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Another topic idea: Chris Mooney (does not) owe the world an apology
Posted: 14 July 2010 01:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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asanta, it is, of course, hard to argue with the points you make. And, no, I do not intend to chase Chris all over the internet demanding an apology. I will sometimes take part in discussions that may deal with this issue, if I think it warranted. I don’t think Chris is being on the level (Templeton makes me as suspicious of him as it makes you, DarronS and a great many other people) and the more people mistake him for trustworthy and objective, the more I think it ought to be of general concern. In exactly the same way that I am an opponent of religion, because I think it misleads its followers and is a more divisive factor, in a global sense, than it is a uniting factor within its own communities. I really don’t think Chris can expect to make some of the assertions he has without provoking a strong reaction. Recent events involving footwear have not vindicated the line and approach he’s been taking, quite the contrary. Someone recently, and I don’t even remember right now whether it was Ophelia herself, wrote somewhere that if Chris had simply said he didn’t like Ophelia and was going to ban her so he wouldn’t have to deal with her awkward questions on his blog, it would have been much better than the way he has handled it and would have led to far less subsequent argumentation. If there’s nothing above you disagree with, we can wrap our part of this up, as some would like to see happen.

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Posted: 14 July 2010 04:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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Ophelia, why don’t you PM Chris and work it out?

You evidently do not understand the situation.

The OP is satisfied with the results, I don’t understand why everyone else feels they have a dog in this non-fight.

What is the implication here?  Is there a convention that the original poster gets to decide when a conversation is over, and to tell other people that they shouldn’t be interested anymore?

I think quite a number of people are interested in having Chris answer some straight questions, which he will not answer on his own blog.  I think a number of people have a legitimate “dog in this fight”—-particularly those of us who have been involved with CFI since before Chris came on the scene, have been reading his blog for years, and who listen to PoI.

Is that somehow out of line?  I thoroughly fail to see how.

Is the convention here that the original poster “owns” the thread?  Is the proper response just to start another thread, and continue there?

For my own part, I’m sorry if my long post confused the matter.  If Chris would like to answer Oedipus’s question, and that question only, he should by all means do that.

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Posted: 14 July 2010 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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Darron, I realize you want this thread to die, but I think I can clarify the situation while being brief.

It appears that your position changed when you said, “It does seem rahter pertinent, though, that you did not ban the sock puppets for trashing her for asking questions.” The reason people jumped in is because you’ve articulated Mooney’s mischaracterization. We’ve pointed to the reasons for this, and at your leisure (or not), you may check the facts behind these reasons.

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Posted: 14 July 2010 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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paul_w - 14 July 2010 04:05 AM

I think quite a number of people are interested in having Chris answer some straight questions, which he will not answer on his own blog.  I think a number of people have a legitimate “dog in this fight”—-particularly those of us who have been involved with CFI since before Chris came on the scene, have been reading his blog for years, and who listen to PoI.

....and can you tell exactly how this tact is going to accomplish anything?? I am not saying that your statements are unfounded or untrue, I don’t know enough about the situation, but do you REALLY think you can accomplish anything by continuing this haranguing? Can you take the high road and just let it go?

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Posted: 14 July 2010 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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Oedipus - 14 July 2010 07:59 AM

Darron, I realize you want this thread to die, but I think I can clarify the situation while being brief.

It appears that your position changed when you said, “It does seem rahter pertinent, though, that you did not ban the sock puppets for trashing her for asking questions.” The reason people jumped in is because you’ve articulated Mooney’s mischaracterization. We’ve pointed to the reasons for this, and at your leisure (or not), you may check the facts behind these reasons.

No, Oedipus, that was my mistake. Mooney did not allow sock puppets to trash Ophelia Benson, and she never said he did. I should have gone back to the original thread to see for myself what had happened, and I did not. I inadvertently made Ophelia look like she was misrepresenting what happened, when the mistake was mine all along. And, even more importantly, I made the exact mistake of which I accused Chris Mooney throughout this thread.

It is time to move on. No need to throw fuel on dying embers.

