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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Why Are IDiots So Nasty?

You've probably noticed that in addition to being stupid most IDiots are not very respectful of scientists (i.e. Darwinists). William J Murray1 explains why religious people have to be mean and nasty [Can We Afford To Be Charitable To Darwinists?].
I used to be one that diligently attempted to provide Darwinists charitable interaction. I tried not to ridicule, demean, or use terms that would cause hurt or defensive feelings. My hope was that reason, politely offered, would win the day. My theistic perspective is that returning the bad behavior I received at sites like TSZ would be wrong on my part. I thought I should stick to politely producing logical and evidence-based exchanges, regardless of what Darwinists did. I note that several others here at UD do the same. Lately, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that what I’m attempting to do is the equivalent of bringing a knife to a gun fight; polite reasoning with Darwinists, for the most part, is simply setting up our own failure. It’s like entering a war zone with rules of engagement that effectively undermine a soldier’s capacity to adequately defend themselves, let alone win a war. While pacifism is a laudable idea, it does not win wars. It simply gives the world to the barbarians.

And that’s the problem; a lot of us don’t realize we’re in a war, a war where reason, truth, religion and spirituality is under direct assault by the post-modern equivalent of barbarians. They, for the most part, have no compunction about lying, misleading, dissembling, attacking, blacklisting, ridiculing, bullying and marginalizing; more than that, they have no problem using every resource at their means, legal or not, polite or not, reasonable or not, to destroy theism, and in particular Christianity (as wells as conservative/libertarian values in general). They have infiltrated the media, academia and the entertainment industry and use their influence to generate narratives with complete disregard for the truth, and entirely ignore even the most egregious barbarism against those holding beliefs they disagree with.

Wars are what happen when there is no common ground between those that believe in something worth fighting for. There is no common ground between the universal post-modern acid of materialist Darwinism and virtually any modern theism. There is no common ground between Orwellian statism-as-God and individual libertarianism with freedom of (not “from”) religion. There is only war. One of the unfortunate problems of war is that certain distasteful methods must be employed simply because they are the only way to win. In this war, in a society that is largely a low-information, media-controlled battleground, logic and reason are, for the most part, ineffective. The truth is ineffective because it is drowned out by a concerted cacophony of lies, or simply ignored by the gatekeepers of low-information infotainment. What has been shown effective is the Alinsky arsenal of rhetoric, emotional manipulation, and narrative control.

I would find it distasteful to pick up a gun in a ground war and have to shoot others to defend my family and way of life, but I would do so. Should I not pick up Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and employ the weapons of my adversaries, if it is the most effective way – perhaps the only way – of winning the cultural war? There comes a point in time where all the high ground offers is one’s back against the precipice as the barbarian horde advances.
I understand where he's coming from. He's a good Christian who advocates "lying, misleading, dissembling, attacking, blacklisting, ridiculing, bullying and marginalizing" because that's what his opponents do. (And because his versions of truth, logic, and reason have proven to be ineffective.)

BTW, did you notice that he forgot to pretend that the Intelligent Design Creationist movement was all about science, not religion? Oops.

Note to William Murray: If you really were trying "not to ridicule, demean, or use terms that would cause hurt or defensive feelings" then why did you call us "Darwinists"?

1. I assumed that he was the Baptist minister but apparently it's a different William J. Murray.


  1. Wonderful. He invokes Alinsky, which is a fantastic way to just say "I am a conspiracy theorist."

  2. Brent at UD comments: "We musn’t forget, Jesus was being completely charitable while overturning the money changers tables, or calling the Pharisees a brood of vipers.

    Let’s read the whole Bible please... Harder said than done, but we’d better try our darndest if we are going to even think about living as Christ.

    I decided quite some time ago that being charitable to new atheists was telling them how stupid they are. And so I do."

    Typical ID ceationist. No religion there-- it's all about the science.

  3. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the baptist minister William J. Murray is apparently not the William J. Murray at UD and TSZ. There has been some discussion of this in the past at ATBC (if I remember correctly), and maybe elsewhere. It has been awhile since I've thought about this so I can't remember all of the details.

    If memory serves, I think that the WJM at UD and TSZ has written some short books or pamphlets that are for sale on Amazon.

    Even if they're not the same person, your points about the WJM at UD and TSZ are well taken, Larry. He's a typical, delusional IDiot with a dominionist agenda.

