each $1.00 that men earned, but now are up to $.77, this indicates that women’s average wages are rising faster than men’s, and that’s *so unfair*.

    [BTW, great to meet you at WiS!]

  41. 50

    Josh wrote:

    Sometimes genuinely dull-witted people rise to place of (relative) prominence and others start listening to them because they confirm what the crowd wants to hear. I think this is what’s happened with JV and the pitters.

    The other ‘pitters are no doubt ecstatic that Vacula’s had his name mentioned as often as it has, since it serves the dual purpose of rallying their scumbag allies from places like AVFM and the not insignificant of having a sacrificial lamb on the off-chance it all goes pear-shaped. Then they’ll all distance themselves from him and find another muppet to use as a figurehead.

    I’d probably feel sorrier for the poor dumb bastard if he wasn’t such a genuine creep.

  42. 51

    This is essentially their ‘equity feminism’. If something’s not illegal, why worry about it? if it is illegal, report it and sit back and watch the 100% perfect justice system take care of it!

    And if someone is trying to make something you like illegal, fight it tooth and nail.

    To be fair, he does later say:

    I condemn criminal activity and hateful satire or parody. In being respectful — even if poking a bit of fun with tasteful satire and parody — the atheist community can be a healthier place in which ideas can better be openly discussed.

    Which is, of course, immediately complained about in the comments by Abby Smith and others

    Hmm– I would argue the ‘hateful satire or parody’ point. Its not clearly defined (vs the other point, illegal is illegal), and Ive seen ‘hateful’ used too many times by theists to shut down mild commentary/jokes about their beliefs.

    And this statement which is just…so…ugh.

    Hate speech, being hateful, hating someone – these are emotions that human beings have from time to time. This idea that we condemn every negative emotion is contributing to the massive depression problem we have in the United States

  43. 52

    They aren’t scientific skeptics, they’re legalistic skeptics. They think arguments are won by trotting out dictionary definitions and by repeating “prove it” over and over like a parrot. In that sense, they aren’t really skeptics at all; just people who want to argue and insult.

  44. 53

    In that sense, they aren’t really skeptics at all; just people who want to argue and insult.

    They’re also under the unfortunate delusion that doing this makes them smarter than everybody else.

  45. 54

    In being respectful — even if poking a bit of fun with tasteful satire and parody — the atheist community can be a healthier place in which ideas can better be openly discussed.

    Fun is when everybody laughs. If many laugh and one cries it ain’t fun.
    that’s something my 3 and 5 yo understand.
    Tells you exactly how not very bright Vacula is.

  46. 56

    This shows me two things:
    – Vacula’s as intellectually honest as William Craig, but not anywhere near as clever
    – Twitter is a shitty medium for communications above and beyond announcing one’s bowel movements

    QFT. JV does nothing but deny and evade which makes him look very much like a prototypical politician. On Twitter, anyway.

    And teh Twitter makes my head hurt. Do not want.

  47. 57

    They think arguments are won by trotting out dictionary definitions…

    And then intentionally search for the definition that least represents the obvious point being made. If I had a shiny nickel for every time one of those bozos copy/pasted the first definition they read of “harassment” ignoring the other 5 below…

  48. 58

    I was under the impression that it was Justin Vacula who made that picture of Rebecca. Is that incorrect? Perhaps Vacula will correct me on that if I’m wrong.

  49. 61

    That works well as long as you trust everybody involved to leave everything up that they’d posted. I have been too long on the internet to trust too many people with that, though. There’s generally someone who wants to go through and, like, delete refs untweets or something.

  50. 62

    Josh #46:

    See, I think a big part of the problem is that Vacula is rather dumb. As in “not bright,” or “barely and
    maybe not average in competence.” I’m not inclined to let venal people off the hook by assuming they must not understand what they’re saying. But in Vacula’s case, I think he is genuinely dull–that he’s also mean-spirited and vicious makes for trouble.

    because ableism is so much better than sexism, right? Vacula’s a horrible sexist, that means he’s objectively inferior, “dumb”, “not bright”, “dull”…in other words, disabled.

    oh, skeptical social justice warriors, so proud of their objectively superior minds…

  51. 63

    Yeah, Vacula’s not “dumb.” He’s intellectually lazy, gigantically dishonest, and has so firmly attached his public image to the fierceness of his sexism denialism that he has effectively cut off all his own escape routes from Denialist Town.

    It’s not about any measure of his objective intelligence; I suspect that the problems with his character and intellectual rigor neatly cover every awful thing that he’s done. In criticizing him, I’m more comfortable focusing on that than on implying that even a very very small part of why he deserves no credibility is that he’s disabled. Because yeah. Ableist.

  52. 64

    because ableism is so much better than sexism, right? Vacula’s a horrible sexist, that means he’s objectively inferior, “dumb”, “not bright”, “dull”…in other words, disabled.

    wow, there’s a reach and a half.

