On ‘Q&A about Atheism Plus, White Male Privilege, Guilt by Association, Schrodinger’s Rapist and Freethought Blogs’, by Al Stefanelli


Q&A about Atheism Plus, White Male Privilege, Guilt by Association, Schrodinger’s Rapist and Freethought Blogs | Al Stefanelli.

Well said Al!

Lest my comment get lost in the sheer dross of strawmen,deliberate misunderstandings and fallacies attempting to shout him down for daring to express his own views on his own blog (heaven forbid!), I will answer his post on my own blog.

Al was absolutely right.

On being white and male...

He is white and male but that has absolutely no bearing on the overall conduct of his gender: he is not responsible for the actions of others. Shouting ‘privilege’ as a means to silence him, or otherwise dismiss his views, says far more about the people shouting him down than it does about him. The comments on this blog post have exemplified precisely what Al had to say, and frankly I’m embarrassed for people.

Guilt by Association

I don’t believe that one of his critics actually sat back and thought about what he had to say before shouting their mouths off about how out of line he was to express his right to associate with whomsoever he pleases. Haven’t you realised by now that Al doesn’t use doublespeak. When he writes, he writes exactly what he means. He doesn’t couch insults and no interpretation is required. Al is perfectly capable of deciding who he associates with, when, and how. That is his decision, nobody else’s. I’ve had my-own falling outs with people but that is my business, because to expect others to disassociate themselves from is people because I personally don’t like their stance on issues is crass and childish. Al is his own person, my friend, and real friends do not put people they respect in that position of having to choose. My general response to being put in that position is to go the other way entirely, as I have a natural aversion to being controlled, especially in that manner.

On the Schrodinger’s Rapist issue…

It is not Al’s responsibility how others perceive him. Nor is it anyone’s responsibility how others perceive us.  Al behaves in public, and online, like the reasonable adult human being he is; he does not stalk women, he doesn’t travel websites looking to exert emotional responses, or issue threats of violence. More to the point, he doesn’t fish for confirmation that of course he’s absolutely correct in feeling the way he feels about potential strangers he fears are out to attack him, and anybody who doesn’t feel the same or openly disagrees with him are not accused of ‘trivialising’ his experiences.

He gets on with his life and tries to impinge on the lives of others as little as possible. What is to change? We already know he is socially aware, as some of us have been reading his blog or following him on his podcasts for years.  We have no control over the reactions of other people and it is beyond ridiculous to expect other people to interpret our reactions, based on a possibility of what horrible things might have happened to us in the past, let alone to expect them to adjust their behaviour accordingly.  All we can do is police our own behaviour and perceptions. It seems that some in the skeptic and free thought communities both online and off-line have conveniently forgotten this little snippet of information. I will make my stance on this perfectly clear now. No reading between the lines is needed. I say how I see it. Do not interpret my words with strawmen as I will just ignore you.  Here goes: it is nobody’s responsibility to make us ‘feel better’ or, more comfortable about ourselves or our surroundings. We are protected under law to life, liberty, justice, etc but the rest is up to us. This may upset several people, but that is how it is: we have no right to demand, yes demand, that others -least of all strangers- go out of their way to make us feel more comfortable.

No, I don’t feel threatened by random strangers while I am out in public. Do you know why? Because life is too short to worry endlessly about what might possibly happen. Nor will I assume that every man I come across in public is a rapist out to get me. If I did I would never leave the house. If I’m walking down the road or in a shop, whether it’s dark or light, other people (male or female) in the shop, or on the pavement, have every bit as much right to be there using that space as I do. It is not for me to police their actions or expect that they coddle any possible, however irrational and unfounded, fear I hold of what might happen. There is no point worrying about what might happen. Call me irresponsible if you will but I tend to make a habit of judging people on what their actual actions are, not by their potential to do something horrific to me.

This is the point: I can -and will- only speak for myself.  I’ve been through some horrible stuff myself but I choose not to publicise it out of the wish to put it behind me and move on with my life. I refuse to be a prisoner of my past and nobody who was not involved in my experience is responsible for how I feel about what I went through. It is  not fault of random male strangers, it is not the fault male colleagues, it is not the fault of other male bloggers or podcasters, it is not the fault of other male family members, or male friends, nor are they accountable for the actions of others. They should therefore not be expected to adjust their behaviour.  There was one person to blame for what I went through and I’m delighted to say that I will never be seeing him again. However, I will not expect other people to coddle my feelings over something they have no possible reason to know anything about. What rational purpose would I have to expect them to imagine what horrible things happened to me and instantly put me in the ‘victim’ slot? I don’t want sympathy and I don’t need to strangers to be ‘aware’ that something might have happened to me in the past, and so treat me with kid gloves by pandering to all manner of possible whims and fears. In fact, I find the very idea patronising in the extreme and I would make a concerted point of disassociating myself if someone should treat me in such a way.

