An Open Letter from atheists to the Atheist Convention

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FedUpWithFaith
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Re: An Open Letter from atheists to the Atheist Convention

Post by FedUpWithFaith » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:01 pm

I come here a day later, after leaving on a productive note with hope for progress, only to find Gurder as defensive and in denial as ever.

Hopeless.

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Re: An Open Letter from atheists to the Atheist Convention

Post by oblivion » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:06 pm

Some of the other questions and criticisms on the blog could have been split out as well, rather than simply censored.

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Re: An Open Letter from atheists to the Atheist Convention

Post by CJ » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:24 pm

:pop:

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Re: An Open Letter from atheists to the Atheist Convention

Post by Conny » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:59 pm

:ddpan:
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The wonderful thing about libraries and bookstores- even the television or the radio- is that no one is forcing you to read anything, or to go to any particular movie, or to watch something on television or to listen to something on the radio. You have free choice. -Judith Krug

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Re: An Open Letter from atheists to the Atheist Convention

Post by xrayzed » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:39 am

I didn't sign the letter either, despite being in agreement with most of the points made in the letter. Here are my reasons why.

Firstly I found the way the argument was structured somewhat confusing. It took several reads before I was able to understand the thread of your position. Clearly I’m not alone, as indicated by Stuart Bechman’s response.

Secondly I’m apprehensive about the way the letter distances itself from “trolls” and “abusers”. This is emphatically not because I support abusive trolls. On a “motherhood “level pretty much everybody opposes trolls, including most trolls. But what does it really mean in this context? I suspect my definitions and examples may not match your definition, or Richard Dawkins, or Gawdzilla’s, etc., and so I'm not entirely clear what I'm condemning in this context.

For that matter I’m not sure I categorically reject all abuse. When I read a PZ Myers’ broadside on Pharygula such as (I get email) I understand his point and his passion - and it's funny as hell - but I would still consider it abusive. Not only that but I have turned up the heat on more than one fundie myself. Can I categorically reject all instances of abuse? In all honesty, probably not.

Context makes a difference as well. A comment posted on a thread directed to an individual should not be treated the same as a comment about someone posted in a separate conversation. The public/private distinction is less clear on the Internet, but I don’t believe it’s entirely absent.

Lastly, even having carefully read the letter several times, it’s not quite clear to me what you want the people behind the Global Atheist Convention to do. I prefer letters/petitions that have clear, measurable outcomes. The most I’d expect from this is a commitment from an organizer to say they won’t solicit many then shut down a forum.

I’m not sure I see the point of this. I suspect you might have had an "of course we respect our members" response if this had been sent to the people running IIDB or the RDF boards before their respective crises. For that matter I suspect you'd get an identical response after the crises. So I don't see what the letter would achieved.

In passing I’ll note that I don’t have a problem with an open letter speaking on behalf of a group of people. I disagree with those who have criticized you for speaking on behalf of atheism. The letter makes no such claim, and only speaks on behalf of the signer.

Apologies for waffling a bit, but I thought a detailed response might be helpful.

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Re: An Open Letter from atheists to the Atheist Convention

Post by Oster » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:04 am

Gurdur wrote:
Oster wrote:
We disassociate ourselves from all abusive individuals, whether anonymous or named, and we disassociate ourselves from all such abusive trolls who plague the media or the internet; they do not speak for atheism or for us at all,...
How does one "speak for atheism?"
Mind if we argue that one out some other time? Seems to me a practical, everyday reading of the phrase you quote is sufficient to the day thereof, and it doesn't seem like a very urgent issue needing explication stat.
I don't mind. Besides, it's a message board; you can argue the point if and when you like.

I would like to understand the perspective of atheists who see atheism as a movement, organization or ideology that can be spoken for by its self-identified members, and am asking about the "practical, everyday reading of the phrase," insomuch as "practical" means "actual use."

My perspective on atheism is that it is, simply, not believing there are gods -- no more a statement of individual ideology or ethics than is theism. I don't see how one can "speak for atheism" from my perspective, and it is a phrase I've not heard before from an atheist. The oddness (to me) of the phrase makes me aware that atheists I'm used to being around presume each one speaks for themselves.

The content of the letter seems to indicate an ideological view of atheism. Am I wrong there? Particularly, "they [abusive atheists] do not speak for atheism" appears to be a "No true Scotsman" fallacy which arises only if one holds a fairly well-defined view of how group members should behave.

So, what is the view of atheism you and the letter signers share?

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Re: An Open Letter from atheists to the Atheist Convention

Post by piscator » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:41 am

if it weren't for trolls, there wouldn't be an internet, much less the talk radio and newspaper editorial industry

Gurdur's letter was a damn good troll, as responses from 4 continents demonstrate...

trolling well is truly an art form, and Gurdur has played most of us pretty artfully, so show some respect, cuz this is how to do it




well done Gurdur! :clap:

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Re: An Open Letter from atheists to the Atheist Convention

Post by Hermit » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:58 am

piscator wrote:if it weren't for trolls, there wouldn't be an internet, much less the talk radio and newspaper editorial industry

Gurdur's letter was a damn good troll, as responses from 4 continents demonstrate...

trolling well is truly an art form, and Gurdur has played most of us pretty artfully, so show some respect




well done Gurdur! :clap:
I wouldn't describe Gurdur's activities as trolling. A more accurate description of it might be evinced from the fact that 49 of his 50 posts are located in the three threads he himself created. As for his skills for expressing himself clearly and to the point, just have a look at the reply he got from the addressee of his missive.
So you talk about mobs and the working classes as if they were the question. You've got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists; they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats were always anarchists. - G.K. Chesterton

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Re: An Open Letter from atheists to the Atheist Convention

Post by BWE » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:37 am

Gawdzilla wrote:
J.A.Poisson wrote:
Gurdur wrote:
One man's miserable user hack is another man's patronizing dismissal of the members of their board.
I've got your back buddy.

Also BWE's comment was not trolling, you goon.
Did you miss where I said, "play nice"?
It wasn't trolling though. :) Apparently it was deleted and stuck in someone's craw enough that I was banned for making a hello post at Heathen Hub. Strange days. Strange people.

I registered here due to that surprise in fact. Is this an RDF refugees forum or older than that. I see a lot of familiar names.

Anyway, hi all. I apologize for the thread necromancy but this was a non-event for me that apparently was an event for Gurdur whom I've only recently interacted with. I had to find the referent for some bizarre and cryptic comments he made. :)

And the letter, it was definitely not my cup of tea.

I'll go make a regular hello thread now.

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