Friday, July 16, 2010

On religion and goat fucking

And now, commentary on the Pharyngula post that led to chaos, destruction, and the near dissolution of my blugfriendship with BDR.

Here's PZ Myers' latest imbecility. (Just kidding! He posted it two mornings ago, so there have been plenty of imbecilities since.) Take a look at it. See the problem? Apparently, PZ thinks the only significant difference between Pakistan and, say, the United States that might have an impact on online behavior is....religion. Is that so.

Take a look at this list. I'm not 100% clear on how Wikipedia defines "internet user," but regardless it seems like a good starting point. We see that 10.6% of the Pakistani population is online. In the US, it's 76.3%. There is one factor in any country that will consistently separate internet users from non-internet users, and it's not religion. I'll leave it to you to figure out what I might be talking about.

And that is of course just the beginning. When you're talking about Pakistan, for fucking hell's sake, you can't disregard its, uh, relationship with the US. Now I don't have statistics handy, but it's a good bet that those members of the Pakistani population who have internet access are more likely to have US ties, while the primary interaction between the US and those who do not have internet access is more likely mediated by predator drones.

And another thing: PZ's argument seems to be that the more repressive a person or a society is about expressions of sexuality, the more interested individuals are going to be in it in private, and that this means everyone should be open about sexuality. And while I have no particular opinion on this line of reasoning in specific, I'm certainly in favor of sexual openness, no fan of sexual repression. However, it is an easily observable fact that PZ Myers himself is not in favor of open expressions of the kind of sexuality directly relevant to the post, which are in fact bestiality and pedophilia. I'm always open to a discussion about these things, and I think their morality or lack thereof is far from a settled question, but Myers is definitively of a different persuasion. So what, exactly, is his point here?

And finally. There is an argument similar in structure to PZ's "the more someone says they're against sex, the more they're into it in private" that I do think is pretty consistently valid, and that's this: "the more someone says they're committed to rational evaluation of the world based on empirical evidence, like, oh, say, capital-A Atheists, the more they are absolutely idiotic, smugly ignorant, and completely unaware of their massive, massive blind spots." This post and its lengthy comment thread are excellent examples. About the first half of the thread is taken up by discussion about whether the methods used to attain and analyze the data are valid, but with no mention of the fact that the data sets for different countries with different types of social and economic stratification are not directly comparable and that therefore the entire premise of the whole discussion is nonsense. Then, a commenter using the name "Pakistan" comes in to berate the commenters and the original post for their racism, which, yes, absolutely. It's only part of the problem with the whole thing, but in any Pharyngula discussion there are going to be so many things to object to that it would be impossible to cover them all. (And I love his response when people point out that the only person who has used the phrase "sand nigger" is him: "I apologize profusely for suggesting that any of the good people of Pharyngula would say something ignorant and potentially racist straight out." Accurate!) Then the rest of the thread mostly consists of people haughtily pointing out that it's simply impossible that they might be engaging in racism (none of them, incidentally, aware of the distinction between "being racist" and "being a racist"). I leave you with this comment, which might be one of the most breathtakingly ignorant and awful things I've read in a good long while. She says that Pakistan
as a whole IS a fundamentalist hellhole though, largely due to Islam and ignorance. The Taliban seem to be ramping up, the government is a corrupt US puppet, and no one seems to care.
To paraphrase someone or other, what do you mean "no one," paleface?

40 comments:

¯\(°_0)/¯ said...

I wonder if PZ Myers would agree that the more you repress racism, the more prevalent it becomes?

Ethan said...

I doubt it, but you know, since you mention it, that's pretty damn true. All you have to do is look at that thread to see it in action.

BDR said...

Heh, cooler heads prevailed, disaster was averted. Thanks!

The comment thread there just took a turn for the interesting, perhaps.

Jack Crow said...

Fucking brilliant.

ASP said...

I'm always open to a discussion about these things, and I think their morality or lack thereof is far from a settled question, but Myers is definitively of a different persuasion.

Pedophilia and bestiality amount to subjecting to sex someone who cannot consent to sex (and before we get into the topic of whether children can consent to sex with adults, I would like to compare manufacturing consent of the public by those in power and authority over them, with eliciting "consent" from children by those in power and authority over them -- namely, the fact that circumstances and power relations make it difficult to speak about consent (as it would exist between two adult, informed individuals of which neither is subordinate to the other in some way)). What, for you, remains unsettled about the lack of morality of such behaviour?