  4. Yes there is a establishment with a agenda including attacking Christianity and one of its kids called creationism.
    Yes establishments are good or evil depending on time and place.
    However in origin subjects Christians are the guys who are right, got it right, and just need allow attrition of truth to prevail.
    I never get hurt feelings and practice integrity and nice guyism because its my identity and good policy to persuade North Americans.
    Its usually the good guys who act better at least in any movie I've seen.
    I have seen good hearted evolutionists and otherwise and some "rogh and ready" creationists. Even with a few YEC folks. Just a few as I think we are taught and are more dignified in relationships. We are Christians.
    I can tell a lot of people have never worked in a warehouse or been in rough hockey games by all the complaining about hurt feelings. ( Never mind being married).

    1. Hey robert, do you have any scientific, biological evidence to show that "Christians are the guys who are right, got it right" and that all other religions are wrong?

      And which sect of christianity, of the 40,000 or so, is the "right" one, based on scientific, biological evidence?

    2. Robert says,

      However in origin subjects Christians are the guys who are right, got it right, and just need allow attrition of truth to prevail.


      Robert, just so you know, you'll never be banned as long as you keep making such humorous comments. We need comic relief on Sandwalk.

    3. Robert, I don't think "attrition" means what you think it means. Perhaps you should look it up in a dictionary.

  5. He claims not to be a Christian, for what it's worth (the IDiot at UD, not the guy pictured).

    They're generally nasty liars because demonization is all that they have. Murray was never fair, of course, always being untruthful about science and scientists, because how else could they suppose they're right without properly dealing with the science?

    Clearly science must be morally and factually corrupt. or they'd have to deal with it in scientific terms. They don't even intend to do that, rather they plan to change the rules in order to include their fraud, so they must claim that scientists have been grossly unfair to have the rules that they do.

    Hence the demonization occurs from the beginning. When that doesn't work as well as desired, rage harder.

    Glen Davidson

  6. ... lying, misleading, dissembling, attacking, blacklisting, ridiculing, bullying and marginalizing ...

    Well, I'll plead guilty to ridiculing but it's not like the creationists make it hard.

    Accusing supporters of science of lying, misleading, dissembling and attacking is just pure projection ... as any perusal of the Quote Mine Project and all the many creationist attempts to blame Darwin for Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and all other social ills, including general mopery, will show.

    The marginalization of creationists, with their concomitant desire to discriminate against gays and women and minority voters, etc., etc. is, at most, a self-inflicted wound.

    The "bullying" business is particularly offensive since, all across the US, these same people oppose anti-bulling school rules when it comes to LGBT kids. When and if gangs of secularist humanists roam the halls of high schools physically and mentally bullying Christian kids I'll start to have some sympathy for them.

    Blacklisting creationists? In America? Only in their Expelled Exposed dreams.

  7. John Pieret hits the nail on the head, and as a lawyer he would know.

    The "bullying" business is particularly offensive since, all across the US, these same people oppose anti-bulling school rules when it comes to LGBT kids.

    This is most insufferable in Louisiana, where the Louisiana Family Forum ("Family" is rightspeak for fag-hatin' god), which has close ties to the Discovery Institute, opposed Anti-Bullying legislation on the grounds that Christians must exercise their god-given right to bully gay teens.

    After that, Joshua Youngkin, lawyer for the Ministry of Magic, shows up at ENV announcing that the Louisiana Science Eduction Act ("strengths and weaknesses" of evolution and all that) was "Anti-Bullying" legislation, passed to prevent scientists from bullying poor, vulnerable, unarmed creationists.

  8. The "strengths" of evolution are genetics, paleontology, biogeography, embryology, etc. The "weakness" of evolution, according to the UDites, is "We're assholes and we're proud of it". Keep that in mind when they demand that public schools teach "strengths and weaknesses."

    The only thing new in William J. Murray's recent screed is that the UDders now proffer "I'm an asshole" as their best, possibly only, evidence against evolution. For this he was applauded by most of the UDders. They've got nothing else.

    William J. Murray asserts that at one time, he tried not being an asshole-- "I used to be one that diligently attempted to provide Darwinists charitable interaction. I tried not to ridicule, demean, or use terms that would cause hurt or defensive feelings."-- however, I have only seen evidence to the contrary at UD. At UD, he has been an asshole in every post since the beginning of time.

    This asshole has never once advanced a single scientific argument. He's always been about atheist-bashing and vague references to how sophisticated theology prove the existence of God. Here's a typical comment at UD:

    "KF [Kairosfocus],

    Materialists have no need to be reasonable, or civil, because for them, the point isn’t to find truth, but rather just to win. Whatever wins, is true – that’s Darwinism! And the prize they fight for? Nihilism. I guess with a supposed 95% extinction rate, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the self-claimed products of mindless evolution gravitate towards self-annihilation."

