CFI, We Forgive You

I was actually only going to going to take a day off from blogging. It’s turned into a week. Oh well.I was thinking that I need to come up with something new to write about, possibly on movies that I want to see.

Then, I saw Matt’s post and it actually made me laugh out loud. I decided a to go to Dr. Carriers site and look for what Matt was referring to in his post; Forgetting, of course that Matt had referenced it. So, I’m at FtB and clicked on Carriers blog before I remembered that the post he referenced probably wasn’t there. As I was about to traverse to the other site, well, let me just say, I never made it.
I saw this post, read it, took a deep breath, walked outside in my backyard, and started banging my head on my concrete block fence. I hope I didn’t damage the concrete.
So, after reading this short post, my first thought was “What arrogance some people have!”. I mean, really, do these people believe they they have any actual power over CFI? That anything they say either for or against CFI means anything to any of the real rational people out on the Internet?
I guess I’m stupid, because if I wasn’t I would’ve recognized the arrogance of Dr. Carrier immediately when I started reading his blog, around two years ago. Here’s my evidence, it’s the first sentence in his “About the Author” splat on his blog:

Richard Carrier is the renowned (emphasis mine) author of Sense and Goodness without God, Proving History, and Not the Impossible Faith, as well as numerous articles online and in print.

Renowned? Now, I will admit to being a college graduate in more than one area, as well as having spent my time in graduate school. I actually believe I know what the word “renowned” means, but maybe not. So, just because I am stupid, I went to look up that definition.
As all of us know, the definition is “famous”. [Insert laugh-track here].
So let’s dissect Dr. Carrier’s post a bit and see if we can learn anything. Not that I expect to actually learn anything, but more-so, better understand the mind that writes such tripe as he has done.
Dr. Carrier starts with referring to the “voices of outrage”, that were “finally heard”. Again, really? So a few tweets, a couple of nonsensical blogposts are now voices of outrage…finally heard.
But the meat of his post is based on Greta Christina’s de-flounce from CFI. Here’s the post he refers to. But wait, didn’t she spend a few words disparaging Dr. Lindsay and CFI before that? Well, yes, she did.
Ms. Christina actually wrote two posts on May 30, here, and here. Then, on June 3, a post about a letter from some of the speakers from WISCFI2. Of course, there’s the semi-rage post here on June 17, disparaging CFI’s board for their “non-statement”. Finally, she sends a letter to CFI, on the same day, withdrawing her membership and her contributions to Free Inquiry magazine as well as participation as a speaker at any future CFI events.
Her final post on all-things-bad CFI, is a post on June 17 about Skepticon removing CFI from it’s sponsor’s list.
That’s a lot of of blogging about a few words that only a few people claimed offense.
Getting back to Dr. Carrier, he continues with this:

Although I have lost a lot of confidence in Ron Lindsay’s leadership (and would still prefer someone better), he at least is now handling the situation correctly. He isn’t treating us with contempt. And CFI has voiced a commitment to doing better. After a few epic failures, they are now demonstrating responsiveness to discontent in their actual and future membership. We might still consider them on probation.

Only he doesn’t say who it is that he’d prefer in “leadership” and suddenly decides that CFI isn’t treating “us” (whoever that is) with contempt. Also, apparently, the statement from CFI’s board is acceptable now.
So now he’s telling his readership, as Ms. Christina did, that it’s [paraphrase] “okay to continue supporting CFI”. I wonder what happened less than a month after the vitriol started, that changed minds?
I let you come up with your own answer to that question.
Here’s what I’m hoping going forward: that none of these people that caused this entire, non-evidenced, outrage are ever invited again to speak, or write for a publication that has anything to do with CFI. It’s not revenge. It’s common sense. Why would any convention organizer want to take a chance inviting such reprehensible people to speak or write for them? Is there such a dearth of voices in the skeptical world that organizers can’t find people to contribute? Or do they just take the “easy way”?
Recently, I read a tweet that mentioned that Skepticon is now “begging for money”. I guess that’s what happens when you throw one of you largest(if not the largest) financial sponsor under the bus, huh?
Maybe it’s Skepticon that needs new leadership.

2 thoughts on “CFI, We Forgive You

    • I actually believe there was an agenda in de-flouncing:
      1) Greta looked at how much money she’d be losing from the writing/speaking gigs
      2) Skepticon is in TROUBLE financially from throwing CFI under and may they think that by “okaying” CFI, Skepticon will get more donations.


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