Monday, April 13, 2015

The Marginalization of PZ Meyers

The perpetual moral indignation of Atheist PZ Meyers has long been a semi-dominant feature of today's Atheist culture. His approach to argumentation is "ridicule works", and that is his only contribution to the Atheist conversation. But not just ridicule; the nastiest, most vulgar, gutter-speak are a personal PZ trademark. This trait has allowed the accumulation of a horde of like-types on his blog, Pharyngula. PZ has made himself and his followers into a cartoon of Atheist contempt and hollow self-bestowed elitism which also self-bestows an amoral "morality" which is applied to everyone who is not them. If you are not Them, you will receive contempt; it's that simple.

I followed PZ for a while, around a decade ago (I think it was). But finally I quit even going there, because it consisted only of trash-mouth, juvenile-style, pseudo-shock spasms which were devoid of any rational content worth discussing or analyzing. Now PZ has offended so many on his own team (Team-Atheism) that they are disowning him, publicly.

For example, Atheist Ireland has issued a public rejection of PZ, in the form of a group rebuke:
Atheist Ireland publicly dissociates itself from the harmful and hateful rhetoric of PZ Myers

"Atheist Ireland is publicly dissociating itself from the hurtful and dehumanising, hateful and violent, unjust and defamatory rhetoric of the atheist blogger PZ Myers. The final of many, many straws were his latest smear that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is ‘happily exploiting atrocities’, and his subsequent description of Atheist Ireland’s chairperson as ‘the Irish wanker’. We are also asking all ethical organisations and individuals to consider how you can help to reverse his harmful impact on both individuals and the atheist movement generally."
It will be interesting to see if many, or any, other "ethical organisations" join in their condemnation of PZ. There are lots of potential individuals who might join this effort. Many of those who have been slimed by Meyers are actually in the following section of Atheist Ireland's post:
"Some examples of his hurtful and dehumanising rhetoric

He said that ‘the scum rose to the top of the atheist movement’, that it is ‘burdened by cretinous reactionaries’, that ‘sexist and misogynistic scumbags’ are ‘not a fringe phenomenon’, and that if you don’t agree with Atheism Plus, you are an ‘Asshole Atheist’. He agreed that science fetishism reproduces the ‘white supremacist logic of the New Atheist Movement.’ He said ‘I officially divorce myself from the skeptic movement,’ which ‘has attracted way too many thuggish jerks, especially in the leadership’.

He said Richard Dawkins ‘seems to have developed a callous indifference to the sexual abuse of children’ and ‘has been eaten by brain parasites’, Michael Nugent is ‘the Irish wanker’ and a ‘demented fuckwit’, Ann Marie Waters is a ‘nutter’, Russell Blackford is a ‘lying fuckhead’, Bill Maher’s date at an event was ‘candy to decorate [her sugar daddy’s] arm in public’, Ben Radford is a ‘revolting narcissistic scumbag’ and his lawyer is ‘J Noble Dogshit’, Rosetta scientist Matt Taylor and Bill Maher are ‘assholes’, and Abbie Smith and her ‘coterie of slimy acolytes’ are ‘virtual non-entities’. He called Irish blogger ZenBuffy a ‘narcissistic wanker,’ after she said she has experienced mental illness.

He described Robin Williams’ suicide as ‘the death of a wealthy white man dragging us away from news about brown people’, said that a white lady who made racist comments ‘looks like the kind of person who would have laughed at nanu-nanu’, then added: ‘I’m mainly feeling that I should have been more rude, because asking me to have been nicer about the dead famous guy is completely missing the point’. He said of other dead people that Charles Darwin was a ‘sexist asshat’, Richard Feynman was a ‘reprehensible asshole’, and Christopher Hitchens was a ‘bloodthirsty barbarian’ and a ‘club-carrying primitive’.

Some examples of his hateful and violent rhetoric

Among the many people he publicly ‘hates’, ‘despises’ or ‘detests’ are philosophers Alain de Botton and Harriet Baber, interfaith activist Chris Stedman, comparative religion author Karen Armstrong, pastor Lee Strobel, columnist Richard Cohen, attorney Debbie Schlussel, creationists Ken Ham and Fred Phelps, broadcasters Bob Beckel and Rush Limbaugh, and authors Ben Stein, Bryan Appleyard and Dinesh D’Souza. Just last month he said that his ‘contempt’ for US President Ronald Reagan has vastly increased.

He also employs hate speech against Christians (‘I left the theatre filled with contempt and loathing for Christians’), apocalypse-mongers (‘they make me furious and fill me with an angry contempt’), ‘your average, run-of-the-mill Christian’ (‘I despise Karen Armstrong almost as much as I do Fred Phelps’), and several people who were organising a prayer initiative (‘Jesus Christ but I hate these slimebags’ who are ‘demented fuckwits every one.’)