To those shouting the praises of the ‘Schrödinger’s rapist argument’, please stop and think. You sound like you’re trying to speak for all women and it’s starting to wear very thin. At least try to accept that not all women are hypersensitive and suspicious of all men. the ‘Schrödinger’s rapist’  is a thought experiment, nothing more and it is not only impractical, but highly unreasonable, to attempt to apply it to real life. Before the shouting down starts, I’m not trying to downplay anyone who has been raped, or trivialise any body else’s experiences. If crossing the road at night makes people feel better then it is up to them but they have no right to demand that others do so so that they feel more comfortable. If you’re in a lift and a man gets into it, feel free to get out of the lift yourself and catch another one if you so wish but -unless it is your private lift to your private flat- you have no right to expect someone to get out or wait for another, just so that you feel better: he has every much right to use the lift as you do. It’s not a first-come-first-served-and-everybody-gets-to-use-their-own situation: it’s a lift and designed to carry several people at once, regardless of age, gender, race or ability.

On Free Thought Blogs…

There are plenty of other bloggers on Free Thought Blogs. If you don’t like what one blogger is writing then don’t read their blog and don’t comment on the comment feeds: nobody is forcing you. To declare that because a handful of writers seem to be taking over the site, shouting down dissenters, and trying to run the show, then all it must be doing the same is as crass as the people advocating practical application of the ‘Schrodinger’s rapist argument’, and all that disagree with them must be rape enabling misogynists. You might as well say a cat has a tail, therefore all animals with tails are cats. Yes, it really does sound that stupid, so stop it.

Not everybody who writes on free thought blogs is a bully, though sadly there are a handful of both bloggers and commenters who seem to use this platform as a means of public humiliation and ridicule. It is sad to see that some bloggers who’ve worked hard to make their blogs credible, interesting, welcoming and thought provoking, have turned them into a platform to sling mud and slam people down for merely disagreeing with them. Where comment feeds were once somewhere you could learn something, I dare not post now in case the question I ask is immediately flooded by threats of being banned, or accusations of trolling etc. I don’t demand they stop writing what they do, I’ve just stopped reading them. They have every right to express what they want on their blogs, but I have no obligation to read it and no longer have any interest in what they have to say. I wonder if they realise how many readers they have lost that way.  I doubt that once the drama is over, those other readers will go back either.

Final Thoughts…

Some of the behaviour that has been exhibited within the atheist online community (particularly within A+)  in recent months has been appalling. It ranges from refusal to apply the same level of critical thinking we as the atheist movement demand from others, to outright harassment against dissenters or critics. To say that I’m disappointed in my fellow atheists would be a gross understatement. I, like Al, will make my own decisions as to who I speak to and how/where, & I prefer an arena where everybody is entitled to give their views, whether I agree with them or not, and dissent is a conversation starter rather than a trigger for derision. Merely shoving out non-compliance is not going to achieve anything, but as the A+ groups (it seems to have splintered already) are determined to adopt such a policy, I think I just leave them to it. People can try to shout me down as much as they like. Insist that I’m wrong or foolish if you will, but I’m not going to retire off the scene or allow myself to be driven off -I’m far too bloody-minded to allow that.

This is not me choosing sides, this is me distancing myself from the drama that I have neither the time, interest or the energy to take part in. I proudly call myself a feminist, but I will not defend misandry any more than I would defend misogyny, or any other form of bigotry. My decision to separate myself from the A+ movement does not automatically make me the polar opposite of what they claim to stand for and what they claim to stand for something completely different from what they are: at least at present.

43 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bismarket
    Oct 15, 2012 @ 14:31:48

    “I refuse to be a prisoner of my past” Well said, you have a healthy mind, IMO!

    Reply

  2. Ysolde
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 23:32:16

    >>>>>Yet more false equivalence? Of course being seen around terrorists and criminals is going to earn attention from the authorities, but that is not what we are talking about. You and I both know this so cut out the trolling now.<<<<>>>>>‘Schrodinger’s rapist’ is precisely as ridiculous as I stated, or i would not have stated it. It is merely a version of Pascal’s wager. It is the practical application of the assumption that it is wise to assume that all persons unknown to us are a potential threat to our physical well-being, because if we were to assume they weren’t and we were wrong something bad might happen to us.<<<<<>>>>>As I said, you are in control of your perceptions, not me, or Al, or anyone else. By speaking with those you personally disagree with, how do I affect you in anyway? The short answer is I don’t and it’s none of your business. It is up to you who you speak to. It is NOT up to you who I speak to.<<<<>>>>Whether I agree or disagree, with them, whom I associate with is precisely up to me and no other and I need no approval, least of yours. Same goes for everybody else. I think in this instance that somebody should definitely have ‘shut the hell up’, but it wasn’t me.<<<<<

    So much for that whole "this is me distancing myself from the drama that I have neither the time, interest or the energy to take part in."

    Stop being a hypocrite and just shut the hell up with your drama already.

    Reply

    • Ysolde
      Oct 10, 2012 @ 23:40:39

      ((Trying again because your quote system is stupid))

      ………..Yet more false equivalence? Of course being seen around terrorists and criminals is going to earn attention from the authorities, but that is not what we are talking about. You and I both know this so cut out the trolling now…………

      Misogynists are barely different from the KKK. Why should we consider hanging out with them any different from terrorists?