    Stop right there, asshole. Your God exterminated one or two billion people in Noah's Flood and orders his people to exterminate the Moabites, Midianites, Canaanites, Amelekites, Hittites Hizzites and IForgetItes. Your side are the nihilists.

    "They will only act civil and pretend to be reasonable as long as such behavior purchases them the time and a forum to spew their destructive nonsense, rhetoric and sophistry."

    [William J. Murray, comment at UD, March 16, 2013]

    Ah! That explains why UD bans almost all evolutionist commenters, and ENV never let them in in the first place.

    Murray wants us to believe that he became an asshole because he's creationist. No, you became creationist because you're an asshole.

  9. To see a creationist/IDist claim that "Darwinists" are mean and nasty is to see a tremendous exercise in hypocrisy and an inability to recognize one's own qualities. One need only peruse the typical creatioist-run "discussion forum" to see how misdirected this fool's scorn is.

  10. “Some beliefs are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them”
    Sam Harris, The End of Faith, pp.52-53.

    1. The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live. Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others. There is, in fact, no talking to some people. If they cannot be captured, and they often cannot, otherwise tolerant people may be justified in killing them in self-defense. This is what the United States attempted in Afghanistan, and it is what we and other Western powers are bound to attempt, at an even greater cost to ourselves and to innocents abroad, elsewhere in the Muslim world. We will continue to spill blood in what is, at bottom, a war of ideas.

      I don't think that you have actually read the book, have you ?

    2. Yes, I have read the context. I believe that this in itself is a very dangerous belief. Fortunately I do not share the idea of justification for a preemptive strike in self-defense.

    3. Andy, if you had read the context, you should have made it clear when you cited it. You seem to be implying some sort of equivalence between the ad hominems and assholery of Uncommon Descent and Harris' belief that terrorist imams should be killed (the clear meaning of what he wrote in context). They're apples and oranges. Both are problematic in different ways.

      If you take it out of context and attach it to a famous atheist's name, it will be interpreted as Harris encouraging killing people on the basis of religious beliefs he disagrees with, which was not the point.

      Harris' assertion is a big problem in a democratic society, but it's not equivalent to the ad hominems, personal attacks and assholery of Uncommon Descent.

      There would be a better equivalence between Harris and Uncommon Descent if Harris had said everyone who's not an atheist is a poopy-head and atheists must declare jihad on all religious believers, engaging in lying and personal attacks to achieve our ends.

      Andy: "I believe that this in itself is a very dangerous belief."

      I think it's a dangerous belief also, but to take the quote out of context, as all New Anti-atheists do, is deceptive.

      Harris, at best, made a big blunder in writing a line that New Anti-atheists could take out of context to change its meaning. A serious writer should never allow himself to be quote-mined that way. I'd recommend to Harris that he never write a line like that one again.

    4. It's interesting that you "read the context" but managed to misquote the text.

      Unlike you, I own and have read that book, and imagine how surprised I was to turn to page 52 and see that you had fucked up that quote.

      I suspect that you found that isolated (and erroneous) quote on some wackjob internet site that fundies like you infest and proudly trotted it out as an example of evil atheism.

    5. Diogenes wrote:
      "Harris, at best, made a big blunder in writing a line that New Anti-atheists could take out of context to change its meaning. A serious writer should never allow himself to be quote-mined that way. I'd recommend to Harris that he never write a line like that one again."

      Too late. Same Harris is the motherload for quote miners. There is a lot more where that came from.

    6. Went to school with Robert Byers, right?
      Lodestone was the old word for fragments of magnetic rock (Lode: root the same as 'leading'/'lead', I dimly recall)

    7. @Andy Same Harris is the motherload for quote miners.

      And that nicely segues back to the topic at hand, namely the nastiness of IDiots.

    8. Here's me channelling Andy Wilberforce quote mining Robert Byers:

      I never practice integrity because its my identity and good policy.

      Unlike Andy, I got all the words right and in the correct order.

    9. @Steve. It's interesting that you "read the context" but managed to misquote the text.

      Because of course Andy is lying. He did not take the quote from the book. The quote is widely circulated on the nets in that distorted form, with "beliefs" replacing "propositions":

    10. I have even found the missing link:

      Harris says that some beliefs “are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them.”

