I actually don’t have a problem with people deciding they want to help raise money to pay for the legal fees someone else is incurring. I think the justice system is such that that is entirely reasonable, especially if you’re a fan of the guy and think he’s being falsely accused. It’s really no different from OJ or Michael Jackson fans wanting to financially support “their guy” through their legal troubles. I happen to find myself on the opposite side, having heard and experienced too much behind the scenes to believe in Shermer’s innocence, but I don’t begrudge those without that knowledge for wanting fair legal representation of Shermer.
I do, however, begrudge them their inability to believe in the good intentions of others with a demonstrable history of trying to do something positive with the movement. It seems that, to some skeptics, merely offering criticism of problems you see in the organizations, conferences, celebrities, or overall movement is tantamount to wishing to destroy skepticism, rather than an attempt to make skepticism better.
“PZ Myers and the FtB feminists have set their sights on skepticism and atheism in general. They clearly want to do harm to the institutions.”
You hear this argument a lot from Republicans, that criticizing America is anti-America or trying to destroy America, when in fact it’s trying to make America better and fix the problems within, rather than turn a blind eye. Yes, a lot of “FTB feminists” have set their sights on skepticism and atheism in general, because we’re part of those movements and care deeply about making them better.
And, of course, it’s difficult to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re just trying to make sure justice is served when there’s this:
A show of support will send the message that we as a community will no longer tolerate illogical attacks on people who do not condone nor support sexual harassment, sexual predation, or rape any more than we support defamation of our community members from anonymous allegations.
Ah, so donating to this is not, in fact, an attempt to help Shermer get decent representation, but rather a way to condemn unnamed victims who come forward with their stories. Got it. Out of curiosity, what is the appropriate way for a reporter to deal with a story from an unnamed source who is known and trusted, whose story and reputation is vouched for by multiple others?