Feminism, Skeptics and Atheists – Skeptics, really?

So, there is a discussion about the role of feminism in atheism and the skeptics community in general. For an intro, I highly recommend the series by Thunderf00t or by noelplum99. Looking at it — at “Elevator Gate”, Atheism+ and all that crud … damn. Aren’t you supposed to be skeptics? How can they be so completely blindsided?

I think is reinforces the old saying that nobody is as stupid as an expert who talks about an area which s/he is not an expert in.

Skeptics and Atheists are extremely skeptical — about religion and pseudoscience that is, but not when today’s brand of feminism with its rape accusations barges in.

I mean, really?

What about:

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
Carl Sagan

or even

“You don’t seem to give much thought to the matter in hand,” I said at last, interrupting Holmes’ musical disquisition. “No data yet,” he answered. “It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.”
“A Study in Scarlet” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

It’s easy to act rational if you have no emotional connection to the subject. For someone who is not religious taking apart religion is easy, because you “know” that religion is not true. You are just applying methods when you already “know” the outcome. Easy, no emotional discomfort here. Perhaps even a little bit of fire from the anger that they trick people this way.

But as soon as you move to another area, you lose your habits and expertise. You no longer know what is true. There is no clear right or wrong, no clear “god does not exist” and “homeopathy is ludicrous”.

And then suddenly it becomes all emotional reasoning and speculation that would make a cultist envious. It becomes a defensive stance against accusations that are not supported by evidence.

It would be laughable if it were not so soul-crushing.

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6 Comments

Filed under Feminism & MRA

6 responses to “Feminism, Skeptics and Atheists – Skeptics, really?

  1. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

    What’s extraordinary about a claim of rape or harassment? I wish they were extraordinary.

    • “a claim of rape or harassment” — why do you put “rape” in the same sentence with “harassment”? Harassment — aggressive pressure or intimidation — is a very broad term (esp. without a qualifier like ‘sexual’) and relatively frequent. Who hasn’t suffered from harassment — I’ve experienced it often enough, so have others. “Harassment” also has a subjective quality — what is harassment for one person is banter for another and fun for a third. It becomes more clear the moment people express that they see certain actions by certain people as harassment and the these people continue.

      But there’s a world of difference between rape and everyday harassment. I would not put them together in one category. And I am talking about rape here — in the sense of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with him without their consent and against their will, esp. by the threat or use of violence against them. Not the watered down definitions of ‘regret the day later’ or ‘having sex under the influence (of alcohol)’. Some people would consider this rape, even if it was consensual at the time and no force/loss of consciousness was involved.

      Do you really think that forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with him without their consent and against their will, esp. by the threat or use of violence against them is an ‘ordinary action’? Why? That many people fear rape is one thing, but fearing something does not make it frequent or likely to happen. It’s a perception propagated by terms like ‘rape culture’ and a watering down of the term rape.

      What’s worse, we live in a climate where the view is propagated that rape happens only to women by men and — even worse — that rape is something every man would do if he had the chance or the opportunity. And many men will react to that unfounded assertion by striving to claim that they are different, when it is far more likely that they are not — they are neither a minority nor are they potential rapists. People who commit rape are a very small percentage of the population. These are people who need to be caught, punished, and hopefully rehabilitated.

      But the false assertion that “every man could rape” needs to stop — it is false and demeaning. And personally, I am sick of it. Yes, fear is real in a way, but there is a difference between a ‘real emotion’ and reality. And you can learn to deal with emotions and learn to deal with reality. The assertion also makes the world an ugly, fearful place. And frankly, I think the world has more to offer than this view.

      As to the Atheism community to which the posting referred to — a claim that someone raped another person needs to have evidence attached to it, evidence that was missing in those anonymous accusations and insinuations of rape. Aren’t feminists always crying that rape is (one of) the worst crime? Shouldn’t you then be absolute sure that it really happened — given the damage any accusation brings, true or false?

      So yeah, extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. I’m all for nailing rapists — male and women — to the cross. But let’s make damn sure they are guilty first.

  2. “is an ‘ordinary action’?”

    Given the data, it’s not extraordinary.

    “But the false assertion that “every man could rape” needs to stop”

    I don’t think anyone is making that assertion. The assertion is that, as far as we know any man could be a potential rapist. Because they don’t all look the same or sound the same or even act the same. So if a woman (or a man) is in a position that they find uncomfortable, it is not unreasonable for their mind to go their as a fear. And I’d rather work to alleviate such fear than take actions that might make that fear worse, as I have nothing to lose by doing so.

    ” a claim that someone raped another person needs to have evidence attached to it”

    Sure. But I don’t see what this has to do with my initial question/comment.

    “Aren’t feminists always crying that rape is (one of) the worst crime?”

    Aren’t humans complaining that rape is a horrible violation and crime? I would hope they are.

    • I currently have postings scheduled until the 13th, the next batch will address a few of your comments. However, one question regarding:

      “But the false assertion that “every man could rape” needs to stop”

      I don’t think anyone is making that assertion. The assertion is that, as far as we know any man could be a potential rapist. Because they don’t all look the same or sound the same or even act the same. So if a woman (or a man) is in a position that they find uncomfortable, it is not unreasonable for their mind to go their as a fear. And I’d rather work to alleviate such fear than take actions that might make that fear worse, as I have nothing to lose by doing so.

      How is — from your perspective — “every man could rape” different from “any man could be a potential rapist”?

      • “How is — from your perspective — “every man could rape” different from “any man could be a potential rapist”?”

        Because the first speaks to the nature of people and the second speaks to a person’s understanding and interpretation of others.

        No, every man is not a potential rapist.

        However, rapists don’t go around with a specific look. They don’t go around speaking a certain way or telling us that they are rapists. They could look like you or me.

        So as long as some men are rapists, given certain circumstances it is not at all unreasonable for a woman to think that any given man might be a potential rapist, given how little she has to go on.

      • Huh? “given certain circumstances it is not at all unreasonable for a woman to think that any given man might be a potential rapist” — do you really see a difference here? A person making the assertion that every man could rape — even if only in her mind — how is this different from what you are describing here? Perhaps a question of perspective taking … I have an idea what that assertion/assumption/thought ends up to … but that will take a while.

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