I wasn’t going to bother blogging on this as it just tends to fan the flames, but it’s hard to set out my position over twitter, especially once you have a couple of other names CC’ed in.
The Short-Short version of the story is that The Amazing Atheist flamed out on Reddit the other night, late at night, in the middle of heated discussion and under quite some attack and spouted off some ill-advised and bad tempered commentary about ‘trigger warnings’ that included ‘threats’ of rape.
So far, so bad, fair enough.
Who hasn’t ever lost their temper and flamed out on someone? I certainly have. I’ve said some ill advised things in the ‘heat of battle’ and the problem with the internet is that it combines the immediacy of the moment with the long memory of written text. So those things I, or TAA say live on in infamy. The same could also be said of things that people like Rebecca Watson have said but those, apparently, are forgivable or laudable, no matter how offensive or stereotypical they are.
This isn’t fair.
While it may be ironic for an atheist to use this saying: “To err is human, to forgive divine.” Divine in this case meaning ‘We can aspire to be better people’. TAA has apologised for what he has said (more than many others on the other side of the divide have ever done) and, frankly, this is a dude whose schtick is being ‘offensive’ and ‘controversial’. Something I also know well.
I suspect that these attacks have far more to do with TAA’s attitude and points expressed in videos like these…
…than this actual incident. The dogpiling of him over this has the familiar whiff of the opportunistic, torch-wielding mob. This isn’t justice, it’s a ‘GOTCHA!’ moment.
So, to set out what I think on this with CRYSTAL FUCKING CLARITY so people can stop badgering and judging me over it. Even accusing me of ‘supporting rape’ for speaking up (seriously, what the merry fuck?).
I do not think what he said was acceptable. I do not agree with him on everything he says. I find him to be an entertaining curmudgeon 80% of the time and an arsehole 20% of the time. I find that an acceptable ratio. Enjoying some of what he does and says doesn’t mean I automatically subscribe to the rest of what he does and says. I find the victimisation, dogpiling and demonisation of him EQUALLY unacceptable to his original comments and it smacks of a horseshit excuse to attack someone you didn’t like and whom you couldn’t otherwise get at. My concern over your abysmal behaviour towards another human being is not approval of what he said or did. It is disapproval of what YOU are saying and doing and I believe everyone deserves another shot if they apologise.
I would also refer you to these previous posts:
The Claim and Cause Entwined (This is what you’re doing).
Does Atheism have a Problem With Women (No, it does have a problem with unquestioned orthodoxy)
Here’s another video to close with…