      As the quote was replicated, even was deleted, and the opening quote moved to the left so that beliefs was attracted into the quotation in lieu of the original subject.

    11. PS: I forgot the link:

    12. Piotr, how does reading the whole context change the meaning? The message is very clear. You have grown up in a totalitarian state. Can you not see where this kind of idea leads? Stalin for one knew the value of preemptive strikes against people with the wrong beliefs...
      "The power that belief has over our emotional lives appears to be total. For every emotion that you are capable of feeling, there is surely a belief that could invoke it in a matter of moments. Consider the following proposition:

      Your daughter is being slowly tortured in an English jail.

      What is it that stands between you and the absolute panic that such a proposition would loose in the mind and body of a person who believed it? Perhaps you do not have a daughter, or you know her to be safely at home, or you believe that English jailors are renowned for their congeniality. Whatever the reason, the door to belief has not yet swung upon its hinges.

      The link between belief and behaviour raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live. Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others. There is, in fact, no talking to some people. If they cannot be captured, and they often cannot, otherwise tolerant people may be justified in killing them in self-defense. This is what the United States attempted in Afghanistan, and it is what we and other Western powers are bound to attempt, at an even greater cost to ourselves and to innocents abroad, elsewhere in the Muslim world. We will continue to spill blood in what is, at bottom, a war of ideas. (The End of Faith, p52-53.)

    13. In case there is any doubt as to which beliefs that Sam Harris considers a danger to society...
      "If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion, I would not hesitate to get rid of religion. I think more people are dying as a result of our religious myths than as a result of any other ideology. I would not say that all human conflict is born of religion or religious differences, but for the human community to be fractured on the basis of religious doctrines that are fundamentally incompatible, in an age when nuclear weapons are proliferating, is a terrifying scenario."

    14. @Andy, you are correct when you say that rape and religion are both based on misogyny and patriarchy and I agree with you that religion causes far more damage to the well being of human beings given that it celebrates the primitive, anti-human morality of nomadic goat herders who considered women to be chattels to be disposed of as seen by the most powerful male relatives.

      You have correctly pointed out that while rape is a particular symptom of the disgusting moral system promulgated by most religions, the core problem is religion and any other non evidence based ideological system.

    15. So, if I understand what you are driving at, you juxtapose the two quotes to insinuate that Harris would consider it justifiable to exterminate all religious people "in self-defence". Quote-mining is still quote-mining, even if you copy three paragraphs in a row (most likely from here).

    16. Piotr, I would never suggest any such thing. I'm not sure why you insist on connecting the two quotes that are merely meant as examples of people that tend to express themselves in a way that could be perceived as nasty...

    17. Well, YOU connected them by adding the second quotation as a supplement to the first. It's such cut-and-paste manipulations that make Harris sound sinister. But I'm glad you didn't really want to insinuate anything.

    18. Andy copied two quotes from Harris, referring to different sets of beliefs, to which Harris proposes different treatment. Andy told us that both quotes referred to the same sets of belief, and seemed to insinuate us that Harris wants them treated the same way.

      Andy wrote: "In case there is any doubt as to which beliefs that Sam Harris considers a danger to society..." and then he re-copied the first quote.

      I interpret that as Andy equating the two sets of beliefs referred to by Harris.

      To be clear, there are two sets of beliefs referred to by Harris:

      1. First quote: Extremist beliefs, like terrorist imams. It might be necessary to kill those who propose them.

      2. Second quote: Religion in general- Harris would like to make them disappear harmlessly, by magic

      Andy seemed to insinuate that 1 == 2. I've read Harris so I know for sure 1 does not equal 2.

      1 is problematic-- I don't agree with everything Harris says. If we are to disagree with Harris, let's disagree with what he actually wrote, and not a straw-man misrepresentation. That would be more fun. Agreed?

    19. In example 1 is the relevant fact that the Imam has belief or is it that he is a terrorist? Why does Harris write about belief in this context? Terrorism is a crime, belief is not.

    20. @Andy, it's patently obvious that you either have no interest in discovering Sam Harris's actual position on these matters and/or are just too lazy or incompetent to find out for yourself.

      The principal tenet of Jainism is non-harming. Observant Jains will literally not harm a fly. Fundamentalist Jainism and fundamentalist Islam do not have the same consequences, neither logically nor behaviorally.

      The truth that we must finally confront is that Islam contains specific notions of martyrdom and jihad that fully explain the character of Muslim violence.