      …………‘Schrodinger’s rapist’ is precisely as ridiculous as I stated, or i would not have stated it. It is merely a version of Pascal’s wager. It is the practical application of the assumption that it is wise to assume that all persons unknown to us are a potential threat to our physical well-being, because if we were to assume they weren’t and we were wrong something bad might happen to us…………

      BZZT Wrong. Try again and actually read about someting for a change.

      ………….As I said, you are in control of your perceptions, not me, or Al, or anyone else. By speaking with those you personally disagree with, how do I affect you in anyway? The short answer is I don’t and it’s none of your business. It is up to you who you speak to. It is NOT up to you who I speak to…………

      It depends on whether or not you want to be painted with the same brush. If you hang out with the Misogynists expect to be tought of as a Misogynist. If you hang out with racists expect to be seen as a Racist. If you then want to come speak in front of the ACLU or the NAACP expect that you won’t get the speaking gig.

      …………..Whether I agree or disagree, with them, whom I associate with is precisely up to me and no other and I need no approval, least of yours. Same goes for everybody else. I think in this instance that somebody should definitely have ‘shut the hell up’, but it wasn’t me……….

      So much for that whole “this is me distancing myself from the drama that I have neither the time, interest or the energy to take part in.”

      Stop being a hypocrite and just shut the hell up with your drama already.

      Reply

      • Pitchguest
        Oct 11, 2012 @ 00:02:33

        That’s a lot of strawmen in one post. (Sorry, ‘strawpersons.’)

        Am I the only one who sees the slimy in baiting Anna with drama — despite her wishes not to partake in it — and then chide her as a hypocrite when she bites back? Isn’t that slimy?

        Reply

        • Random Tangents
          Oct 11, 2012 @ 08:16:34

          Gave it one more attempt for my point to sink in. If the trolling continues, i shall just delete their comments. I call it throwing the troll of the bridge.

          Reply

        • Ysolde
          Oct 11, 2012 @ 17:33:57

          No Strawpersons – If she wants to associate with assholes that’s her perogative

          …………..Am I the only one who sees the slimy in baiting Anna with drama — despite her wishes not to partake in it — and then chide her as a hypocrite when she bites back? Isn’t that slimy?……..

          Again if she “didn’t wish to partake in the drama” maybe she shouldn’t have written an ENTIRE BLOG post filled with drama?

          Reply

      • Random Tangents
        Oct 11, 2012 @ 08:14:41

        1) It’s not my quote system, it’s WordPress’s.

        2) If you don’t like my site or my views, then don’t read my blog. Don’t come here trolling or trying to silence me. I’m going nowhere and I won’t shut up to suit the likes of you so I suggest you get used to that idea.

        3) YOU have failed to grasp the issue. You have NO say over who associates with who, End of story. I don’t think could have put it more simply than I did but I will try a third time. Maybe I was wrong to assume that you are capable of adult level conversation? Association with persons you personally disapprove of may well get people ‘tarred with the same brush’ in your book. That is YOUR prerogative, You have every right to dissociate YOURSELF from people you disagree with. You have NO right to demand others follow your example.or attempt to impose your views on them.

        Reply

        • Ysolde
          Oct 11, 2012 @ 17:49:08

          What happened to not wanting any drama? For someone who “doesn’t want drama” you sure seem pretty happy to post drama and then complain that people are noticing your utter hypocrisy.

          [quote]trolling or trying to silence me. I’m going nowhere and I won’t shut up to suit the likes of you so I suggest you get used to that idea.[/quote]

          I’ll continue to explain why you are an utter incompetant at understanding the issues then.

          [quote]3) YOU have failed to grasp the issue. You have NO say over who associates with who, End of story.[/quote]

          This is true but it is a far cry from “it’s not my business” You certainly can associate with whoever the hell you want, but when I’m looking for leadership etcetera expect that your name will not show up an please don’t whine about it.

          Reply

          • Random Tangents
            Oct 11, 2012 @ 19:36:57

            I’m not trying to lead anyone, you imbecile. You are wrong again by the way. Who I, or anyone else, associates with is EXACTLY NONE of your damned business. For the record, I would never speak for ACLU because I am a UK resident British citizen. Which just goes to prove your own ignorance. You have already decided I am some form of ‘gender-traitor, along with other assumptions, for voicing a view – which happens not to concur with your own – without even bothering to find out the first thing about me.

            The view you find so objectionable seems to be my own refusal to make negative assumptions about strangers, and my reasons behind that refusal. This apparently makes me ‘stupid’. Nor do I assume that is my business, whom anybody decides they associate with. As I said in my blog post, I tend to make my character judgements based upon their actions. Who other people speak with is not my business. Yet you seem to be more than willing to make totally biased and uninformed assertions about whomsoever you see fit based on nothing more than a thought experiment gone array or who who they associate with: not their actions, not their words, but those they are connected to, however tenuously. I’m sorry to break it to you, but this does not make me a hypocrite so you might want to order yourself a dictionary, the next time you are on amazon. You seem to be having a hard time grasping the reality of the fact that the world is not a mirror for your ego or ill-considered ideals.