ASP said...

Or maybe we could leave this discussion for some other time, as it doesn't concern the topic of this post! (Sorry for being off topic, but I'm intrigued.)

Ethan said...

BDR, I like how as soon as "Pakistan" got banned, suddenly a few people found nice things to say about him.

Jack, thanks.

ASP, I have a lot to say on these topics and hope at some point to write a whole post about it, but I will say, first, that what few studies that have been done show that people who, as children, had what they considered consensual sexual encounters with adults rarely report any negative impact from those encounters, and, second, that any consent in a society that has any kind of power structure is going to be flavored by that structure. It is true that in our society adults have power over children, but so too do men have power over women, white people over black, people who take home 50k a year over people who take home 15k. And yet people do manage to cobble together somewhat mutual heterosexual, interracial, and/or inter-economic-standing sexual relationships. There is room at least to discuss what makes the power differential between adults and children so different, and so much more uncrossable, than these other ones.

As for bestiality, speaking for myself, I am not a vegetarian, and I will not refuse, say, medical treatment on the grounds that the method was at one point tested on animals. So to suddenly be concerned about an animal's consent in order to condemn human beings who want to have sex with them seems hypocritical. I'm not saying that eating meat or conducting animal testing are moral, I'm just saying that since I'm not prepared to do anything about either of them, I'm not in a position to do anything about bestiality, either.

I'm not, right now, arguing for either pedophilia or bestiality. It seems likely that both are bad things in our contemporary society, at least when taken out of the realm of fantasy and into reality (I fail to see how desiring to have sex with a child or with an animal, without actually doing it, can be considered "wrong," which argument I do frequently see people make). But I do think there's a lot more to discuss here than most people will admit.

I'm never concerned with comments staying on-topic, so don't worry about that. On the other hand, I'm not sure I have the energy to have a full-fledged conversation on this right now (which probably makes it unfair of me to go as far into it as I already have, but I did want to explain myself a little). But does that at least make a little bit of sense?

ASP said...

I understand what you're trying to say re: morality of different treatment of animals, but to use animals for sexual pleasure is unjustifiable on any grounds - you demonstrably don't need to have sex with animals to survive, but you might need animal food or the medical research conducted on them. We may debate the morality of other treatments of animals, but I don't think there is anything unsettled about the lack of morality of their sexual exploitation.

There is room at least to discuss what makes the power differential between adults and children so different, and so much more uncrossable, than these other ones.

Children depend on adults to ensure that they have emotional and other kinds of support to develop and flourish. They are in a most vulnerable position with respect to adults. Their lack of experience means they lack knowledge of how to handle challenges in a relationship, which put the child in a particularly exploitable position. I agree with you that despite various power imbalances people can form consensual relationships, but where adults form relationships despite the power imbalance, working against it or to abolish it, children might not even perceive it. I would say all this makes the power differential between child and adult different from those between adults.

I appreciate your point of view, though.

And we don't have to get into further discussion about this. We'll leave it for some other time. :)

Ethan said...

Thanks.

Yeah, the arguments I made just now are all of course debatable, and this is exactly the kind of discussion about the issue that I was saying people should be having but generally don't admit is possible. At some point I promise we'll have the whole conversation.

Just not now. Right now it's just making me feel tired. My problem, not yours.

Jack Crow said...

I'm not sure what "need" has to do with sexual pleasure.

Regardless of my personal position about bestiality (cold shudder).

Ethan said...

I think that was ASP's point, that it's not a need, so you can't justify it with the same arguments as you could a need.

As for bestiality, well, it creeps me out too, but that's no reason to judge it immoral. Which I guess is your point, too?

Jack Crow said...

I didn't read your original statement as a justification from need.

I read ASP's reply as an assertion that the lack of equity of need erases any possibility of congress.

Jack Crow said...

Here's ASP's exact quote:

"...but to use animals for sexual pleasure is unjustifiable on any grounds - you demonstrably don't need to have sex with animals to survive, but you might need animal food or the medical research conducted on them. We may debate the morality of other treatments of animals, but I don't think there is anything unsettled about the lack of morality of their sexual exploitation."

This is an argument which binds sexuality directly to both (a) need in general and (b) survival in particular.

It's exactly the logic which informs conservative rejection of homosexuality. It's the Catholic traditionalist logic, also, which denies women their own sexual pleasure, since it has no propagative functionality.

It establishes, further, that the relationship is necessarily exploitative, whilst skipping (perhaps deliberately) the utterly exploitative relation of people as eaters to animals as food.