He uses violent rhetoric. He said ‘I’ve got to start carrying a knife now’ to kill Christians if they pray instead of helping him while he is dying. He said about a meal: ‘Don’t show up to pick a fight or we’ll pitch you off a pier.’ When a Brazilian priest died in a charity ballooning accident, he said ‘my new dream’ will be shooting priests out of the sky from an aircraft. When a Christian shopkeeper apologised for offending atheists, he refused to accept the apology, saying ‘No. Fuck him to the ground.’ He would rather debate William Lane Craig in writing ‘where I can pin him down, stick a knife in the bastard, and twist it for a good long while’. He praised a blog post that ‘shanks Thunderf00t in the kidneys and mocks him cruelly’.

He has encouraged his blog commenters to ‘rhetorically hand [critics] a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice’. They in turn have told people to ‘put a three week old decaying porcupine dipped in tar and broken glass up your arse sideways’, to ‘fuck yourself sideways’ with a ‘rusty chainsaw’, ‘red-hot pokers’ or a ‘rusty coat hanger’, and to ‘go die in a fire. slowly. seriously’. More recently he said of ‘faux-Vulcan shit’ that he encourages his commentariat to ‘draw their knives and flense it so thoroughly the dispassionate ass is feeling the pain in every nerve ending’.

Some examples of his unjust and defamatory rhetoric

In his latest smear just last weekend, he accused Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who lives with constant security protection against threats on her life, of ‘happily exploiting atrocities to justify continued injustices’, and of ‘using the threat of murder elsewhere as a club to silence those who strive for respect and dignity in their lives’. He based this smear on a misleadingly edited quote from Ayaan’s keynote speech to the American Atheists Convention.

PZ did not challenge commenters who said Richard Dawkins is a ‘racist misogynist piece of shit who thinks child molestation doesn’t count unless there’s rape or murder’, that ‘if he’s not actually a child molester he’s dangerously close to wearing the uniform of one’, and that ‘Dawkins and his rape cheerleaders can fuck a power socket’. But he did ban a commenter who defended Richard, telling him: ‘Goodbye. We don’t need your petty resistance to any dissent from the sacred position of your great heroes around here. Fuck off.’

When Michael Nugent highlighted the harmful effect of his behaviour, PZ responded by publicly accusing him of ‘defending and providing a haven for rapists’, saying the evidence for this was people who comment on Michael’s blog. He has since refused for six months to withdraw and apologise for this defamatory smear, adding that Michael also ‘supports rapists’, and is a ‘demented fuckwit’ and ‘the Irish wanker’. His blog network, FreeThought Blogs, has now refused for three months to even respond to repeated emails asking them to address a complaint about this issue."
There are other sites which take on PZ, including the Friendly Atheist site, which created a tumbling effect described by Atheist Revolution:
Hemant Mehta's post appears to have generated some strong reactions from the Freethought Blogs/Skepchick crowd, as he was accused by Rebecca Watson of endorsing "a hate forum." Why does this sort of accusation sound so familiar? Oh, that's right! Hemant runs a hate group. Anyway, Watson's post was sufficiently over-the-line to draw a response from the Center for Inquiry's Ron Lindsay.
Atheist sects are now morally committed to destroying the opposing moral sects which infest Atheism - at least on-line Atheism. Because each Atheist is more moral than all other Atheists, this moral skirmish could develop into something even more interesting than the moral banishment of PZ Meyers into an obscure corner of the web. Who knows? Maybe Meyers will succeed in taking over the entire movement with his own personal moral sect. He certainly won't be quiet. Hmm. Isn't sectarianism a religious problem?


Steven Satak said...

They always eat their own. It was just a matter of time before PZ Meyers went full retard and turned his foul mouth and corrupted mind on his fellow atheists.

None of them actually suggest anything effective, however - possibly because they are afraid something of the same sort will eventually be turned against them.

And they're right.

Steven Satak said...

Funny how no one's given him a fat lip yet. Maybe the atheist contingent is only effective as long as it's a matter of words?

Phoenix said...

Geez,it seems like none of these Atheist conventions are family friendly.Perhaps Atheism is for rebellious teens and ill-mannered adults only.

Stefani Monaghan said...

Phoenix - I think there's something to that, and Stan has addressed that before: a large segment of the atheist community seems to bear all the emotional maturity of a clique of miffed teenagers who think liberal use of the F-word constitutes the epitome of rebellion. Vox Day (back when I spent time at his blog) also made a point of noting atheists' social retardation.