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Posted: 14 July 2010 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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It is time to move on. No need to throw fuel on dying embers.

Besides, if we wanted a flame war around here I’m sure Cap’n and I could dredge up a better topic.  Right, A?

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Posted: 14 July 2010 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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DarronS - 14 July 2010 02:12 PM

...Mooney did not allow sock puppets to trash Ophelia Benson, and she never said he did….

Darron, I am ready to move on too, but please forgive me as I can’t just let misinformation hang there in your last message.

Ophelia did say, accidentally, that one of the Toxic Socks called her a liar at the Intersection. That’s what Chris uses to hang Ophelia. It’s a full-fledged straw man. It was another anonymous commenter, TB, who called Ophelia a liar, and for some unknown reason Chris banned Ophelia before she could respond. It’s unconscionable for Chris to omit that information.

The Toxic Socks called Ophelia a liar elsewhere, and were allowed to wreak havoc on civil discussion at the Intersection for months. To say that Chris didn’t allow them to trash Ophelia is misleading because she happened to be absent. The Toxic Socks were allowed to trash everyone else in the vicinity. As anyone familiar with that blogging software can attest, he was a only few clicks away from easily identifying the socks. If you just look at some of those threads, the most charitable view is to be puzzled by Chris’ naivete.

So there was the unruly trash-talking of the Toxic Socks (plus TB) on the one hand, and Ophelia’s reasonable (albeit persistent) questions on the other hand. The former, who happened to be on Chris’ side, were permitted without a wit of scrutiny, and the latter was so intolerable as to be banned.

I hope that clarifies Chris’ straw-woman attack on Ophelia. There’s more to the story, of course, summarized above and elsewhere.

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Posted: 14 July 2010 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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Stewart - 14 July 2010 01:53 AM

I don’t think Chris is being on the level (Templeton makes me as suspicious of him as it makes you, DarronS and a great many other people) and the more people mistake him for trustworthy and objective, the more I think it ought to be of general concern.

`
For anyone interested in hearing Mooney’s thoughts on his association with Templeton and accommodationism, he was a guest on the most recent episode of Reasonable Doubts.

You can download the episode and read comments about it here:

Reasonable Doubts - accommodationism with Chris Mooney


(apologies if this has already been mentioned)

`

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Posted: 14 July 2010 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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Sorry, I didn’t get very far, did give it a chance, but there was no point going further than reading:

according to atheists such as Chris Mooney (author of Unscientific America and host of CFI’s podcast Point of Inquiry) not only are science and moderate religion compatible

This is a view with which I emphatically disagree and it is a deeply considered opinion, not a kneejerk reaction. I don’t think I am unique in eventually reaching an age where experience tells me I’m about to enter time-wasting territory.

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Posted: 14 July 2010 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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Just to clarify the above, which may be too abrupt, I’m not saying that no moderately religious people can accept science or that no scientists can be or are moderately religious, but the quote doesn’t say that. It says science and moderate religion are compatible. And that means that Chris Mooney, an atheist (which I think means he does not think the claims of religion are true) who also claims to be a big supporter of science, is trying to say that what he thinks is true and what he thinks is not true are compatible.

Needless to say, I find what it goes on to say about the damaging rhetoric of new atheists even less acceptable.

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Posted: 14 July 2010 06:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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I believe a discussion of the compatibility/incompatibility of science and religion would be far more interesting and productive than the current debates about what did or did not occur on Mooney’s blog. I will initiate a new thread on that subject based on Stewart’s posts 84-85.

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Posted: 14 July 2010 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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mckenzievmd - 14 July 2010 06:38 PM

I believe a discussion of the compatibility/incompatibility of science and religion would be far more interesting and productive than the current debates about what did or did not occur on Mooney’s blog. I will initiate a new thread on that subject based on Stewart’s posts 84-85.

Don’t we already have one going on that subject?

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Posted: 14 July 2010 07:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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I think we’ve had several over time, but I didn’t notice one currently active. I’m happy to tack on my OP in the new thread to another if it seems to fit a pre-existing recent discussion.