Respect,

Jack

ASP said...

Jack, I'm rejecting the morality of bestiality based on the fact that it's not a consensual act, as I have stated above. As far as my experience goes, conservatives reject the morality of homosexuality based on the fact that it's not "natural," whatever that means. I have not attempted to bind sexuality with either need or survival, but have referred to need and survival in relation to those other practices, namely exploiting animals for food or medical research. (I have indeed skipped to discuss more elaborately the exploitative nature of using animals for food, but I have agreed with Ethan's assertion that the morality of that practice is entirely debatable.) If I actually believed sexual pleasure is necessarily bound with need and survival, I would believe there are circumstances in which forcing also a person to sex for pleasure are justifiable and moral. Do you think that I believe that? I believe precisely the opposite, which is why I asserted that sexual pleasure is not needed for survival (reproduction may be necessary for survival, sexual pleasure certainly is not). That is, I've asserted exactly the opposite of what you have understood. I am dismayed by how far you've managed to twist the meaning of my words to arrive at the conclusions you propose. I mean, it would be amusing, if it weren't for the fact that you're normally a very perceptive and judicious person.

ASP said...

>>(reproduction may be necessary for survival, sexual pleasure certainly is not)

And neither sex nor sexual pleasure are now necessary for reproduction, either.

Jack Crow said...

I haven't twisted the meaning of your words. I quoted you exactly. You directly connect need with survival, and sexual pleasure on the way to rejecting bestiality.

Your last reply does reinterpret the terms, and it's a useful clarification, but it really doesn't alter the logical construction of the argument to which I replied.

Whether or not you think consent is the main objection (and I see no reason to doubt you) consent still plays no part of this argument, here:

"...but to use animals for sexual pleasure is unjustifiable on any grounds - you demonstrably don't need to have sex with animals to survive, but you might need animal food or the medical research conducted on them. We may debate the morality of other treatments of animals, but I don't think there is anything unsettled about the lack of morality of their sexual exploitation."

You clearly and unequivocally reject it on "any grounds," isolating the sexual "use" of animals from the food use of animals, in the process.

The logic of your argument fails on that fulcrum point, regardless of your feelings about consent (on which I tend to agree with you).

Furthermore, one does not necessarily have to reach the conclusion that need ought be associated with rape, or forced sexual contact. A need is not tethered to force, which premise you seem to assume when you write,

"If I actually believed sexual pleasure is necessarily bound with need and survival, I would believe there are circumstances in which forcing also a person to sex for pleasure are justifiable and moral."

I certainly have not made the implied or explicit connection between the experience of need and force, or violence.

This connection, though, you do appear to make.

Sometimes, each and every day, billions of people need to void their bowels, no? They need to eat? They need to sleep? They need varying degrees of shelter from the elements?

Are all of these needs mediated by force - or is it possible to conceive of need without recourse to force, which premise you seem to imply?

Never mind your introduction of morality and justification to the concept of survival...

Ethan said...

Jack, if you remember that ASP's original comment was a response to my earlier one (in which I equated bestiality with eating meat and conducting animal tests), and was thus assuming the context I set up in that comment, I think her argument will become clearer to you. In fact I see her comment as being structurally similar to my original post: just as I was saying that the data from the US and Pakistan can't be compared because the situations in each case are so vastly different, she was saying that the arguments for or against bestiality on the one hand and eating meat and animal testing on the other can't be compared because the situations involved are vastly different. And, since she mentions it, I think that's true, though there is obviously a huge amount of room for debate on the terms.

Another problem too is that ASP may be thinking she's having a casual conversation, whereas you seem to think you're having a debate in which logic can fail on fulcrum points. I don't claim that either way is superior or correct, but maybe if you two could come to an agreement as to what mode of interchange you're using, that interchange would be more productive.

Beyond that, I'm considering myself uninvolved in this, because, as I said, the whole topic is just making me tired.

ASP said...

consent still plays no part of this argument, here

I have referred to consent in exactly the first comment I posted in this thread.

I quoted you exactly.

Yes, you have quoted me exactly and then proceeded to derive precisely the opposite conclusion from what I've actually said. I have explicitly divorced sexual pleasure from need and survival. You interpreted this to mean that sexual pleasure is bound with need and survival.

I certainly have not made the implied or explicit connection between the experience of need and force, or violence.

This connection, though, you do appear to make.