            I have my own views, and I choose to express them on a private blog, in my own name, and in my own time. If people agree with me, it’s a bonus. If people don’t then it really doesn’t affect me. Do yourself a favour, sweetie, and shut up as you are starting to sound like a cyber-stalker and we wouldn’t want you tarred with THAT brush now, would we. Now be a good girl and let the grown up people talk. Your little tantrum has long since ceased to amuse.

            Reply

      • John C. Welch
        Oct 11, 2012 @ 15:07:12

        Misogynists are barely different from the KKK. Why should we consider hanging out with them any different from terrorists?

        and isn’t it just so handy that everyone disagreeing with you is always a misogynist or a gender traitor. Makes life convenient for you.

        BZZT Wrong. Try again and actually read about someting for a change.

        Ah, the old “IF YOU DISAGREE WITH ME, YOU’RE STUPID AND WRONG, TRY AGAIN UNTIL YOU SEE FIVE LIGHTS”. You should probably not let the plot from a Star Trek episode be THAT much of your philosophy. Especially when you’re emulating the bad guys.

        It depends on whether or not you want to be painted with the same brush. If you hang out with the Misogynists expect to be tought of as a Misogynist. If you hang out with racists expect to be seen as a Racist. If you then want to come speak in front of the ACLU or the NAACP expect that you won’t get the speaking gig.

        and of course, anyone disagreeing with you is….

        You do of course realize that the ACLU has, on multiple occasions, defended the rights of the KKK and other similar groups, right? So since the ACLU has defended the rights of Nazis and the KKK’s speech, does that then make them racists?

        We’ll wait while you ponder that.

        So much for that whole “this is me distancing myself from the drama that I have neither the time, interest or the energy to take part in.”

        Stop being a hypocrite and just shut the hell up with your drama already.

        Translation from idiot to english: “How dare you voice opinions that disagree with me on your own website on the internet in a way I might find out about!”

        Reply

        • Ysolde
          Oct 11, 2012 @ 17:41:06

          [quote]and isn’t it just so handy that everyone disagreeing with you is always a misogynist or a gender traitor. Makes life convenient for you.[/quote]

          Lie please continue its rather hilarious to see you lying.

          [quote]Ah, the old “IF YOU DISAGREE WITH ME, YOU’RE STUPID AND WRONG, TRY AGAIN UNTIL YOU SEE FIVE LIGHTS”. You should probably not let the plot from a Star Trek episode be THAT much of your philosophy. Especially when you’re emulating the bad guys.[/quote]

          In this case it is true. Shcroedingers Rapist is very very simple. If you are a man and you want to pick up a woman don’t act like a creepy stalker or a rapist otherwise you might get maced. Some of us girls want to read out books on the train. When we ignore you continueing to talk to us ISN’T helping your case. Approaching us in dark alleys Isn’t going to get you a date and if you do it the wrong way can get you maced.

          That’s what the idea is about. Not “hey buddy you’re a potential rapist” it’s “hey buddy I don’t know you from jack shit and you could be dangerous approaching me in THESE ways is not going to help your plans to get laid.”

          [quote]Translation from idiot to english: “How dare you voice opinions that disagree with me on your own website on the internet in a way I might find out about!”[/quote]

          No it’s pretty simple mister idiot. It is if you “don’t want drama” then whey the hell did you make an entire blog post? What kind of idiot “doesn’t want drama” and then posts….

          Reply

          • John C. Welch
            Oct 11, 2012 @ 18:15:38

            [quote]and isn’t it just so handy that everyone disagreeing with you is always a misogynist or a gender traitor. Makes life convenient for you.[/quote]

            Lie please continue its rather hilarious to see you lying.

            Okay, HTEEEEMMMMMELLLLLL…not PHPBB or whatever it is your A+ buddies are using. HTML. Real popular. Also, given what you’ve written here, you’ve really no proof i’m lying. That would require me to actually know you, which, thank $DEITY, I do not.

            [quote]Ah, the old “IF YOU DISAGREE WITH ME, YOU’RE STUPID AND WRONG, TRY AGAIN UNTIL YOU SEE FIVE LIGHTS”. You should probably not let the plot from a Star Trek episode be THAT much of your philosophy. Especially when you’re emulating the bad guys.[/quote]

            In this case it is true. Shcroedingers Rapist is very very simple. If you are a man and you want to pick up a woman don’t act like a creepy stalker or a rapist otherwise you might get maced. Some of us girls want to read out books on the train. When we ignore you continueing to talk to us ISN’T helping your case. Approaching us in dark alleys Isn’t going to get you a date and if you do it the wrong way can get you maced.

            Remember when you called me a liar? You kind of just proved i’m not. All disagreement with you is wrong, all who disagree are bad people. Thanks for playing.