      It is time we recognized—and obliged the Muslim world to recognize—that “Muslim extremism” is not extreme among Muslims. Mainstream Islam itself represents an extremist rejection of intellectual honesty, gender equality, secular politics and genuine pluralism. The truth about Islam is as politically incorrect as it is terrifying: Islam is all fringe and no center. In Islam, we confront a civilization with an arrested history. It is as though a portal in time has opened, and the Christians of the 14th century are pouring into our world.

      Anyone who imagines that terrestrial concerns account for Muslim terrorism must answer questions of the following sort: Where are the Tibetan Buddhist suicide bombers? The Tibetans have suffered an occupation far more brutal, and far more cynical, than any that Britain, the United States, or Israel have ever imposed upon the Muslim world. Where are the throngs of Tibetans ready to perpetrate suicidal atrocities against Chinese noncombatants? They do not exist. What is the difference that makes the difference? The difference lies in the specific tenets of Islam. This is not to say that Buddhism could not help inspire suicidal violence. It can, and it has (Japan, World War II). But this concedes absolutely nothing to the apologists for Islam. As a Buddhist, one has to work extremely hard to justify such barbarism. One need not work nearly so hard as a Muslim. If you doubt whether the comparison is valid, ask yourself where the Palestinian Christian suicide bombers are. Palestinian Christians also suffer the indignity of the Israeli occupation. This is practically a science experiment: take the same people, speaking the same language, put them in the same horrendous circumstance, but give them slightly different religious beliefs—and then watch what happens. What happens is, they behave differently.

    21. Now you are getting closer to a critique of 1. I agree that 1 is problematic. However, you cited 2 in a way that made it appear 1 == 2. So let us clarify that Harris does NOT equate 1 and 2.

      Having gotten that deception out of the way, your statement "Terrorism is a crime, belief is not" is in fact valid relevant to 1.

      Here is a real-world case more relevant to Harris' point:

      Wikipedia: "Anwar al-Awlaki (also spelled al-Aulaqi; Arabic: أنور العولقي‎ Anwar al-‘Awlaqī; April 21, 1971 – September 30, 2011) was an American[7] and Yemeni imam and Islamic militant.[8][9] U.S. government officials said that he was a senior talent recruiter and motivator who was involved in planning terrorist operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda.With a blog, a Facebook page, the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire, and many YouTube videos, the Saudi news station Al Arabiya described him as the "bin Laden of the Internet."[17][18] After a request from the U.S. Congress, in November 2010 YouTube removed many of Awlaki's videos.[19]

      U.S. officials say that as imam at a mosque in Falls Church, Virginia (2001–02), which had 3,000 members, al-Awlaki spoke with and preached to three of the 9/11 hijackers, who were al-Qaeda members.[20] In 2001, he presided at the funeral of the mother of Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who later e-mailed him extensively in 2008–09 before the Fort Hood shootings.[21][22] During al-Awlaki's later radical period after 2006–07, when he went into hiding, he was associated with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who attempted the 2009 Christmas Day bombing of an American airliner.[23][24][25] Al-Awlaki was allegedly involved in planning the latter's attack.

      The Yemeni government began trying him in absentia in November 2010, for plotting to kill foreigners and being a member of al-Qaeda. A Yemeni judge ordered that he be captured "dead or alive."[26][27] U.S. officials said that in 2009, al-Awlaki was promoted to the rank of "regional commander" within al-Qaeda.[28][29] He repeatedly called for jihad against the United States.[30][31]

      In April 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama placed al-Awlaki on a list of people whom the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency was authorized to kill because of terrorist activities.[32][33][34] The "targeted killing" of an American citizen was unprecedented. Al-Awlaki's father and civil rights groups challenged the order in court.[32][34][35][36] Al-Awlaki was believed to be in hiding in Southeast Yemen in the last years of his life.[26] The U.S. deployed unmanned aircraft (drones) in Yemen to search for and kill him,[37] firing at and failing to kill him at least once,[38] before succeeding in a fatal American drone attack in Yemen on September 30, 2011."

      What should we have done with this man's beliefs?

    22. So Steve, you are clearly saying 1==2 in Diogenes examples. The terrorists are terrorists because they are muslims. The crime, the belief and the religion cannot be separated. You wave the wand and when religion disappears so does the terrorist. Needless to say, I do not agree with you.
      Thank you for taking your time to explain to me about Islam. As it happens I've spent 4 years living and working in the Middle East. I'm afraid that I have to disappoint you though: your view of Islam does not agree with the reality that I have experienced.