The issue is non-consensual sexual exploitation, namely force or violence with regard to sexual pleasure, and whether sexual pleasure is a need. You don't have to make an implied or explicit connection, it's the point of the discussion.

ASP said...

Beyond that, I'm considering myself uninvolved in this, because, as I said, the whole topic is just making me tired.

I am also going to uninvolve myself from this because it's the weekend, and the weather is nice, and my sister's kid is here, and the cat is being exceptionally cute today, and altogether it's too nice to be annoyed by an unproductive and misunderstood conversation. Hope you'll have a nice weekend both. Cheers.

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

what few studies that have been done show that people who, as children, had what they considered consensual sexual encounters with adults rarely report any negative impact from those encounters,

Not believing the validity of the results there. Not believing it at all.

Gaping blind spot: the average human lacks self-awareness and can pretend at lack of harm where the harm is palpable to a detached observer.

Example: 26 year old man fucks 12 year old girl, who "consented". At age 24, she is interviewed by a Yale Psychology Department PhD candidate, whom she tells: "It was astonishing to have been deflowered by such a kind, loving, patient man 14 years my senior. If anything, it made me a better person." Then we examine her life in other realms, no?

Oh, we don't?

We just take her words at face value, and call the study "good"?

Yeah, I'm not buying it. Not at all.

Ethan said...

CFO, unfortunately, the one study that was ever done was incomplete (as any one study will be). Even more unfortunately, there will never be any follow-up, as the very existence of the study--the very idea of studying the impact of sex on children--was deemed a "mistake" by the APA and was made the subject of a congressional resolution condemning it. It now verges on illegal to study the matter at all. Which, considering the culture-wide hysteria that surrounds it, is I think pretty dangerous and bad.

Jack Crow said...

I wonder at Maori and Dinka sexual initiation customs.

From a distance, at least.

I feel it necessary to clarify that I still get the cold shudders at people who want to sexualize animals or children. Not my cup of tea, to type the least.

But I'm not sold on the children-as-eternal-virgins model which informs the entirety of the debate.

Or that a 14 year lacks the moral capacity to consent.

I have kids.

They show a rather pervasive interest in their own sexuality.

And I imagine, since they have each "dated," that of others.

ASP said...

Kids start showing interest in their own sexuality from the earliest age. My earliest memory of masturbating dates from when I was about 6 or 7 (and, after talking to some of my friends, I find that not only was I not advanced, I was even late in exploring sexual pleasure!). But interest is one thing, experience and knowledge that constitutes informed consent is another. If two 14 year olds want to have sex, I say go for it. Be safe, and if things get fucked up (and at that age, it's likely they will), I hope you have supportive parents, siblings and friends to rely on. But relationships, especially early ones, require exploring the boundaries, navigating unknown experiences, negotiating terms and access, dealing with intense emotions. Two 14 year olds (or a 13 and a 15 year old or whatever) can be equals in navigating that terrain, but a 14 year old and someone ten years older cannot. The adult will have advantage and ability to manipulate due to their greater knowledge and experience. I'm not saying a 14 year old kid does not have moral capacity to consent, but that in a relationship with someone significantly older and more experienced s/he is in a position where s/he can be more easily manipulated into consent. And this is especially dangerous in a society where we, as you say Jack, see children as eternal virgins, so much so that we won't even let them have decent sex education (or if we do educate them about sex, we'll make them believe homosexuality is an abomination, sex before marriage is a sin and masturbation is evil - at least, that's what you get in some middle schools in Croatia), because this lack of honesty and trust is not helping them in the least.

Anonymous said...

I followed the above-mentioned thread, and have been 'observing' PZ Myers' behaviour and the general tone of his blog 'Pharyngula' for just a few weeks now.

I'm no big, smart academic, but speaking as someone who - similarly to 'Pakistan' - also, met with PZ's famed banhammer, something I've noticed is that even if a bit of racism (or in my case sexism) does slip out from his keen-to-be seen pc mouth at any time, he can simply never admits when he's wrong.

Sure, he's keen to scour the news and the Net for others who say or do bigoted things and wastes no time in pulling them to pieces (ahem...sorry, *deconstructing* them and being *skeptical*), publicly humiliating them, condemning them and come down hard as a ton of bricks on them.

No-one is perfect, yet PZ Myers seems to think he is and what's more, I've also noticed that a lot of what he does is 'showbiz, folks!' in that he's concsious that he's playing to an audience.