            That’s what the idea is about. Not “hey buddy you’re a potential rapist” it’s “hey buddy I don’t know you from jack shit and you could be dangerous approaching me in THESE ways is not going to help your plans to get laid.”

            But that’s not what the word “rapist” means. Maybe you should try using better words that have more to do with the meaning you’d like to get across rather than pumping up the emotional content as an attention-grabbing mechanism, then wondering why everyone is so unreasonable about everything.

            As I’ve stated other places, if you weren’t calling all men “rapists until proven innocent”, which is the central theme of SR – We don’t know you aren’t going to try to rape us until you don’t – and instead made the thesis “look, when we don’t know someone, we’re going to be on our guard more. We’re going to be less willing to interact with you. If you’re willing to not demand a level of interaction we’re not comfortable with, then maybe everyone is less tense, and things work better.

            But that’s explicitly NOT what SR is about. SR has a really horrible thesis: All men are *dangerous* until they prove they are not. Given the actual stats on Rape, the numbers show you’re actually safer with strangers than not, at least in the US, so there’s nothing from that angle to back you up, but that’s what SR is saying: “Since we don’t know you AREN’T dangerous, we must assume you ARE dangerous”. Well fuck you very much. I don’t know you. How do I know you’re not going to just bust a cap in my ass because it’s tuesday and you’re a sociopath? I don’t know you, it’s entirely possible you’re a sociopath and are going to kill the next guy wearing glasses you see, until you prove to me you aren’t.

            same thesis as SR, just as stupid. Not that you’ll care, because again, ALL DISAGREEMENT IS WRONG, THERE ARE FIVE LIGHTS.

            [quote]Translation from idiot to english: “How dare you voice opinions that disagree with me on your own website on the internet in a way I might find out about!”[/quote]

            No it’s pretty simple mister idiot. It is if you “don’t want drama” then whey the hell did you make an entire blog post? What kind of idiot “doesn’t want drama” and then posts….

            I’m sorry, exactly who put a gun at your head, or held a loved one for ransom to force you to come here and comment? I missed that bit.

            Reply

      • John C. Welch
        Oct 11, 2012 @ 15:07:51

        ((Trying again because your quote system is stupid))

        it’s called the “block quote tag”. You may have heard of it.

        Reply

  3. Ivy Shoots
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 23:08:06

    I don’t understand how anyone can read Schrodinger’s Rapist and fail to grasp that it’s advice specifically for men who wish to approach strange women for the purpose of getting to know them, not directions for all the men who are just minding their own business, much less an indictment of all men. No one said it’s anyone’s “responsibility to make us ‘feel better’ or, more comfortable,” so that’s a straw man — but if you wish to engage the attention of a stranger, then of course you have to do it in whatever way SHE finds acceptable, or you will not succeed. The essay was helpful advice to the “lovelorn,” nothing else. If you don’t understand that, why not?

    Reply

    • Pitchguest
      Oct 10, 2012 @ 23:54:05

      I don’t think you comprehend your own argument. Whether it’s for all men minding their own business, or whether it’s for all men approaching women with the purpose to get to know of them, it’s still labelling them as potential rapists. In fact, with the latter scenario it specifically labels them as potential rapists, so once again, how is it a misrepresentation?

      The essay was not in any way helpful. All it provided (for anyone who’d take it seriously) was for women to be fearful of men approaching them as would-be rapists, and men fearful that women would consider them would-be rapists if they ever approached a woman. If you consider that fearmongering paranoiac piece of shit article to be good advice for ‘lovelorn’ men, you’re insane. (Not to mention that the author of ‘Schrödinger’s Rapist’ misunderstood the principle of Schrödinger in the first place, so it’s not even a proper analogy.)

      Reply

    • christophercamp
      Oct 11, 2012 @ 01:19:19

      Well, it’s a supid term. What Faedra Starling should have said would have been ‘Potential Rapist’. Schrödinger’s Cat is both dead and alive at the same time, because on sub-atomic levels, according to the Copenhagen model of quantum physics, a particle can assume two seemingly incompatible forms (eg spinning clockwise and anti-clockwise at at the same time, etc…). Starling used the word ‘Schrödinger’ because she obviously hoped it would make her sound educated and intelligent. It left the exact opposite impression with those of us who actually understand Schrödinger’s joke/thought experiment.

      As for potential rapists: why should I or anyone else expect every stranger who comes my way to be a rapist. That’s a very pessimistic and negative outlook. I don’t want to live like that.

      Reply

    • Random Tangents
      Oct 11, 2012 @ 06:26:48

      Quick question: how would said stranger possibly know in what ways the lady would find an approach acceptable without having first engaged with her to find out?

      Reply

      • Ivy Shoots
        Oct 11, 2012 @ 21:17:00

        “Quick question: how would said stranger possibly know in what ways the lady would find an approach acceptable without having first engaged with her to find out?”

        That’s information the essay “Schrodinger’s Rapist” helpfully supplies, so if you haven’t read it, do, rather than take anyone else’s word for it, mine included.