    23. No Andy, all I'm saying is that you appear to be unwilling to find out what Sam Harris's position is by actually expending any energy on your part and seem to prefer the pre-digested pap excreted by religious fundamentalist web sites.

      I have actually not stated any position on Sam Harris's claims in this thread, specifically I have not said that I agree or disagree with his views on Islam, nor am I trying to educate you in Islam as it appears to me that you have arrived at your position by non rational means and it would be a waste of time on my part to dissuade you otherwise.

      My only interest is to expose the outright lies that you have presented here. That you are probably copying them from other sites without bothering to confirm their veracity or indeed understand them does not make you any less culpable.

      Your 4 years of living and working in the middle east may give you a personal insight into those cultures but based on your lamentable track record for for being less than honest and truthful I will accord it the same value as the rest of your claims, that is none to speak of.

    24. Andy, we might be curious about your experiences in the Middle East.

      However, your quote #2 was an apparent attempt to equate Harris' statements in #1 to all religious beliefs. If you equate Steve's quote #3 with your #1, then you are conceding that 1 is not equal to 2.

    25. Steve, and others, I hope we will tone down the attacks on Andy. He is not as dishonest as most of the theists we've seen here. We've seen far worse. Hell, Egnor infested us twice, and McLatchie is weaseling about on the other thread. Then we have Byers, and I'm sure "John Witton" will be back under another sock puppet.

      If we chase off all the theists, it'll be pretty boring around here. So can we tone down the attacks?

    26. @Diogenes - agreed.

      I will note in passing that "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason" by Sam Harris was the first explicitly atheist book that I read and it resulted in that aha moment where I realized all those thoughts I had been keeping to myself about religion were not unique and indeed there were fellow travellers out there that were saying the same things that I had been thinking for years and doing a much better job at it than I ever could.

      While I certainly don't agree with all that Sam Harris says, although I do agree with a lot of what he says, and would not expect anyone else to, if you are going to attack his ideas then please have the common decency to actually attack his ideas.

    27. Steve, I mostly do not respond to your comments because they tend to be confusing, now we see why. I assumed your Harris quote was your own opinion, sorry about that.

      Going back to Diogenes example. Al-Awlaki was not a nice guy and I do not wish to defend him in any way. That said, the problem I see in # 1 is once you lower yourself to the level of the terrorists, what values are you then fighting to uphold? Who decides who is a righteous target and where does this person draw the line? It very dangerous path to go down. In the case of Al-Awlaki I think the decision was taken by the president. Is it really compatible with western democracy (built on Christian values, by the way) to let one man be judge, jury and executioner? I think not.
      In the case of Al-Awlaki much of the debate in the States seem to have been about him being an American. To me that does not make one bit of difference.

    28. Diogenes, it does seem like Steve's quote (3) does actually link my quotes 1 & 2 together at least in the case of Islam.
      It was never my intention to link them together, and even now with the third quote I think it would be preposterous to accuse Harris of arguing for taking out people based on religious beliefs without actually having read his books.

  11. If we are to return the topic to the nastiness of IDiots, this one from Denyse O'Leary is a gem.

    O'Leary wanted to suppress and censor the Texas Freedom Network, which has a history of combating creationist textbooks and curricula, which is relevant now. But how to go about it?

    Scouring the TFN's website for something nasty, O'Leary finds a comment from an anonymous commenter, presented as an atheist, promoting violence toward all religious people.

    Four other TFN commenters immediately disagree with the recommendation of violence.

    Denyse O'Leary recognizes that most evolutionists are reasonable people, and that it would be wrong to judge TFN or all evolutionists on the basis of an anonymous commenter that others disagree with and is probably not even a member.

    I'm kidding! Actually O'Leary uses this comment to insist that TFN should be silenced, censored, and denied access to all public facilities, e.g. no talks in museums, because she has proven TFN is a hate group promoting violence against all religious people. That's the ticket! (Never mind all the death threats we get here from Dennis Markuze/Dave Mabus...)

    O'Leary: "Dissenting views on the history of life do not threaten civil liberties. But this sort of thing does.

    For one thing, if this sentiment is tolerated at TFN, a question arises as to whether the group should have access to public facilities. No group that promotes, encourages, or tolerates hatred or violence should have such access. TFN may be entitled to tolerate or even encourage that type of opinion (it’s a legally dicey area, actually* [*Because if anything dreadful should happen, officials may discern a trail back to the group …], but not to public support or subsidy."