Yes, I don't feel that well disposed towards him because I got banned; yet I might not have come away with such an unfavourable impression of him had he even been slightly bothered to 'lower himself' to address me and ask me what the issue was that I had with his post before he banned me. Maybe I'm just not worthy of entering into intellectual intercourse with the world-renowned and respected academic, Professor PZ Myers(!)

Whatever great thoughts are going through his genius mind, he seems to have taken the easy option of the 'punitive psychology' approach, labelling me as 'in desperate need of a mental health professional' Oh dear:)

Becky Transsexual

Anonymous said...

Ps: Sorry for all the typos in my above post:)

Becky

Ethan said...

Becky, as I mentioned briefly in my original post, the capital-A Atheists have some of the most enormous blind spots imaginable. They seem to think that deciding not to believe in god automatically confers rightness and moral and intellectual superiority onto them in all matters. And they then apply the reverse to all those who have any kind of religion: they are wrong and morally and intellectually inferior in all matters.

As a result, your capital-A Atheist is beyond reproach him or herself (even when as behaving in as manifestly racist or sexist or otherwise just utterly wrong a way as Myers frequently does), and is free to blame religion for all the problems in the world (ignoring the actual causes of these problems, which is nice and convenient for power!).

Bunch of assholes, in short.

Thanks for sharing your story. If you feel like sticking around here, I promise you I'll never ban you for disagreeing with me or for calling me out on something shitty I might say.

Ethan said...

Oh and also: here, we don't make fun of people for typos, so don't sweat it.

Dan said...

Becky,

Care to share the post in which you got banned? I mean, just out of curiosity...I'm kinda nosy like that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ethan, Dan...

Many thanks for considering my post and for your fair play and open-mindedness. Such a refreshing change from certain blogs that seem to display a profound suspicion and outright hostility to anyone not 'local' who might say something that challenges their decided mindset:)

I chanced upon the 'Bravo Belgium' post that he wrote a few weeks ago when I googled the word 'transvestite' into the news section (I'm interested in reading news stories about transgendered related issues). Okay yes, I behaved like an idiot on the forum as can be seen to the extent that I didn't even get around to stating just why I was taking issue with PZ's post in the first place - as this is a fairly complicated argument that have against the post I will explain this to you later...if that's okay.

Tbh...initially, incredible as it may seem, I really did assume that PZ was some sort of extreme right-wing conspiracy theorist linked to the KKK. He was going on about transvestites and seemed to be obsessively anti-Catholic to the point of sectarianism. I'm neither Catholic nor religious at all actually but I do know that groups like the KKK have a history of hating Catholics (and also LGBT) people so unfortunately I put two and two together and made five.

Still, I wasn't the only one to have behaved badly on that forum and I got some pretty mean things said about me to...many of them entirely unprovoked from people whom I'd never even addressed. Many of them seemed to be intensely angry to the point of wishing physical violence upon me.

Speaking as someone who was just passing through and found the Pharyngula blog purely by accident having previously never heard of it (or Professor Myers) ironically - for a blog which proudly purports to be a beacon of progressive rationality, free from the shackles of dogma and superstition etc....it almost seems to have a cult-like quality to it. It's almost as if PZ has become some sort of worshipful, godlike figure to them and woe betide anyone who should criticize him or the one, true faith (the Word of PZ) which he espouses. Surely, the intense sort of group reaction that I got couldn't be that far divorced from the mindset of a council of religious zealots who considered someone to have committed sacrilege in the 17th century, or something. It did indeed seem that they'd found a new witch. I was particularly surprised at the paranoia on that thread. I mean, I'd already stated that I wasn't religious myself yet they seemed to think that I was some sort of secret agent sent by the Vatican to enact a 'fatwa' against PZ Myers for challenging the Catholic Church.

Consequently, they, and seemingly he, see anyone who takes issue with anything he says as at best clearly deranged and at worst; evil in some way.

Oh well, sorry that my post turned out to be a bit long-winded.

Now earth to Professor Myers: we are all to some degree fallible and emotionally mentally un-balanced yet he needn't worry too much because my form of mental imbalance is not (at least yet) as extreme as me thinking I'm Napoleon...or (perhaps?) him thinking that he's Charles Darwin;)

Becky Transsexual

Anonymous said...

Sorry, made a booboo again: posted twice this time(!)

Becky

Dan said...

Becky-
I tried to see where/how/why you got banned, but my eyes glazed over at around comment #99 (which is actually might be a record for me & pharyngula). Dunno what you said, but even if you did "behave like an idiot" as you say, y'know...when in Rome...