        Quick answer, it specifically mentions behaviors and body language which communicate when a woman does NOT wish to be approached, as well as insight on some behaviors men unwittingly do which women may take in ways not intended. It’s just friendly advice on how nice guys can avoid being taken for creeps by women who may be weary/wary from too many experiences with creeps approaching them.

        Reply

        • John C. Welch
          Oct 11, 2012 @ 22:23:31

          Again, why do you keep assuming we haven’t read the fucking thing. or is it that in your mind, there’s only one possible correct way to read it?

          I don’t really know. But this isn’t math or science. there’s no one true way to read this, and I think you really should start allowing for people reading things and not seeing them the same way you do, nor, are we wrong to do so. For any problem of this nature, there are multiple ‘correct’ approaches. SR is one that many people, male AND female happen to disagree with.

          they’re not all stupid, nor have they not read it, nor do they not understand it.

          You might want to stop acting as if anyone disagreeing with SR is doing so from ignorance or stupidity.

          Reply

          • Ivy Shoots
            Oct 11, 2012 @ 23:18:25

            When someone asks a question which is already answered in the essay, the only two possibilities are that they didn’t read it, or they didn’t comprehend what they read. It’s only polite to give them the benefit of the doubt that it’s the first and not the second, and phrasing it “IF you didn’t read it” assumes nothing.

            Random Tangents didn’t offer a “way to read” the advice, but asked “how would said stranger possibly know…” of the advice included in the essay. Answer: Read the essay! There’s a huge difference between disagreeing with advice, and appearing to not even be aware that it exists in the essay you are discussing.

            It’s absurd to insist that “there’s no one true way to read” what the author wrote, when obviously the correct way to read it is the way she wrote it. And her intentions and opinions are clear throughout, because — get this — she states them! Her words, her opinions, her thoughts are there to be evaluated and challenged. You can disagree with whatever she says, but to disagree with what she doesn’t say, and insist she actually MEANS something other than what she actually says, is wrong, whether you think so or not.

            “You might want to stop acting as if anyone disagreeing with SR is doing so from ignorance or stupidity.” You might want to stop accusing me of doing the opposite of what I did. I answered a question about the essay by referring the questioner back to the essay, since the answer to the question is there. There was no “disagreement” in the question; it just demonstrated a lack of knowledge of the content of the essay.

            Reply

            • John C. Welch
              Oct 12, 2012 @ 03:42:40

              When someone asks a question which is already answered in the essay, the only two possibilities are that they didn’t read it, or they didn’t comprehend what they read. It’s only polite to give them the benefit of the doubt that it’s the first and not the second, and phrasing it “IF you didn’t read it” assumes nothing.

              We’re asking YOU questions that relate to the large, gaping chasms of logic that SR ignores. Your answer is always “IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH SR, YOU DIDN’T READ IT.” Over and over. According to you and the other SR fans, that’s the only possible reason why we don’t blindly accept it as a universal truth.

              That line of thinking is, like SR, bollocks, but it’s all you’ve got to say, since it’s your answer to every non OMG SR IS TEH WIZDUM OF TEH AGEZZZZZ comment. Really, no one expects an actual ANSWER from you, you ceded your thinking to a blog post on the internet some time ago.

              Random Tangents didn’t offer a “way to read” the advice, but asked “how would said stranger possibly know…” of the advice included in the essay. Answer: Read the essay! There’s a huge difference between disagreeing with advice, and appearing to not even be aware that it exists in the essay you are discussing.

              The essay doesn’t answer that. Because the essay assumes everyone can read body language equally well, or that all body language is the same. Tip: no, it’s not. SOME people don’t want to be disturbed while reading. Other people don’t mind. SR leaves you no options. You must blindly accept what it says, or you’re a bad person.

              It’s absurd to insist that “there’s no one true way to read” what the author wrote, when obviously the correct way to read it is the way she wrote it. And her intentions and opinions are clear throughout, because — get this — she states them! Her words, her opinions, her thoughts are there to be evaluated and challenged. You can disagree with whatever she says, but to disagree with what she doesn’t say, and insist she actually MEANS something other than what she actually says, is wrong, whether you think so or not.

              sure there is. You can read SR, shut your brain off and decide that all who disagree are idiots. Or, you can read SR, agree with it, but realize not everyone is going to come to the same conclusions you did, and that doesn’t mean they’re stupid, wrong, evil, or didn’t really read it. Or, you can read SR, decide it’s bollocks, but realize not everyone is going to come to the same conclusions you did, and that doesn’t mean they’re stupid, wrong, evil, or didn’t really read it, and wish the true believers would stop insisting it has biblical-level inerrancy.

              But, that’s the thing about true believers: all disagreement must be dismissed or quashed.

              “You might want to stop acting as if anyone disagreeing with SR is doing so from ignorance or stupidity.” You might want to stop accusing me of doing the opposite of what I did. I answered a question about the essay by referring the questioner back to the essay, since the answer to the question is there. There was no “disagreement” in the question; it just demonstrated a lack of knowledge of the content of the essay.

