Category Archives: Conversation

A Response to Seth Andrews’ response to an interview with Steve Shives

Please see the comment left by Seth Andrews of The Thinking Atheist on the video below.

Seth wrote a response to a good many people who have unsubscribed to his channel as a response to this video. I honestly believe that Seth is surprised, in the way that a Christian might be surprised to get pushback on what to them is perfectly normal. I hope to help clarify why some people might respond to the video in the way that they did.

First, I can understand why Seth would be annoyed. By unsubbing, it harms him financially. That’s a real-world consequence. The second is that he is the interviewer, not the guest. It’s not rational to unsub because of one interview. A whole series of interviews that promote non-rational ideologies might make for a different case. It is a mistake to assume that one interview represents the endorsement of a point

On the other hand, subs are legitimate feedback, as is unsubbing. This, I imagine is no different than ratings on radio. This is the world of politics. I can also see that Seth’s attitude toward commenting is rather paternal “I’m doing this for the good of the community,” which is also Steve Shive’s attitude. My thoughts are that “the community” might need my additional input, but not the removal of someone else’s. Mute them for yourself, but not for others. They’re adults, and it’s up to them to decide what to read or not, and how to handle it or not. I can see why, upon Seth’s announcement of a paternal approach to moderation why some might unsubscribe, their needs and desires are different than what Seth offers. I think that’s perfectly fair.

Added to that, based on this interview, one gets the sense that Seth has merely glossed on the subject of Feminism, and has not taken the time to dive into the very few arguments for and against. One need not be a university educated theologian to find the flaws of theism, and the disconnects with reality. One need not know all of the historical details and minutiae of thousands of writers lives to look at the basic ideas promoted by Feminism. Many people believe that Feminism is about “women’s rights” in the way that many people believe that being a Christian means “being a good neighbour.” They believe that the label represents good intentions. One can be a good person without the belief “a god exists,” and one can treat people impartially and fairly without the belief that “women are oppressed.”

Seth says “I don’t allow them to define Feminism for me.” This is exactly the same argument of “Well, MY god is…” Stop arguing about the definition of a word, throw it away, and think about the concrete claims, it’s presuppositions, and their relationship to the physical world. Further, Seth misrepresents the non-Feminist point of view in the same kind of ways that Christians misrepresent Atheist. “White men are oppressed” is as valid a representation of the non-Feminist position as is “Atheism means believing there is no god” is an accurate representation of the Atheist position. These claims start with the presupposition that “the other side” is the inverse of their own position.

Do you think the label matters? Yes, they do, and they should be discarded, until people can think past them. We don’t care about what people think, we care about what they do. We also acknowledge that ideas inform action. It is the framework of ideas that inform behaviours, and the derived actions that count, not a putative and brief descriptive overview of what the ideas represent.

It is as eye-rollingly frustrating to those of us who have thought the issues though to hear what is essentially the arguments of “cultural Feminism” as it is to you, Seth, to hear the same bland arguments made by “cultural Christianity.”

I think that we all share the same general goal of “making a better world.” I claim that if this to be achieved, that it will be done purely on a behavioural level, on a daily basis, and it starts with the concrete thinking of whether promoted beliefs match reality and are intentionally followed up with real actions, by real people who have considered the real consequences for other real people in the real world. To the degree that we endorse poorly considered messages, we are throwing sand in society’s gears and work against our own best intentions.

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An example of how Feminist behaviour is driven by pain

The discussion of Men’s Rights is on the rise, these days, I’ve been engaging in them. I have long claimed that many people cleave to an ideology as a measure to deal with their pain.

Objectifying others, demonizing them, lying about them, some think, is some sort of solution to making the world work in their favour.

I don’t accept that, and have found that genuine listening, empathy and honesty works far better.

I present a conversation that I’ve had today with Annabel Pfeiffer. You’ll note that none of her replies to me show up in the comment thread. The reason? She blocked me. This, by the way, is why I quote when I reply. One may block me, or attempt to alter comments, or to hide them. I see no point to it, and when possible, hold people responsible for them.

Is this the behaviour of well-adjusted people trying to make the world a better place, or is it the behaviour of someone in pain?

