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Point of Inquiry, RIP
Posted: 25 June 2013 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Adam Isaak, Chris Mooney and Indre Viskontas announced they are leaving PoI due to Ron Lindsay’s speech at the Women in Secularism conference and his subsequent behavior, combined with CFI’s board remaining silent.

Announcement here.

I almost unsubscribed to PoI after Lindsay’s appalling speech but decided that would not be fair to the team. It seems I made the right decision. I will let my subscriptions to CFI publications lapse. The only reason I will continue on these forums is because I like the people and the discussions here. Realistically, Ron Lindsay and the CFI board have shot themselves in the foot over this issue and I fear the organization will slide into irrelevancy soon.

[ Edited: 25 June 2013 03:39 PM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 25 June 2013 08:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Agree, agree and agree. sick

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 26 June 2013 12:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Where do I find this speech by Ron Lindsay? What was the particular problem?

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I eat without fear of certain Death from The Tree of Knowledge because with wisdom, we may one day break free from its mortal curse.

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Posted: 26 June 2013 01:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Now it is very difficult not to become cynic:

An Open Letter to the Secular Community

The leaders of major secular organizations have issued a united call for more civility in online discussions, pledging to use their best efforts to improve the tone and substance of such discussions. The entire letter can be found on our website. Ronald A. Lindsay, president & CEO for the Center for Inquiry, and Tom Flynn, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, are signatories to the letter.

Under the points mentioned…

* Go offline before going online: pick up the phone
* Listen more
* Dial down the drama

Seems open letters are not read or taken serious by the signatories themselves… downer

I know it can be difficult. Pity that it has such consequences.

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“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

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Posted: 26 June 2013 04:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Well, what I found so far doesn’t convince me that Ron Lindsay did anything to disrespect women. If this is some contention about etiquette, it is insulting to the nature of open discussion to presume that the way one communicates has more relevance than the logic underlying it.

I also disagree with the assumption that feminism is an inherent stance of being skeptical or humanistic. I also disagree that the nature of religion itself is responsible for any intentional discrimination against women. A religion can easily be formed to favor any arbitrary group or set of individuals while discriminating against them as well. Also, just because a particular religion, like one select form of Christianity can be shown to have historical roots or contemporary attitudes of such behavior, to presume that society would have been different without them is not established logically.

I find the actions of these individuals from the Point of Inquiry to quit on the basis of emotional disgust just a form of emotional blackmail to others who should not toe the line of conforming to some restricting etiquette. If this was their basis to resign, I wouldn’t even be interested in wanting to hear what they have to say in the future now because I would feel like I’d have to adapt to their arbitrary rules for obedience to be an active participant in any discussion.

“Sure, let’s discuss your dissident views on prayer; But let’s begin first with a prayer to open the meeting.”

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Posted: 26 June 2013 06:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Scott Mayers - 26 June 2013 04:03 AM

I also disagree that the nature of religion itself is responsible for any intentional discrimination against women.

That is all I need to know about your thought process on this matter. The Bible tells women to be submissive to their husbands and to not speak in church.

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Posted: 26 June 2013 06:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The Bible also says to stone misbehaving kids, which nobody longer does. I agree with Scott. Religion is, IMO, a reflexion of our nature, not its cause.

And what exactly was it that Lindsay said that got people so upset?

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Posted: 26 June 2013 06:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Lindsay posted the transcript to his talk here.

Rebecca Watson criticized his speech here.

Lindsay replied here.

Note the ad hominem attacks in the lead paragraph. This is what put many people, including me, over the edge. Lindsay has shown he is clueless. The CFI board issued a vaguely worded, watered down apology on June 17.

Daniel Ficke has an excellent analysis of Lindsay’s speech here.

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Posted: 26 June 2013 06:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I find the actions of these individuals from the Point of Inquiry to quit on the basis of emotional disgust just a form of emotional blackmail to others who should not toe the line of conforming to some restricting etiquette.

You’re right. That’s exactly what it is. Worse, it’s trying to bully people into conforming to some sort of mindset by way of the Righteous Indignation gambit which religious people appeal to.

Do we really want to go there?

It’s been pointed out that indignation is not righteous, and on these very pages so when somebody goes there my inclination is to rebel, not to conform. I don’t like having some sort of orthodoxy crammed down my throat, and there’s something in my nature which also rebels against the “This you must not say, or even think mentality.” The idea behind open inquiry is to be open about inquiry, challenges, and dissenting views.

Of course, none of this means that a point of view is not open to being challenged, especially if one finds it offensive.

By all means, challenge, but don’t run away. If you run away, you are no longer a potential part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

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Posted: 26 June 2013 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Scott Mayers - 26 June 2013 04:03 AM

Well, what I found so far doesn’t convince me that Ron Lindsay did anything to disrespect women. If this is some contention about etiquette, it is insulting to the nature of open discussion to presume that the way one communicates has more relevance than the logic underlying it.

Follow the links I provided after you posted this. Read them before making up your mind. Lindsay insulted a lot of people with his speech and subsequent behavior. This is not about etiquette.

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Posted: 26 June 2013 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I see, PC stuff. Ha, ha. Poor Lindsay…

FWIW, I quickly read his speech and I find nothing wrong with it.

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Posted: 26 June 2013 07:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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George - 26 June 2013 07:03 AM

I see, PC stuff. Ha, ha. Poor Lindsay…

FWIW, I quickly read his speech and I find nothing wrong with it.

Read Daniel Ficke’s take on the speech and you’ll see what you missed on your quick read.

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Posted: 26 June 2013 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Lindsay insulted a lot of people with his speech and subsequent behavior.

Maybe and maybe not. Maybe too much is being read into it or people are looking for reasons to be offended.

Or perhaps there IS a good reason to be offended.

Now whatever is the case, exactly what do you think you’re solving by crying “Righteous Indignation” and running away?

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Posted: 26 June 2013 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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DarronS - 26 June 2013 07:04 AM
George - 26 June 2013 07:03 AM

I see, PC stuff. Ha, ha. Poor Lindsay…

FWIW, I quickly read his speech and I find nothing wrong with it.

Read Daniel Ficke’s take on the speech and you’ll see what you missed on your quick read.

What I missed or what you think I missed? Nah, I think I am perfectly capable of deciding for myself what I think is okay. But thanks for the links.

[ Edited: 26 June 2013 07:13 AM by George ]
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Posted: 26 June 2013 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 26 June 2013 07:06 AM

Lindsay insulted a lot of people with his speech and subsequent behavior.

Maybe and maybe not. Maybe too much is being read into it or people are looking for reasons to be offended.

Or perhaps there IS a good reason to be offended.

Now whatever is the case, exactly what do you think you’re solving by crying “Righteous Indignation” and running away?

Who cried “righteous indignation”? I suggest you read the PoI team’s statement I linked in the original post.

As for your “maybe and maybe not” comment you should read Lindsay’s rebuttal to Rebecca Watson.

Rebecca Watson inhabits an alternate universe.  At least that is the most charitable explanation I can provide for her recent smear.  Watson has posted comments on my opening talk at Women in Secularism 2.  It may be the most intellectually dishonest piece of writing since the last communique issued by North Korea.

If you don’t find that insulting then we speak different languages.

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Posted: 26 June 2013 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Who cried “righteous indignation”?

By default, you are with your threat to resign.

I suggest you read the PoI team’s statement I linked in the original post.

And I would suggest that you read the point instead of missing it. My point being that quitting and running away is not the answer.

Confront and challenge what you find offensive instead of running away. It’s the only way you’ll get to make a difference.

Like I said: Make yer choice.

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