  53. 65

    Nope, sorry Setar, discussions of intelligence are not inherently ableist. For one thing, intelligence is not a static, pre-determined trait. Intelligent people devote time, effort, and considerable study to honing their intelligence, and it is perfectly fair to point out when others have failed to do so. Moreover, the vast majority of people whose intelligence is criticized are criticized for intellectual laziness and/or willful ignorance, and are people who are well within the normal range of innate intellectual ability, but are failing to use it–this is NOT the same as claiming they are inherently deficient, nor does it claim that people who are intellectually disabled are morally responsible in the way that the intellectually lazy are (in contrast, insults that trade on inherent intellectual disability like “moron” or “retard” are genuinely ableist, and even then some people aren’t aware that “moron” is recently-used clinical language). While terms that originate well before the understanding of the difference between disability and intellectual laziness (“idiot,” “dumb,” “stupid,” for example) can be tricky, it’s not accurate to categorically declare these to refer to unmodifiable characteristics or to accuse someone pointing out someone’s poor intellectual effort or critical thinking skills of comparing that someone to a person with a mental disability.

    Furthermore, intelligence is not a value-neutral characteristic that society has arbitrarily decided to elevate over its alternatives just for the hell of it–instead, intelligence is a major moral and practical good. Intelligence gave us the internet we communicate on, the antibiotics and vaccines that save our lives, the political rights we depend on, the structural engineering that gets our houses through earthquakes, and much, much more. Lack of intelligence has given us climate change denialism, wasted millions of dollars on incorrectly-converted measurements on Mars spacecraft, deadly medical errors, popular approval of war, blowing up beached whales, and crystal Pepsi. Moreover, in situations where one lacks the necessary intelligence for a task, whether it be building bridges, providing medical care, or assessing financial assets, one has a moral obligation to step aside in favor of more intelligent and qualified people, otherwise people could be seriously harmed or even killed, because intelligence is a real thing in the world and a real problem when it is neglected.

    Finally, Josh didn’t just start throwing out slurs against intellectual ability merely to assign Vacula inferior status, but rather he assessed the quality of thinking Vacula was displaying, presented statements that were severely lacking in critical thinking, and made arguments for why they were deficient and inadequate to the standards of intellectual rigor that these matters require (and, even more importantly, falling far short of the standard of intellectual rigor that Vacula was pretending to achieve!).

    I’m with Ichthyic on this one.

  54. 67

    [Warning: slur words in last sentence.]

    I’m fine with saying Justin Vacula makes ignorant arguments or is obtuse and aggravation. However just calling him “dumb” is not the kind of precise and fair claim that LSP is describing below.

    Nope, sorry Setar, discussions of intelligence are not inherently ableist. For one thing, intelligence is not a static, pre-determined trait. Intelligent people devote time, effort, and considerable study to honing their intelligence, and it is perfectly fair to point out when others have failed to do so. Moreover, the vast majority of people whose intelligence is criticized are criticized for intellectual laziness and/or willful ignorance, and are people who are well within the normal range of innate intellectual ability, but are failing to use it–this is NOT the same as claiming they are inherently deficient…

    I feel it is better to insult his limited knowledge rather than his intellect.

    (I don’t think the poster who said “dumb” meant to imply that he’s unworthy because of limited intellect, just to imply that he’s often wrong in arguments and hard to persuade.)
    (WAIT, scratch that. “Dumb” can easily function in a sentence as a pejorative like “meany”, “stinkbreath”, “fag”, “cunt”, even “egghead”.)

  55. 68

    Xenologer, I agree that Vacula is *also* intellectually dishonest and denialist, but he also seems to be totally unaware that his reasoning isn’t very good. He uses big words trying to appear smarter, and doesn’t catch fallacies when he uses them, and can’t catch obvious distinctions in what people are saying (and it’s not just lying–if he understood what the pro-equality side were saying, he’d use better–or at least more on-topic–arguments against them!). I think he genuinely has no idea that the quality of argumentation he’s bringing to the table can’t hold a candle to what Rebecca, Stephanie, PZ, Ophelia, Greta et al are saying–he’s just not as smart as they are and he has no idea. Now, I’ll be willing to bet that unexamined privilege is a HUGE part of why Vacula has never figured out that his default level of reasoning is not going to cut it in the real world and that he should actually develop his intellectual skills, and why he’s so sure he must be a #bravehero for advancing his shitty reasoning to those who are smarter than he (and, his lifelong comfort in his skills and presumed superiority over others is probably why he perceives people being smarter as “bullying” him, because he can’t grasp why they’re right or why their words magically convince more people!).

    You know that saying “never attribute to malice that which can be more than adequately explained by incompetence”? I think it’s overly simplistic and a bit of a false dichotomy. I think Vacula is a case of BOTH. Strictly in my own estimation, I’m going with 65% malice, 35% incompetence, but I’m pretty sure the incompetence had a big part in allowing that malice to fester over all those years!

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