How I feel about the latest round of "civility" calls

Something like this, actually.

Panel 1: evangelist beating atheist with a cross, while calling him names. Panel 2: atheist about to break the cross, evangelist crying 'Hey! Let's have a little RESPECT here!'

Only, imagine the cry in panel 2 coming from a third party supposedly on our side. And imagine the evangelist is an antifeminist attacking women and people trying to improve women’s lot in life.

Yeah. I don’t have a lot to say about this nonsense. I agree that we shouldn’t denigrate one another’s status as full human beings, but I damn well don’t think that fighting back against someone doing exactly that is “uncivil”. And I recognize that people can be hideous hatchet-men arguing for terrible things without ever uttering anything but the most flowery and “civil” of language.

I took Chris Clarke’s pledge though. And I’d gladly further take mythbri’s addendum:

I further pledge to do my best to help make this a place where your argument is challenged, but never your humanity or status as a person. I pledge to make this a safe space for people to be insulted about the quality of what they say and how they say it, but not their gender, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, class or mental/physical health state. I pledge to refuse to give ground to anyone for the sake of unity with those who might have one thing in common with me but don’t respect me as a full human being.

That’s MY pledge. Don’t expect your assholish, bigoted or damaging ideas to escape scrutiny and critical analysis. And don’t dare call me uncivil for banning and muttering “asshole” when an antifeminist who calls women cunts regularly comes along and bloviates about how terrible we all are for drawing lines in the sand about sexism.

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How I feel about the latest round of "civility" calls

62 thoughts on “How I feel about the latest round of "civility" calls

  1. 51

    My apologies if this gets posted twice. I thought I posted it early this morning. This is a reconstruction.
    @ sqlrob @Beth:
    AiG does not post any of the comments slamming their “science”. Lying or not? How is Daniel (before he let it through the moderation, this comment is not applicable now) different? I don’t, or at least try not to, hold allies to a different standard than foes.

    Not lying. Lying is an action. It can only be accomplished passively through other active contradictory statements like saying: “We publish all comments.” Passive lying, IMO, only happens when the passiveness invalidates a previous statement.

    Daniel is different in many many ways. For starters, I read his blog and agree with much of what he says regarding his values. He is not different in terms of my holding him to a different standard. I think that you and I have different standards, but I don’t feel that I am applying my judgment inconsistently in this case.

  2. 53

    Beth, you are the one who said that “both sides were uncivil” in reference to Ophelia and her slimepit harassers. When pressed, you said “she’s been much nicer,” but you didn’t acknowledge that you were wrong in the first place when you made the asinine claim that “both sides do it.” That’s why people are annoyed with you.

    Also? Saying to Ophelia that you “apologize if she was offended” is not a real apology. It’s classic bullshit.

  3. 54

    @sally strange:

    I agree that honest requires more than that. Simply not lying does NOT equate to honesty IMO. But a lie is a deliberate false statement knowingly made by the speaker. Not publishing contrary opinions/corrections does not qualify as a lie.

    @Amphigorey: Thank you for the input. I understand that is why people here are annoyed with me. I have expressed an unpopular opinion and many people here don’t want to hear it.

  4. 55

    You expressed an unpopular opinion, but your opinion isn’t backed up by facts. Not only that, it’s directly insulting to Ophelia to say that she’s been uncivil to her harassers. You claimed that “both sides,” meaning including Ophelia, were uncivil, because it’s an easy position to take. You are trying to hold yourself above all this petty squabbling by saying “both sides do it.” Unfortunately for you, it’s not actually true that both sides do it, so your efforts to distinguish yourself as Above It All fail.

    This kind of thing is exactly why people have a problem with Fincke’s original pledge.

  5. 56

    @Amphigorey
    You expressed an unpopular opinion, but your opinion isn’t backed up by facts.
    I was asked for my opinion. I stated it. I don’t think that sort of response should be considered uncivil.

    You don’t feel Ophelia has ever been less than civil to some of the slimepitters? The disagreement has more to do with our different standards for civil behavior than any facts regarding the matter. I expect we could look at the same exchanges and we will sometimes differ on whether we consider them civil. I’d like to find out how it is our standards differ. Back at #27 I gave a couple of examples. Perhaps you could do the same?

    Why do you think my behavior is a problem for Fincke’s original pledge? What I have done or said that bothers people outside of stating an unpopular opinion? What behavior, aside from holding different opinions regarding what is civil and what is not, would you ask me to change?

  6. 57

    Beth, let me complete your sentence for you, for your betterment:

    You don’t feel Ophelia has ever been less than civil to some of the slimepitters?

    To the degree of civilty that they have earned.
    To the best of my knowledge she has been dismissive of them, on occasion pointed out when they have lied (given that they lie all the time she’d be hard pressed to point out all occasions) and blocked them from commenting on her blog. Possibly she’ve told them to fuck off when they harass her. Might even have named them.
    They lie about her, call her a cobweb cunt and all sorts of other delightful things. Some of them threaten her with acid attacks and call it a joke when they get called on it.
    You acting like these things are even close to equivalent is deeply disingenuous. Also meeting no standards of civility, ever.

  7. 58

    I think Dan Fincke believes that it is somehow possible to argue against equality as a cute, hypothetical, interesting thought exercise without doing so in bad faith. I don’t want to hear it if someone wants to toy with the notion that equality is optional, or less important than other things, or has gone too far, or should be slowed down for some damn reason — just no. Don’t spread that crap all over the internet where it will be quoted out of context for years.

    Giliell put it more succinctly in another thread about this pledge:

    There can be no civil discourse about my status as a human being.

  8. 59

    I know very little about Dan, but when he responded to my objections to his pledge by saying “Ethical behavior begins with the self,” twice, as if it was some kind of argument-winning definitive statement, it really reinforced the “privileged debating-team twit” image that others had already painted of him. Seriously, what does that prim little platitude even mean?

  9. 60

    But then Noelplum99′s rebuttal to me was– and I do remember this exactly– “Oooh, so much anger.”

    Yeah, that’s a standard tactic of manipulative little shits and emotional bullies of all stripes. They use it because there’s NO good way, civil or not, to respond to it, except perhaps to ignore the barb and keep on debunking whatever BS you’re allegedly so angry about.

  10. 61

    sqlbob: LYING is not civil; so if you have to correct lies, you are not bound by any code of civility when doing so. The only rules that should concern you then are those of honesty and effectiveness.

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