This was the video that I listened to (but did not participate in)

heike anderson

Yesterday 11:52 PM
Arcane being his usual self, once again, thinking forced pregnancy is a ok with him. Thank goodness he and his ilk aren’t in control. Always a group of men discussing what women should be able to do with their bodies. Another person comes (man)  in and pulls the old, women sleeping around bullshit card. Like that’s the only demographic that chooses elective termination, he’s wrong.

Francis Roy

 2:58 AM+heike anderson “Always a group of men discussing what women should be able to do with their bodies.”

This is along the same lines of “Always a group of women discussing how men should behave.”

If you aren’t looking at all sides, you aren’t looking at all.

That having been said, I’m responding to the comment, not to the 8 hour video.

heike anderson

 6:10 AM +Francis Roy
Are you anti choice, or do you agree with Arcane and his idea of forced pregnancy?

12:24 PM+heike anderson “Are you anti choice, or do you agree with Arcane and his idea of forced pregnancy?”

I don’t know what “anti-choice” means, in this instance. I haven’t listened to the video.I don’t agree with forcing anyone to be pregnant, or not. I imagine that our last conversation would have clarified that point.

While I think that I understand what you mean when you ask “are you…” I would encourage people to consider using more accurate language, such as “do you support X position.” I think that when one says “I do, I think, I believe” rather than “I am” we question our changeable doings, rather than an imagined and personalized state of immutable being.

That having been said, what I was pointing out is that men and women, women and men, men and men, women and women have been telling each other what “the right way” to live or do things has been going on since the dawn of our species. I consider it unwise to simply point out 1 of the 4 options as though it’s a complete truth.

Francis Roy

3:42 PM +Annabel Pfeiffer “I think you’ll find that men have not just been telling women what to do and how to do it since the dawn of time but have also up until the last century had control of what women did…”

This is a one-sided interpretation of history, viewed though the lens of women’s oppression. It ignores that men have controlled men, men have controlled women, women have controlled men, and women have controlled women. More than anything else, for as long as we have been building cities larger than tribes, it has usually been a matter of class, whether the class be based on religion, or some form of nobility, or aristocracy, or control of resources.

“to deny such would display an incredible amount of dishonesty…”

Your presumption that someone who disagrees with your limited point of view must be dishonest is rather presumptuous, and I might go so far as to say self- deceiving. You do understand that the real world is far more complicated than one little idea, don’t you? I can appreciate the convenience and self-satisfaction of thinking that one idea pegs reality, thus, one can feel more secure in their beliefs and assertions, but this is a self-imposed trap. It leads one to make silly statements such as the one that I’m responding to, and one which, by the way, will not endear you to your interlocutor, or facilitate genuine conversation, listening, learning or empathy and compassion.

Francis Roy

 5:51 PM +Annabel Pfeiffer 1. “As a woman whose Grandmother was committed to a mental asylum her entire life by her husband for Post natal depression..he divorced her and still had control over when she came out…a mother who was beaten by my father on a monthly basis and a victim of child abuse ..”

I accept that your grandmother hard a hard life. My father was born in a concentration camp, and his mother abused him, and he transferred his abuse to me. I feel for you. That’s life and it has nothing to do with the conversation, other than to prove that all humans experience hardship, and that these issues should be resolved, in an impartial and fair manner.

2. “I  am going to end this conversation now because I will not allow some misogynistic woman hater to rewrite history himself because he’s a failure at life and blames women for his inability to be successful.. “

Then you are ending the conversation because of presumption. I am not a misogynist. I do not hate women. I have no intention of re-writing history. I do not blame women for anything other than for individual’s actions. And my life is successful.

/me throw away the shame sandwich that you attempted to foist upon me.

You repeat a common pattern: when faced between being open minded, honest, and demonstrating empathy, you allow your emotions, your ideology, your misconceptions to serve as excuses to seem to legitimate your rudeness and to speak ignorantly to a complete stranger.

Calling me names, demonstrating rudeness and presumption does not make your point of view correct. It does not take away your pain. It does not help you grow. It does not make a better world. Not for men. Not for women. Not for me. Not for you.

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Deeper than Dogma Episode 20 “Gender Roles”

I participated in this chat of lovely people, and of course, my friend Ozy. It was a light and breezy 101 conversation.

Trigger warning: Francis’ face.

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