AS214: Eli and Cecil

Eli and Cecil are back for an extra long show! No two parter this time, I figure you guys deserve a nice long juicy episode. The 3 of us talk about the infamous Eli episodes and what we all learned from it, and then go on to talk about other issues like Dawkins and the NECSS, free speech, safe spaces, all that good stuff. This should put a bow on these issues, at least for the time being. Since we rehashed some of the same topics, instead of two parts I just left it as one long episode and then there will be something completely different on Monday.

10 thoughts on “AS214: Eli and Cecil”

  1. Great discussion.

    I cringe, however, every time I hear someone refer to “us” as a “movement” that has “leaders.” I’ve only ever considered this to be a community with individuals like Dawkins as nothing more than popular figures within it.

    1. I could not agree more. I don’t even follow Dawkins, and only hear what he has to say, beyond his books, when people online get their panties in a knot because their god is shown to be fallible like the rest of us.

  2. I’ve only just started the episode and there’s been some good discussion so far. I did find it interesting in the discussion on the Goldsmith’s issue, you noted that somebody responded by saying Namazie was an islamophobe and deserved to be kicked out! That’s crazy.

    I only noticed it because I was quite heavily involved in that comment section and I didn’t recall seeing anyone take a position like that. How did you respond to that guy? What possible evidence could he have brought to defend that position?

    It particularly stood out to me because often when I hear someone use the term “regressive left” to describe someone’s position, it tends to be a complete misrepresentation of what they said so I assume that’s always the case. But I guess if somebody actually responded like that then it’s good evidence of a “regressive left” and evidence against my view that it’s a strawman!

    Anyway, looking forward to the rest of the podcast!

  3. I find it fairly ironic that a term coined to be something that stood against identity politics has in many ways become the embodiment of that problem. Terms are only as useful as we are careful in defining them. “regressive” was meant to be used a way to be able to have a conversation about certain ideas that were seen as problematic to the left’s ideals. The issue arose when the term stopped being used to define specific beliefs and became a label to be used on an individual.

    The ultimate point in defining terms in the first place is to be able to use them in a larger discussion, such as an actual thought out and fully developed argument. The problem is that on social media, especially twitter, there is not the space for real discussion to take place.

    People are now using these labels to be intellectually lazy. A rare few are willing to think through issues and do the philosophical work in considering multiple sides of a nuanced issue that is required for productive conversation. Instead they just label all situations or people that come even close to this caricature that they have passively absorbed into their minds make all their decisions for them.

  4. Well said. I’m not part of a movement. I don’t have leaders. It’s a community with participants, nothing more.

    1. “The first time he stepped in it (dear muslima) the target of his “humor” was targeted for huge on line misogyny and rape threats.”

      Rebecca Watson ran Skepchick, and was supported by the biggest online atheist presence at the time, PZ Myers. To argue she was some type of victim is revisionist history, and typical SJW regressive behavior. Show me a regressive feminist who is criticized by the left online, and I’ll show you a one who playing the victim card. It even worked the “Big red” the despicable regressive feminist portrayed in the video Dawkins tweeted. There is no way in hell a guy who was as big an asshole as she is would get any sympathy by complaining he was being insulted, it would just result in more insults because people almost universally would be happy to see it was getting under his skin. When it’s a woman however everyone wants to be her daddy, or boyfriend, and protect her. To think women can’t handle the harassment that men deal with (and studies show men are “harassed” online at comparable, if not greater levels) is sexist, but it’s the kind of sexism they won’t complain about because it benefits them.

  5. I actually thought “regressive left” was a great term until it got broken by misuse. When it just used to describe those on the left who want to suspend the rights of individuals as a means of accomplishing their goals it was a great term. Now it’s a muddled crappy name calling term.

  6. I disagree with you all on Dawkin’s responsibilities. The first time he stepped in it (dear muslima) the target of his “humor” was targeted for huge on line misogyny and rape threats. When he learned of this, he put out a statement that he found that behavior abhorrent.
    Thats when he knew what he knew… that he has a large voice, and ugly people will use his words to attack others (mostly women). From that point, he had a moral responsibility to use his voice, especially satire, especially on twitter, very carefully. In this last case, he did not. That info (that the video he retweeted was targeting a real person) was knowable, especially for a person who employs assistants. Why doesn’t he clear his tweets thru an assistant? Or just stop using a limited forum (twitter) to comment on complex issues? He seems to be repeatedly surprised that ugly people use his words to attack women, and then continues to tweet shit that ugly people use to attack women. I don’t accept that he is not responsible. He is now just lazy on the issue of his follower’s use of his words to attack women. That shows me he doesn’t care very much. He does care a little, because he has walked back some statements and disavowed harrassers. But to keep putting his foot in it? He should know by now. I think he does know.
    “With great power comes great responsibility” -Spiderman

  7. I see SJW, and regressive as being synonymous. SJW didn’t take off the way regressive did because SJW sounds almost like you oppose social justice, which is absolutely untrue, though regressives did try to paint it that way. Regressive is a much more palatable term, and it’s not as easy for SJW’s to counter. I think it’s very useful term because it has brought much needed attention to the problem.

  8. OK Thomas I think you are wrong when you say the “harassment, doxing, no-platforming, mischaracterizing people, contacting people’s employees, and so on are done more so by the anti-regressive side. It’s just that playing the victim to gain sympathy is not part of the anti-regressive methodology, so it doesn’t get the same attention..

    I’m sure you heard of the “beat up Anita Sarkeesian” video game. Were you aware of the fact that it was a port of a game that was originally a game to beat up an outspoken male opponent of violence in video games? I suspect not because he didn’t make a big deal about it, and if he had he wouldn’t have had men coming of the the woodwork to defend, express their sympathy, or white knight for him.

    Also I don’t think you can place insults in the same class as no-platforming, or mischaracterizing people as racists, sexists, or bigots, or contacting someone’s employer to attempt to get them fired, all things that are part of the regressive playbook. One might hurt a persons feelings, while the other has the potential to take away someone’s livelihood. Look what they’ve done to Sam Harris. the only reason he’s able to weather the storm coming from the regressives is because he’s famous.

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