              Bullshit. You’ve said that if one disagrees with SR, one either hasn’t read it, can’t understand it, or is deliberately misunderstanding/misstating it. You’ve been VERY clear about how there is, in your world, only one “allowed” reaction to SR, and if it doesn’t jibe with yours, then said reaction is “bad”. Don’t suddenly try to claim a mantle of reasonability that you’ve so enthusiastically rejected. Another tip: when you think all who disagree with you are stupid people, it is VERY important not act as stupid as you think they are.

              Reply

    • cynedyr
      Oct 11, 2012 @ 21:39:04

      Because some of us understand Schrödinger’s Cat and actually thought the use of Schrödinger was intentionally ironic to point out the absurdity of assuming every man is simultaneously a rapist and non-rapist.

      http://skepdirt.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/why-schrodingers-rapist-is-really-pascals-rapist/

      Reply

      • John C. Welch
        Oct 11, 2012 @ 22:32:29

        The other problem with SR is how loudly its proponents object if you try to apply the general theory to any other group.

        FOr example, if a person is coming at me with a weapon in an aggressive manner, it makes sense to take them very seriously as a threat.

        Note: it doesn’t matter the sex/gender/race of the person, the weapon they are holding, or their actual words. Male, female, black, white, if those conditions:

        1) Coming at me
        2) Carrying a weapon
        3) Aggressive manner

        all exist, then I should absolutely treat them as a threat.

        But, when you try to, even hypothetically apply the same “men are behind most rapes so they’re the ones to worry about” to any other group or situation, then you’re wrong. For example, the majority of children are abused and molested by heterosexuals.

        Therefore, applying SR, all children should be taught to treat all heterosexuals as potentially dangerous.

        The majority of rapes are committed by people known to the victim, spouse, family member, SO, etc.

        Therefore, applying SR, all people, (since men can be raped as well), should treat all people known to them as potentially dangerous.

        Yet any time you do this, the SR fans scream bloody fucking murder, which tells me that this theory, and it’s not even a theory, is bollocks on wheels. Again, you want to preach heightened awareness around people not known to you, yes, this makes sense.

        But all men are rapists until proven otherwise, or even *potential* rapists until proven otherwise, and only men are the danger only to women?

        That’s not a theory, that’s just nonsense.

        Reply

        • Random Tangents
          Oct 12, 2012 @ 06:50:51

          “The other problem with SR is how loudly its proponents object if you try to apply the general theory to any other group.”

          Like I said in my main post, it’s the same level of nonsense that tells people that if a cat has a tail then all animals with a tail are cats. It assumes that all people will react in the the exact same way (the way THEY would) to any approach by a stranger, so there must be a single ‘correct’ way to make an approach, and then tries to project personal neuroses onto the female population of the western world.

          It’s an attempt to impose a ‘one size fits all’ mentality on the world, and if it doesn’t then there is something wrong with the critics. Aside from the obvious insult to male friends and family members, I am being told -by strangers- how I ‘must be feeling as a woman’ when approved by a strange man, and no amount of my assuring the SR fanatics that I really don’t, why I think it’s rubbish, manages the hammer through the point that I will decide how I feel, and that will all the crap flying around about this stupid idea -including assertions that I merely hadn’t read it right or I would agree with the fanatics (the same way the bloody JWs do when I tell them their religion is nonsense after they come uninvited to my door, which by coming on my blog to tell me I’m stupid and uninformed, the SR brigade are doing the same thing.) It really DOES give me the right to speak for myself.

          Note also, they are coming to MY blog, which nobody compelled them to do and they are free to leave- to do this and flooding my comments with their paranoid ranting to tell me how wrong and stupid I am for not agreeing with them, desperate to either convert me or shut me up. I am NOT going to theirs, to do this, yet I am the one who is out of line or a hypocrite. I hope the two people concerned will see this reply and realise their own cognitive dissonance and buck their ideas up.

          If I was on a train, one might say I was being approached in an inappropriate manner, against my wishes and my clear disinterest was being ignored. They need to check their own conduct, before trying to proscribe the behaviour of others. I have to say, the irony amuses me. (sent from my iPad)

          Reply

    • John C. Welch
      Oct 11, 2012 @ 22:25:13

      But that IS what SR is saying: here is how you must act so all women feel better, ignoring the fact that you can’t even vaguely say that and be correct. It also requires you to treat all men as dangerous until proven not dangerous, which is as offensive as treating all women as good for naught but babymakin’ until proven otherwise.

      Reply

  4. John C. Welch
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 22:11:00

    It’s fun to watch all disagreement with Schroedinger’s Rapist met with “IF YOU DISAGREE, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE ARGUMENT.”

    Not at all. I understand the argument rather well. It’s hardly new.

    I just think it’s a load of purest shit, and unworthy of serious consideration.

    Reply

  5. Pitchguest
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 22:07:05

    I hope you don’t mind if I reblog this, very well said!

    Reply

  6. EllenBeth Wachs (@EllenBethWachs)
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 21:09:29

    I agree with some of what you said. I disagree with other parts. But you know what I do agree with? Al is a good friend and will remain so. You are also a friend and we can disagree.

