Collateral Damage

Do the vast majority of atheists and skeptics care what any of us say online? I don’t think so.

I’ve said it before that 99% of those that describe themselves as atheists and skeptics could care less or, more to the point, have no idea that there’s any “rift”.

Why don’t they care? Well, it’s simple, none of this online bickering affects their lives on a daily basis. If anything, if they are aware of this “rift”, they probably find it amusing. It’s almost like a schoolyard disagreement. At least it appears that way to me.

Yes, I write about it because I want to point out the stupid. The stupid occurs on both “sides”. Yeah, I’m criticizing someone of this very network, someone I actually like, for going over the top. In fact, I’m just going to say that the linked post above is the reason that my friend “Skeptickle” was doxxed.

I’m not giving the doxxers a break here. There’s no excuse for that even if some blogger writes something that may cross a line in someone’s mind.

It doesn’t matter though, the damage has been done and although I know my friend will survive, I can’t help but think this could’ve been avoided entirely if people would stop and think before they write.

Yes, that statement is for both “sides”. Think about the possible harm you may cause to others incidentally. You may not mean to create a problem for an innocent bystander, but you may.

I hope this post is understood in the way it’s meant. Matt – I hope I didn’t offend you, but if I did, well, let’s talk. I know there are others that will look at this (if they do at all) and not care. They’ll continue to write offal for their own masses.

4 thoughts on “Collateral Damage

  1. Pingback: The bizarre smears used against Michael Nugent by PZ Myers & co. - blog by Gurdur - Blogs on the Heathen Hub

  2. I beg to differ. Matt wrote up a terrific post and he is, by no means, responsible for how other people react to what he has to say.

    I’m sorry, but I feel the logical conclusion of your argument is that Terry Jones is to blame for death threats, that Danish cartoonists were to be blamed for Muslims bombings of libraries, and that Salman Rushdie had the threats and turning his life upside-down coming for writing a book.

    I cannot agree with this, not a bit. Each one of us is responsible for our own doings.

    Holding accountable others for your feelings and the actions that stem from those feelings is the exact MO of the Usual Suspects (I rather FtBullies, but this is your house, so we’ll go with US): you didn’t like being asked for coffee in an elevator? Ohh, please, by all means, say you’re a victim and label anyone as a misogynist if they point out the fact you’re an entitled spoiled brat and a cry baby who is making videos complaining about First World problems. And hell broke loose…

    Or maybe I didn’t understand what you said and I just left you a rant-ish comment due to a misunderstanding.

    Anyway, cheers and have a great weekend!



    • Thanks for your comment David. I was upset because Matt’s post lead directly (in my opinion) to the post by Skeptickle at the Slymepit.

      We know that The Usual Suspects (or FTBullies if you prefer) blame ‘pitters of all the malign in the world. Even though Skeptickles post was not, in my mind, anything but the usual humor, the bullies will use any excuse to try and show members of the ‘pit as bad actors.


  3. I try to make it my practice to provide h/t whenever someone has provided me with information, if it would otherwise appear I’m taking credit for the labor or expertise. I’d given Skep tickle a couple of h/t on my sex difference posts, and did so on this latest one without stopping for a moment to reflect.

    Given the intentionally provocative nature of my post, I was remiss in not taking the time to reflect. I knew that Myers, Benson & Watson were despicable characters without a shred of human decency, and I correctly guessed that my lampooning of Myers would bruise his fragile ego. I should therefore have anticipated a vengeful response via any underhanded means at their disposal. I was perfectly prepared to take the brunt of their ire. My carelessness redirected the attack to someone more vulnerable than myself, and I am mortified by that. My sincerest apologies go to Skep tickle for my lapse of forethought.

    In hindsight, I also erred by assuming the intent behind the reference in question would be obvious, Whereas I simply wanted to turn a PZ-like scurrilous insinuation back on him to exemplify his hypocrisy, many people seem to have assumed I was making a serious accusation, especially as it directly followed a list of actual, accurate claims.

    This may well be closing the barn door after the horse has left, but in future I will strive to be more clear, and will always confer with anyone before mentioning them.

    The ease of satirizing Myers & gang has lulled us into dropping our guard. Though their actions & words are truly laughable & ridiculous, they are still venal, unethical people. Their putsch has failed, their public reputations are in free-fall, and they find themselves up against a wall. We must anticipate that they will lash out. And not in kind: with reason, evidence or wit; rather in increasingly nasty, unethical, and possibly illegal ways.

    I fully intend on continuing my efforts to thwart the FTBullies in my own style, and hope that others also continue to apply logic, evidence and humor in that effort. But the conflict has entered a new, more unpredictable phase. We must all be vigilant.


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