    Of course, mere censorship is not assholery enough for Denyse O'Leary. O'Leary, as you know, is always trying to innovate new ways to up the assholery.

    A month later, O'Leary makes her big breakthrough in asshole technology. At this September post she refers back to the previous TFN post, but her innovation is that she tells her readers the threat came from the TFN itself, not from an anonymous commenter. She writes:

    O'Leary: "A trip through the files turns up this encomium to rationality, provided by the group."

    She hyperlinks the word "this" to her previous post on the threatening comment, which she now tells her UD audience was "provided by" TFN itself.

    We evolutionists are wasting our time here trying doing research in genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, phylogenetics and paleontology, while the IDiots are exploring new frontiers and making breakthrough innovations in asshole technology.

    And they say creationists don't make discoveries!

    1. Good catch, Diogenes.

      One question, though. How do you know that was written by Denyse O'Leary. The article is just signed by "News". Is that a pseudonym of hers? That said, the unhinged rhetoric and, shall we say, somewhat loose acquaintance with facts is typical of her.

  12. News is a pseudonym for O'Leary.

    Moreover, in O'Leary's August demand for censorship of evolution, she identifies "News" as O'Leary in a footnote. I copied the footnote but elided this, and replaced it with the ellipsis.

    O'Leary's September demand for censorship of evolution is signed "O’Leary for News".

  13. We could provide our own quotes to show what real creationist nastiness is like. Below I will cite are a few.

    Andy above has attempted to change the subject, I feel, by portraying Sam Harris as being as "Nasty" as the ID creationist posters at Uncommon Descent. I want to get us back on the original topic: the uncivil, rude, threatening behavior of ID creationist fanatics.

    Andy's quote mine of Sam Harris, besides being a quote mine, is called a "flattening argument", in which you attempt to justify one person's bad behavior by insinuating that, well, all sides are equally guilty. No they're not. I disagree with many things that Sam Harris writes, but he does not engage in ad hominems, personal attacks, fallacies and insults, like the UDders do.

    So here's a lesson to Andy what real nastiness is like.

    Sara Ahlmark at Facebook: "“Why is it still fuckin legal for those cock-licking homo pigs to maintain this nazi fucking LIE called evolution. Let tens of thousands of evil DEVILS of ETERNAL flames burns their grandchildren in concentration camps all over the planet. And if that doesn't shut down these cunt morons, I shall personally rip their intenstines through their GOD DAMN nosdrils!...I just get so fucking upset when I hear people talk about this gay shit piece of pussy EVOLUTION. I am NO son of a buttfucking God damn ape, and that's scientific enough for me! Hell yeah! We should decapitate all those bitch slapping freak loving idiots, who think God is dead and who uses the name of Jesus to wipe their infidel pedofile asses." [Sara Ahlmark, Facebook comment, cited here.

    I'm not presenting the above as "typical" of creationists. It's not. A typical creationist engages in insults, ad hominems and personal attacks, but most don't make threats of violence-- Joe G being an exception.

    But no, both sides are not the same.

  14. Continuing on the topic of creationist nastiness: everyone here knows, or should know, about a certain Canadian creationist who made death threats on all the evolutionist websites. He has recently been seen on this very blog (in the thread "Stockholm: Old Town"), but his comments were deleted. I won't name him because he responds to everyone who uses his ID, and the response is often a death threat. His initials are DM.

    He was arrested by the Canadian police for threatening them too, and he was under a restraining order to stay away from the internet, but he's out I guess, and back.

    His typical comments were like:

    "y wll b *xctd*, lttl blsphmng fckr…"

    "y thnk y r sf, y lttl blsphmng mthr fckr?"

    [Cited here.]

    A more recent comment, possibly from him, at Sandwalk was:

    "yes, you have made “REAL ENEMIES”


    all brains no balls

    homo = atheist?


    how we won the James Randi Million Dollar Paranormal Prize"

    Again, I don't present this as "typical" of ID creationists. Most engage in insults and personal attacks.

    However, if Denyse O'Leary is going to take one comment from an anonymous atheist (possible atheist, we don't know) and attribute that to a whole evolutionist group (TFN) of which this person apparently wasn't a member, then she should really consider what would happen if we took individual quotes as "typical" of all Intelligent Design proponents.

  15. Continuing on the topic of nasty anti-evolutionists:

    You may recall the case of Michael Philip Korn, aka Menachem, a Hebrew Christian who issued death threats against the whole biology department of the U. of Colorado.

