Silence Does Not Imply Guilt

I’ve been noticing some discussion recently about the recent allegations of a famous skeptic being a serial rapist.

A lot of people are wondering why the person accused has not responded in public one way or the other. Some seem to believe that it’s bad for him not to respond in that the longer the silence the more people will be convinced of his guilt.
Why would he want to reply in public? Yes, I know that people are curious but this is really none of anyones business other than the people directly involved. Also, there might be some legal implications.
I realize that these allegations are very serious, but there are times when you just let scurrilous accusations go, because you know they’re not true and that publicly responding does nothing but create a feeding frenzy. Also, if there are legal remedies, I would think that making a public response on a blog, Twitter, or any other social media, might not be a good idea. You let your attorney speak for you because you might accidentally tweet or write something in a blog that would accidentally damage your case against your accusers.
There’s another reason though as to why he hans’t responded. He actually may not know about it. I mean, people do have lives apart from the Internet (yeah, I know, BLASPHEMY) and that he’s busy with his work, or something else. Although by this time, I don’t see this as a probability, it is still possible.
What I’m really wondering is how long these “revelations” about prominent skeptics and atheists are going to go on? I really believe that these people that are publicizing the mostly anonymous accusations will end up paying a price. Maybe not legally, but that those bloggers will eventually marginalize themselves amongst atheists and skeptics. Right now, I believe they think they’re doing the “community” a service by pointing out these bad actors that happen to be prominent. If none of these accusations that have been proffered are true though, they’ve just made themselves to look foolish and no one will ever take their word for anything ever again.
That’s the fine line they’re walking here, whether they know it or not and honestly, I really don’t think they know this due to the sheer arrogance they have shown in the last week. Arrogant people never see the folly of their ways. They only see themselves in the light of righteous indignation, raising their fists against some perceived injustice where none may exist.
I can see this as doing nothing but causing harm to the atheist/skeptic brand. Imagine the theists out there that are probably saying right now, “See, we always knew these atheists were immoral.”. So even when there are times where our voices should be heard, people will dismiss us out of hand. It’s the “cutting off your nose to spite your face” syndrome.
As I’ve said before though, this flood of allegations makes it appear that harassment, assault, and rape are common when there’s absolutely no evidence to actually support a claim like this.
I don’t know how this will eventually play out, and we may never know. I hoping to not see any more of the revelations any time soon

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Silence Does Not Imply Guilt

  1. I say this whilst making no assertions about the guilt or innocence of any of PZ’s denouncees. I think he will continue until he has squeezed dry any profit for his blog and his book. The only good thing to come out of it for me is that I no longer feel his commenters are especially skilled in logical argument: quite plainly they are not. But since I now understand they are so sophomoric I no longer feel any desire to win any argument with them, so as I win, I lose. Oh, well, such is life.

    • Honestly, I never considered any commenters there as being able to make a logical argument. If someone writes a comment that disagrees with a post or another commenter, it quickly devolves. It shows the level of maturity of the commenters. I really believe that his demographic is the 18-24yr. old crowd. And I’m not indicting all of that age group,
      Too many though of that age group must have a “hero”. someone that will speak for “them”, instead of the same being able to logically think about anything and come to their own conclusion.

Leave a Reply