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Jerry Coyne - CFI Declares War On Atheist
Posted: 29 September 2010 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Since Doug Smith is an adminstrator, I have sent him a message about this. I refuse to be accused of lying.

You are bordering on lying about my intent…Seems clear what you are doing is deliberately misrepresenting Ronald’s response…For all intents and purposes it has the order of propaganda…

That’s three accusations of lying in one brief comment. That is very bad behavior.

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Posted: 29 September 2010 04:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Ophelia Benson - 29 September 2010 04:29 PM

Skepticus - it’s not nonsense at all. Disinformation is essentially lying - and now you’re actually accusing me of lying. You need to stop doing that. It’s libelous. (It’s also not true - I’m not lying.)

Yeah, I don’t see any great difference between a lie and disinformation. Disinformation is a type of lie. Perhaps one should pick a more appropriate word if they don’t want to imply lying.

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Posted: 29 September 2010 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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There’s another thing. “Skepticus” is anonymous. I’m not. “Skepticus” is exploiting anonymity to accuse the real, named me of lying. Bad.

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Posted: 29 September 2010 05:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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“Disinformation is essentially lying”

Can’t be.  One is a noun and one is a verb.  Nouns being essentially verbs is essentially libelous against nouns.

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Posted: 29 September 2010 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Speaking as a member of this Forum, not as a moderator, I’m sick and tired of these internecine arguments between CFI insiders.  I’m sorry, both Skepticus and Ophelia, but neither of your immature bickering posts, no matter how personally hurtful to each other needs to be aired here.  If it wouldn’t get me into trouble with Doug (who’s more mature and well adjusted than all of us put together), I’d go through and delete ALL of the posts of each of you or the whole damned thread. 

And I’d just as soon decent members like Gnos and Quts not get sucked into nitpicking about your wording.  Much better to let the thead die a quick death.

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Posted: 29 September 2010 08:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Joshua Slocum - 29 September 2010 04:36 PM
Skepticus - 29 September 2010 12:56 PM

Your opinion actually states a factual claim: “People just are going to see posts on the CFI blog as representing CFI” - this may well be true, but it still does not detract f

But it’s clear that people - a whole lot of them - did see Shook’s piece as representing CFI. You can’t just magic that away by saying they “shouldn’t.” And because so very many people did, I really do think it’s wise for CFI and Shook to take a look at that. It might be there’s a reason for it, and that all of us who saw it that way aren’t entirely, obviously unreasonable. I’m not saying this to be scoldy; I think it would help CFI and the disgruntled (I’m one of them) avoid this kind of thing in the future. Some of the reactions to Shook’s piece may have been overblown (though I tend to think not), but the response by CFI staffers and regulars on this forum has been universal defensiveness. Everyone else is nuts for even thinking about the fact that Shook’s piece might be seen as representing CFI. That’s not reasonable on you guys’ part.

That is a fair assessment. I agree that Mr. Shook’s statement was at best ambiguous and its general nature, without proper qualifiers, could easily be interpreted in several ways. This of course makes it subject to criticism. I believe most all agree on that point.
I love CFI for its sophistication in ways it allows one to present a topic with pictures, data, links, and quotability. I find our administrator and moderators to be most helpful and allowing for spirited debate, without exercising heavy handed control. To me this presents an exceptional forum for free thought and in-depth examination on a variety of issues, atheism and humanism (the stated goals) being just two of them. This format of diversity can also be attributed to management and it is a natural reaction for loyal members and bloggers in CFI to come to the defense of a very active and public member of management, even if his remarks are controversial.
But is seems that rational thought is prevailing and a consensus is being formed, that Mr Shook’s presentation perhaps warrants further clarification, while identifying that the reactions by some were perhaps prematurely harsh.
As a (non active) atheist myself, and having been exposed to the ridicule and prejudice of theists, I sincerely hope that this controversy can be resolved without further divisiveness among the rank and file.

[ Edited: 29 September 2010 08:30 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 30 September 2010 03:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Write4U - 29 September 2010 08:06 PM

[ I find our administrator and moderators to be most helpful and allowing for spirited debate, without exercising heavy handed control. To me this presents an exceptional forum for free thought and in-depth examination on a variety of issues, atheism and humanism (the stated goals) being just two of them.

Thanks, this is our intent.

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Posted: 30 September 2010 05:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Occam. - 29 September 2010 07:14 PM

Speaking as a member of this Forum, not as a moderator, I’m sick and tired of these internecine arguments between CFI insiders.  I’m sorry, both Skepticus and Ophelia, but neither of your immature bickering posts, no matter how personally hurtful to each other needs to be aired here.  If it wouldn’t get me into trouble with Doug (who’s more mature and well adjusted than all of us put together), I’d go through and delete ALL of the posts of each of you or the whole damned thread.

I support Occam here. I couldn’t believe my eyes seeing this thread here. Rolling fighting on the street, it is. These are definitely internas of the CFI. Not for public discussion. Underlining even Occam’s remark about Doug, I would still suggest him to delete the thread: let the others discuss it via PMs, if they want. Or bring in in some next CFI internal meeting.

About the real subject matter: it doesn’t hurt to know something about theology at all. But no atheist should know it before saying something about it his unbelief in god. But never forget that believers struggle with the same daily life problems as atheists, and that they are humans too: kind and unkind, stupid or not, dogmatic or not, just as ‘we atheists’. Every human encounter starts with respect. When we can do that, then we do not really need theology when we discuss with believers.

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Posted: 30 September 2010 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Just to show what I mean. This is going fast.

