bipedalhumanoid wrote:Yes, but we're usually a community that prides itself on being able to discuss and debate such differences of opinion without resorting to bullying tactics, logical fallacies, catch phrases, outright dismissiveness and outright dishonesty.
Well, if nothing else, we've learned that we're not all like that, or at least not all the time. I think part of it might be because there's no right answer here - this is after all an issue of etiquette, cultural norms and perception - and atheists and skeptics are more comfortable dealing with issues of hard facts.
The intransigence on both sides is surprising given that it really seems like the better viewpoints cluster towards the middle. Again, this may be symptomatic of the skeptical mindset, as I think we tend towards not giving any ground to our opponents, but it's also a feature of debates in general. It's difficult to argue passionately about a minor difference in viewpoints, so there's a tendency to exaggerate the differences.
Feardorcha wrote:Just curious: Where is this skeptic community to be found and also the atheist community which is mentioned by serveral posters in this debate? Is everyone who is an atheist assumed to be a member or does it have a more formal designation? Can one be a member of both the skeptic community and the atheist community or are they mutually exclusive?
Maybe the word is changing or it is a computer word meaning those who visit atheist forums. As I hate to be out of fashion, I would love to know.
A community can be "A group of people having a religion, race, profession, or other particular characteristic in common" (sixth definition from Google's dictionary) so I think atheists and skeptics, especially those who interact either in real life or online, fit this. The communities overlap as most people come to atheism by being skeptical. The differences are largely about focus.
Beebub wrote:Except it wasn't. She's now trying to pass it off as such, and PZ also suggested that this is 'all she did', but she clearly likened what they guy did to the nasty stuff she deals with on a regualr basis; threats of rape, being told to sit down and shut up and getting explicit and graphic sexual advances.
Here's exactly what Rebecca said:
“...all of you except for the one man who didn’t really grasp, I think, what I was saying on the panel, because at the bar later that night, actually at four in the morning, we were at the hotel bar. Four a.m., I said I’d had enough, I was going to bed. So I walk to the elevator, and a man got on the elevator with me and said, 'Don't take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting, and I would like to talk more. Would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?' Um, just a word to wise here, guys, uh, don't do that. You know, I don't really know how else to explain how this makes me incredibly uncomfortable, but I'll just sort of lay it out that I was a single woman, you know, in a foreign country, at 4:00 am, in a hotel elevator, with you, just you, and--don't invite me back to your hotel room right after I finish talking about how it creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable when men sexualize me in that manner..."
I'm struggling to find anything unreasonable about her comments here. I don't think she intended to say it was as bad as some of what she has had to put up with, just that it was at least somewhat bad, and anyone who had paid attention to what she had been saying all day should have known how she'd feel receiving such a proposition.
Was Dawkins not entitled to question this, even regardless of how tactlessly he did it?
Entitled? Absolutely. But I think he's wrong that Rebecca had nothing to complain about, and incredibly insensitive to phrase things the way he did, when it was obvious that this was something Rebecca and other women clearly felt so strongly about.
Had I been told that Dawkins disagreed without having read exactly what he wrote, I would have imagined something eloquent about Rebecca's pattern-recognition technique being over-sensitive resulting in false positives due to priming by genuine threats. Instead, we got a disappointly insulting and dismissive piece.
Was it fair of her to liken this guy to the types mentioned in her talk?
To the extent that she did, I think so. His behaviour was inappropriate, and it was so because he viewed her primarily as a sex object. He did not take into account her stated desires, nor did he consider her feelings.
I think that's a bit harsh. Dawkins doesn't get it. He's read Rebecca's point of view and hundreds of comments on Pharyngula and he still doesn't get it. The letters are an attempt in consciousness-raising. Maybe someone will be able to make him see why such behaviour would be likely - hell, virtually guaranteed - to make a woman feel uncomfortable. I would suggest reading them if you haven't already done so. They provide some helpful perspectives.