    "your attitude is simply unacceptable for an official of a PUBLIC university:

    i happen to be one of the Colorado taxpayers who actually pay your salary, and therefore you should have some level of accountability to me and the rest of the citizens of this state.

    therefore, i will be approaching Chanchellor (sic) Peterson to discuss your attitude to me. i spent a lot of my own money to collect SCIENTIFIC evidence debunking the major claims of evolution. statements from such eminent scientists as Francis Crick and Fred Hoyle are included, amongst hundreds of others.

    you owe me the minimum level of courtesy of a reasoned response, and not just an arrogant withering insult. IN THE NAME OF THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL, WHO CREATED YOU AND THE CHILDREN YOU ARE INDOCTRINATING WITH UNSCIENTIFIC UNSUBSTANTIATED DARWINIAN FILTH, I DEMAND A REASONED RESPONSE FROM YOU. you might laugh and mock at me, as you do to God who reigns above you. but we shall see who will be laughing after i speak with Chanchellor (sic) Peterson. i also will be approaching the Governor of the State, as well as the State legislature, who pay your salary and authorize your position, as well as the Regents. i will be speaking with my attorney as well, for i am planning to file legal charges against you, accusing you of child molestation. no, not of me, since although i am a child of God i also am an adult. but the children who attend your “university” and who are entrusted into your care, are being intellectually, morally, and spiritually molested by the bogus darwinian theories of nihilism and death that you teach in the name of “higher education”. young persons come to your university seeking guidance, direction and focus for their talents and energies. instead they find professors like you who teach them that life is purposeless, pointless, and meaningless. indeed i charge you and your devilutionist colleagues with being the source of every imaginable evil in our society: drugs, crime, prostitution, corruption, war, abortion, death, for the simple reason that you, the supposed elite of academia, teach our children that life has no higher purpose, value, or meaning. i charge you with being a murderer of souls. if you think i am joking, just wait till we meet in court. “Mr. Big Brains on Biology”: what a sad joke: the co-discoverer of a candidate for the world’s largest living organism, a grove of aspen clones in Utah, that led to a 1993 Discover magazine article titled “The Trembling Giant” can’t even see the forest for the trees. if you want to delude yourself, that is your tragic prerogative. but you cannot be permitted to defraud and deceive our children. you will be held accountable for your malicious actions, attitudes, and satanic beliefs. Sincerely in Christ, [name deleted] Cc: Chancellor Bud Peterson”

    Another letter, apparently from him, read:

    “Pastor Jerry Gibson spoke at Doug Whites New Day Covenant Church in Boulder. He said that every true Christian should be ready and willing to take up arms to kill the enemies of Christian society. But I believe it is far more effective to take up a pen to kill the enemies of Truth."

    [Threats against University of Colorado Biologists. Matt Young, Panda's Thumb July 11, 2007.]

    Again, I don't claim this is "typical" of all anti-evolutionists. Threats of violence are not typical from creationists. What is typical of creationists, especially Intelligent Design proponents, and most especially UDders, is insults, ad hominems and personal attacks.

  16. And here is some nastiness directed at the Proud Atheists blog from one Gabriel Tanejo:

    "Yes, happy first and LAST anniversary.

    Your sins are too mighty to repent for, our Father will send you all to hell when you die! I will hack into this website and destroy it; and find your personal information too, so I can blow up your house—but your destiny is so fucked up that I don’t know why I would bother! I may, however, hunt down your friends and family and slaughter them—that would cause you great pain, would it not? I have gotten signs from God that approve of doing this to all fucking atheists! Someday you may find a gun at your head, or cyanide in your drink, or a grenade in your home—but I will kill you, make no mistake! The sooner you go to your eternal punishment, the better!"

    [Gabriel Tanejo death threats toward atheists, cited here]

  17. Here is Hal Turner, who appeared as a friend of Sean Hannity on his radio show. He went to prison for threatening three federal judges:

    "We Christians would do well to adopt the Muslim strategy. When someone sues to remove the Ten Commandments from a public area, attack, beat and maybe even KILL them. When a federal appeals court rules that Christian Nativity Scenes in New York Schools can be banned while Jew Menorrah's [sic] a Muslim Crescents can remain in the same schools, the Judges on that court should be attacked, beaten and if necessary, KILLED. When someone sues to halt Christian public prayers at football games, school events or local town meetings, that person should be attacked, beaten and if need be, KILLED. Violence works. It makes people think twice before doing something to a particular [sic] person or group of people.” [Sean Hannity's extremist friend Hal Turner, cited by the ADL]