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Posted: 30 September 2010 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Joshua Slocum - 29 September 2010 04:36 PM
Skepticus - 29 September 2010 12:56 PM

Your opinion actually states a factual claim: “People just are going to see posts on the CFI blog as representing CFI” - this may well be true, but it still does not detract f

But it’s clear that people - a whole lot of them - did see Shook’s piece as representing CFI. You can’t just magic that away by saying they “shouldn’t.”

It doesn’t matter that people do - the fact that people have and then exploited that to the extent to smear CFI is what is revealed through the specious and disinformation arguments I’ve highlighted - which obviously have had the effects intended. I’m not saying people “shouldn’t”.

[ Edited: 30 September 2010 08:04 AM by Skepticus ]
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Posted: 30 September 2010 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Skepticus - 30 September 2010 08:01 AM

It doesn’t matter that people do - the fact that people have and then exploited that to the extent to smear CFI is what is revealed through the specious and disinformation arguments I’ve highlighted - which obviously have had the effects intended. I’m not saying people “shouldn’t”.

I think you see a conspiracy where there is none. Yes, I know you didn’t use the word conspiracy, but saying that people “exploited” this “to smear” CFI with “disinformation” is really over the top. Lots of us were genuinely pissed, and believed Shook was unfair. We were disturbed that CFI staffers couldn’t accept that, and treated us like we were unreasonable. No one I’m aware of was out to exploit or smear the organization. We were upset because we appreciate the value of CFI, and didn’t like the appearance of the organization throwing atheists under the bus.

Really, stop it with this “disinformation” nonsense.

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Posted: 30 September 2010 08:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Some potential solutions:

1. CFI employees can continue to write and speak in public, but they must not refer to their CFI employment when doing so (if asked about it, DENY DENY DENY).
2. Or, CFI employees can continue to write and speak in public, but the first sentence out of their mouth, or the lede, must be “My ensuing statements in no way reflect those of the Center for Inquiry” (then let’s just hope media outlets don’t cut that sentence).
3. Or, CFI muzzles its employees and no longer allows them to write and speak in public (hey, we never liked media attention to begin with).

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Posted: 30 September 2010 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Joshua Slocum - 30 September 2010 08:10 AM

I think you see a conspiracy where there is none. Yes, I know you didn’t use the word conspiracy, but saying that people “exploited” this “to smear” CFI with “disinformation” is really over the top.

Nonsense. This thread’s title comes from Coyne’s blog post. I’ve outlined several arguments that attempt to pull in CFI to this in a negative way and how many comments do I have to read (which I’ve urged people to go read) to see that many have smeared CFI because of what has transpired because of the Shook essay that appeared in Huffpo (see Ophelia argument reworked to pull in his bio on my comment #4). You have to be blind not to see the negative labeling of CFI due to the Shook essay, the outrageous accusations, the near threats to avoid this"fiasco” happening again, the many saying they are pulling out of supporting CFI, the more than obvious attempts to make it seem CFI is responsible and should be held accountable - which leads to clear indications that there should be a type of censorship.

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Posted: 30 September 2010 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Skepticus - 30 September 2010 08:20 AM

Nonsense. This thread’s title comes from Coyne’s blog post. I’ve outlined several arguments that attempt to pull in CFI to this in a negative way and how many comments do I have to read (which I’ve urged people to go read) to see that many have smeared CFI because of what has transpired because of the Shook essay that appeared in Huffpo (see Ophelia argument reworked to pull in his bio on my comment #4). You have to be blind not to see the negative labeling of CFI due to the Shook essay, the outrageous accusations, the near threats to avoid this"fiasco” happening again, the many saying they are pulling out of supporting CFI, the more than obvious attempts to make it seem CFI is responsible and should be held accountable - which leads to clear indications that there should be a type of censorship.

You’re completely unable to see the difference between Enemies Waiting to Pounce, and reasonable people (many of whom are supporters) who are legitimately pissed off at Shook’s actions and do think CFI has some responsibility for distancing itself from them and preventing this kind of spill-over in the future. Skepticus - what’s your problem? Why are you unable to simply disagree? Why do construct boogeymen with nefarious motives when a simpler explanation (and one less fraught) would do?

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Posted: 30 September 2010 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Michael De Dora - 30 September 2010 08:13 AM

Some potential solutions:

1. CFI employees can continue to write and speak in public, but they must not refer to their CFI employment when doing so (if asked about it, DENY DENY DENY).
2. Or, CFI employees can continue to write and speak in public, but the first sentence out of their mouth, or the lede, must be “My ensuing statements in no way reflect those of the Center for Inquiry” (then let’s just hope media outlets don’t cut that sentence).
3. Or, CFI muzzles its employees and no longer allows them to write and speak in public (hey, we never liked media attention to begin with).

Oh grow up Michael.

How about these:

1. CFI employees don’t write articles in mainstream venues that inaccurately characterize a wide swath of their own constituency.

2. CFI employees take a modicum of care to ensure that, when debating topics of legit. interest to the skeptical/atheist/CFI community, they don’t feed into and perpetuate vicious stereotypes that have been hindering the ability of outspoken atheists to have a place at the conversational table.

3. CFI and its employees have a discussion about how to balance editorial freedom with CFI’s stated goal of ending the stigma associated with being an atheist or agnostic?

This is NOT an unreasonable position. What the blazing hell is so outrageous about it to all of you that you can’t respond except to defend the indefensible, and treat the rest of us like we were insane? Seriously?

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