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Posted: 15 July 2010 03:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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Brennan,

Could you explain the rules (or norms) around here, and specifically your principles of moderating?

I find this thread pretty puzzling.

It seems to me legitimate to raise questions here on CFI forums about Chris Money’s public claims and behavior on his blog, as well as in his books, newspaper opinion pieces, etc.

We seem to be getting told that if we have concerns about Chris’s or behavior on his blog, we should ask about them on his blog, not here.  But of course part of the point is that he won’t answer questions on his blog.  Where should we ask them.  Anywhere but here?

We also seem to be getting told that on the one hand, people like Ophelia, who we think have been treated unfairly, aren’t objective enough—-they have an anti-Chris agenda or something, and that’s somehow not fair.  So his alleged victims of his allegedly unfair behavior should not themselves do anything about it.  (To me, that smacks of blaming the victim.)  But on the other hand, people whose personal oxen were not gored “don’t have a dog in the fight,” and should just let it go.

That’s some catch, that Catch-22.

What are the relevant rules or principles here?

I’m wondering if I detect a note, on the part of some commenters here, of knee-jerk defense of Mooney, who they’re familiar with and respect, and an assumption that some people criticizing him must be disgruntled cranks from his blog who should be discouraged here.  (I could be quite wrong, but just in case…)

They may not realize that Ophelia Benson is a professional philosopher, a published author and editor of skeptic/atheist books, and IMHO not someone to be dismissed lightly.

I myself am a cofounder of an unusually successful local atheist group that Paul Kurtz and DJ Grothe notied and liked very much, and wanted to make part of CFI.  I played a role in negotiations with them and others to make that happen.  (As it happens, it didn’t happen, but there it is.)  DJ has since said our organization was partly the inspiration and model for some later changes to CFI’s local efforts.

So just in case anybody was wondering, and is familiar with Chris bu not familiar with us as individuals, we’re not just some disgruntled kids in their parent’s basements with nothing better to do than take cheap and unfair shots at Chris Mooney.  We’ve been around and paid some dues.

I, for one, am wondering why we are being shut down.

In particular, I’m wondering about Darron’s sudden about-face, and especially his striking statement that he had “no right to question” Chris’s behavior on his blog.  How can that be true on the forum’s of the Center for Inquiry, or about a host of Point of Inquiry?

Several of us had to wonder what we missed that changed Darron’s mind.  Was there private email from Chris or the moderator or something?  Perhaps a reminder of the rules of discourse here?  If so, we’d be interested in what relevant information was conveyed—-it certainly didn’t come out in the comments, and this has all left us puzzled.

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Posted: 15 July 2010 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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Paul,

The policies for discussion here are clearly set out in the Forum Rules, which you can read for yourself. As I explicitly stated earlier in the thread, no rule violation have been deemed to have occurred, and the the only official moderator comment (which are always made in blue type to distinguish them from personal participation in discussion by individual moderators and administrators) was that made by Occam in post#69. The moderators and administrators have monitored and discussed this thread throughout and have specifically refrained from any official actions concerning it. No one has been warned to desist or banned, and the thread has been left open to onoging participation. So to say you are “being shut down” is inaccurate.

It is true that as individuals moderators and other members have commented that many of the posts seem unecessarily personalized and hostile in tone and only tangentially relevant to CFI or its mission, and we have suggested that the thread might be best abandoned since it seems to serve no purpose other than continuing to badger Chris Mooney for explanations and apologies he clearly does not intend to give here. Darron chose to change his position entirely without private communication from anyone at CFI, and the impression I have (though I cannot speak for him) is that he reviewed the materials at issue on Mooney’s blog and realized he had misinterpreted them. You are free to ask him why he changed his mind, but of course he is not required to explain himself to you.

As long as the rules as written are followed, this thread will be allowed to continue as it has unhindered by official moderation.

updated to change color to moderation blue

[ Edited: 15 July 2010 10:25 AM by mckenzievmd ]
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