Anyway, yeah, you're right. For someone who puts on so many airs about being open-minded and what-have-you, PZ often resorts to racism and heteronormativity in the name of "humor". As Ethan has said previously, very convenient for power, in that.

Ethan said...

Becky, hope you don't mind that I deleted the duplicate post in the interest of streamlining things.

Looking over that threat, my favorite part is that when one person pointed out PZ's bigotry, well before you showed up, she* got shut up by commenter after commenter yelling at her that, no, transgender people can feel comfortable there--despite the fact that she's telling them she doesn't.

*Using "she" for convenience based on the poster's username

Dan said...

I like the person defending his/her use of "trannies" by saying that "transvestite" is too clinical. Later on s/he says it sounds like it's "referring to a disease."

I wonder what words s/he uses if s/he finds "African American" or "person of the Jewish faith" too clinical.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ethan, many thanks for deleting the duplicate - I'm really glad you did so. I always feel so stupid afterwards when I do stuff like that. Often it's not long before someone comes along and says: 'hey heard you the first time!':)

Quite a few of those self-proclaimed non-transphobic Pharyngulites on the 'Bravo Belgium' thread actually referred to me as 'it'. Not that I care that much as in contrast to them I'd rather be an 'it' than a '(sh)it':)!!!

Similarly, PZ Myers' use of the acronyn 'PoC' on a different thread on his blog left me (at least temporarily) totally puzzled, Dan. Being totally unfamiliar with it, I (it turns out) mistakenly assumed this was a term for some sort of campus police officer until after reading further I began to have suspicions that I had missed the plot a bit. Turns out that in the context that PZ was using it, PoC stands for 'People of Color': http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/POC

Now, wtf is a 'person of colour'? Unless there are any human beings on this earth (please note discounting other planets) who are transparent then don't we all fall into the category of 'people of colour'? Why can't he just say 'black' or 'white'? Furthermore, if he used the term 'people of colour' to describe anyone who isn't white where I come from ironically the alarm bells would suddenly go off and it would be assumed that he was being at best extremely old-fashioned (as per 19th century) patronising and at worst a white supremacist of some sort. Everyone I knows refers to themselves as white if they are white and black if they are black etc. Oh well, I don't move within the intellectual circles that inhabit the ivory towers (oooh yes, PZ Myers: ivory!) so maybe it's just that 'my kind' whatever our colour are perpetually 'mentally deranged', or something;)?

I also find myself quite shocked at PZ Myers' response to a poster called Mr Naglfar (apologies I type this from memory so I'm not sure I spelt that name correctly) yesterday on the: 'I've been objectified' thread on his site. In fact, I think that PZ's response to that man actually constitutes verbal sexual harassment and if he'd expressed it to a student at UoM that person could well have reported him.

Becky Transsexual

Anonymous said...

Oh no, don't believe it: I've duplicated posts again! Sorry, Ethan.

Becky T.

Ethan said...

No need to apologize, friend. I've done cleanup.

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

A child masturbating at age 7?

My first impression: that child has been raped or molested from an early age, well before 7.

At age 7, sexuality is off the radar for an average human. For most humans.

Sexuality depends highly and strongly on puberty.

Acting at being sexualized, because one's exposed to a sexualized culture -- that's totally different from desert island urges in the absence of cultural implorings to be sexualized.

Every time someone tells me he or she felt strong sexual urges at age 7 or 8, I wonder about that person's (a) honesty; and (b) awareness of the sexual trauma he/she suffered at a very early age.

Ethan said...

CFO, those are absurd assertions, and ones that have been used by establishment figures to cause a lot of harm over the past few decades.

Harvey Gangbanger said...

the capital-A Atheists have some of the most enormous blind spots imaginable. They seem to think that deciding not to believe in god automatically confers rightness and moral and intellectual superiority onto them in all matters. And they then apply the reverse to all those who have any kind of religion: they are wrong and morally and intellectually inferior in all matters

Snicker snort. Oh, do go on and continue to tell atheists what they really think based on your, uh - do I have your permission to use the term "strawman" here? Okay, cool. - ridiculous strawman.

Oh, wait, you only said they seem to think this way in all matters. It's all about your perceptions, of course, which can't be objectively wrong.

You're so packed full of shit, I'm surprised you don't have a cloud of flies following you everywhere you go.

Ethan said...

How do you know I don't?