    Reply

  7. ohioatheist
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 18:08:15

    Very nicely stated. I agree completely with your and Al’s posts. I’ve been mulling over my own post about Schrodinger’s Rapist, but I think you and Al stated my thoughts perfectly.

    Reply

  8. Ysolde
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 16:38:43

    Way to entirely misunderstand the issues.

    You utterly fail to even begin to grasp the ideas behind the things your commenting on. The “Shroedinger’s Rapist” idea is NOT anything like you seem to think it is.

    ……….”That is his decision, nobody else’s. I’ve had my-own falling outs with people but that is my business, because to expect others to disassociate themselves from is people because I personally don’t like their stance on issues is crass and childish”………

    When you associate with Osama Bin Laden and Muhammed Atta expect the CIA to investigate your activities. When you associate with known Organized Crime families expect that you won’t get an FBI clearance.

    Your idea here is simplistic and stupid. Obviously if you associate with KNOWN misognyists, racists, and even terrorists you CAN NOT expect that people will think it is “Your Business” and won’t decide based on your affiliations that you too are a misogynist, racist, or terrorist. It isn’t childish at all it is simply common sense as if you didn’t hold similar opinions you wouldn’t hang out with those people.

    ……”This is not me choosing sides, this is me distancing myself from the drama that I have neither the time, interest or the energy to take part in.”….

    Yet you made an entire blod post about it. Your definition of “distancing myself from drama” sounds pretty much like “jumping right into the drama” if you wanted to distance yourself maybe you should have shut the hell up?

    Reply

    • Random Tangents
      Oct 10, 2012 @ 18:07:05

      Yet more false equivalence? Of course being seen around terrorists and criminals is going to earn attention from the authorities, but that is not what we are talking about. You and I both know this so cut out the trolling now.

      ‘Schrodinger’s rapist’ is precisely as ridiculous as I stated, or i would not have stated it. It is merely a version of Pascal’s wager. It is the practical application of the assumption that it is wise to assume that all persons unknown to us are a potential threat to our physical well-being, because if we were to assume they weren’t and we were wrong something bad might happen to us. The consequential result would be what? Would we be responsible for what they did because we didn’t automatically assume them to be a monster? If that doesn’t smack of indirect victim blaming, I don’t know what does. And this brings us back to individuals being responsible for their OWN actions. I am not responsible for the actions of others, If someone decides I am a threat without knowing or speaking to me, that is their prerogative and there is nothing I can do or say that will change their mind as they have already made up their mind what and awful person I am (just as you have), without knowing anything about me.

      As I said, you are in control of your perceptions, not me, or Al, or anyone else. By speaking with those you personally disagree with, how do I affect you in anyway? The short answer is I don’t and it’s none of your business. It is up to you who you speak to. It is NOT up to you who I speak to. If i were associating with the individuals you referred to, it would be down to the authorities to investigate what I was up to, and STILL be none of your business. Whether I agree or disagree, with them, whom I associate with is precisely up to me and no other and I need no approval, least of yours. Same goes for everybody else. I think in this instance that somebody should definitely have ‘shut the hell up’, but it wasn’t me.

      Reply

      • Great Ape Thoughts
        Oct 13, 2012 @ 01:58:33

        One thing that I’ve noticed while reading over the comments on this post is a lack of change in the arguments against you. The sign of a critical mind is a willingness to change an argument based on evidence and opinion. It seems like the A+ crowd is using the “if you associate with terrorists, you’ll be labeled a terrorist” argument and nothing else unless called out on it. This raises a red flag for me in terms of the dogmatic thinking that has created the A+ movement.

        I thought this was a great post. It was well though out, rational, and let the reader come to their own conclusion. Great job. Hope to hear more from you.

        Reply

    • cynedyr
      Oct 14, 2012 @ 13:10:17

      Then stop using Schrödinger. Maybe change it to “Phaedra’s Rapist” the it can be more accurately qualified as the emotive response of the irrational and paranoid. Then maybe rewrite the essay to be less overtly sarcastic and patronizing as the audience appears to be men with autism or other major social learning deficits…and they might have a hard time getting the sarcasm…as I expect every normally socialized male with a normal empathic system doesn’t need such an explanation.

      Stopping the false attribution to the Schrödinger of quantum physics could be a nice way to start.

      Reply

      • Random Tangents
        Oct 15, 2012 @ 09:55:34

        I have deleted the troll’s latest rants and will do so to all of their future comments. Pointing out why Ysolde and their ilk are wrong, only results in a public tantrum and a stream of vitriol. When they decide to converse like an adult they might have more luck in persuading people to change their minds. As it is they are capable of only insults, bullying and diatribes against any who disagree with them.

        Reply

  9. Michael Cooper
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 16:02:16

    NIcely stated.

    Reply

  10. Al Stefanelli
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 15:13:31

    Thank you, Anna. I appreciate your friendship and your ability to actually not “read into” what I wrote, but to take it for what it is.

    Reply

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