Tag Archives: due process

Richard Carrier: Inept Idiot or Ignorant Simpleton?

This train wreck brought to you by...

This train wreck brought to you by…

Richard Carrier has aspired to have one of his letters to Penthouse printed for years. As of late he has become frustrated with the ongoing rejections he has received. Since Dick can’t get Penthouse to print him, his he posted this- Michael Shermer: Rapist or Sleaze?

Here is one portion-

Scenario A: You finally get to meet a big celebrity, for the first time, someone you really love and admire, and you’re at a party having drinks together, sitting at a table. He shows a lot of interest in you, asks you lots of questions, listens intently. Your conversation is so animated, in fact, his focus on you so engaging, that you don’t even notice that he keeps filling your wine glass, and you don’t realize how much you’ve had.
Then you start to feel you must have drunk too much, your vision is blurring and you feel a little dizzy. He shows concern, and offers to take you to your room. You get up and almost fall, you are having difficulty keeping upright. He supports you, and in his arms walks you to the elevator, and your room. You are really out of it and at this point can barely think straight and can’t navigate on your own. You have difficulty walking. At first you aren’t even sure it was your room he took you to.
He gets you to the bed and your head is swimming. You’re struggling not to pass out. You can’t speak coherently. He starts kissing and fondling you, then undressing you, then…everything else. You are too drunk to resist. And you are too surprised to speak. You just think to yourself, in a bit of shock… Oh. Okay. So this is happening. You never asked for it, and he never asked you if you did. It wasn’t even a subject you’d ever discussed or hinted at. And once it’s begun you aren’t sure how to stop it. You aren’t even thinking clearly enough to reason that out. You say something, but your speech is so slurred even you aren’t sure what you said. And before you get any idea of what to do, it’s over, and he leaves.
You lay there in the bed, stunned. The shock of what happened has sobered you up a little. You feel violated. You gather yourself up. You start crying. You finally get your head together and stumble out to report what just happened, visibly shaken as many witnesses can verify.

Why Dick feels like he needs to present this example, I don’t know. Does pretending something actually happened make it more true? Sure this kind of thing has happened but what does Richard Carrier’s imagined version have to do with actual events? An example maybe? An example of how Richard Carrier imagines something he never witnessed happened? The best reason I can come up with is his bitterness over the Penthouse rejection letters. Or maybe he is trying to jump on the same conjecture train PZ Myers had been riding up and down the rails.

 

Before I get too far ahead let’s look at some of Dick’s points, such as-

We should know the difference between anonymous authorship and unnamed sources

I agree, yes we should know the difference. Most people do. The problem here is lots of people do not trust PZ Myers cause he has taken his credibility and used it like a roll of toilet paper. He wipes his ass with it and then expects us to take it from him and say it smells like roses. It doesn’t smell like roses and I seriously doubt it ever will. If Dick Carrier can take toilet paper PZ has used, hold it to his nose, take a whiff of it, and have the same sensation as bringing his wife flowers on Valentines Day that’s nice for him. Most of what PZ says that isn’t directly related to his profession lacks credibility. I’m not saying everything he says is a lie but he has made mistakes when making claims about people’s actions, their character, and words in the past. PZ has never even shown an ability to acknowledge when he is wrong. Anyone who says that PZ has proven to be trustworthy and/or a reliable source in the past is clearly biased, tragically uninformed,  or just plain stupid. I’m sorry but there really is no other explanation.

Dick goes on-

We should also know the difference between criminal and civil standards of judgment; and between investigations and findings reached in a court to enforce public laws, and investigations and findings reached in private companies (for-profit and nonprofit, schools and hospitals, hotels and bars, banks and grocery stores) to enforce their own private conduct policies (e.g., you don’t have to be convicted in court to be banned from a campus for violating a school conduct policy, nor do you have to break any law for that, either).

First of all PZ Myers blog is not a civil court, a company, a school, or any other organization that has any standing. FTB is a bunch of people who know how to hit buttons on a keyboard. I guess Dick is okay with any group of people making any claim they think is credible about anyone as long as they say it is true. There is no need to hear all sides or get any details. There is no need to question or get the opinion of people who have no bias and are not involved in the matter. What  the hell do we even need lawyers for?  Someone says they were victimized, the accuser is known by a biologist with a popular blog, some other people say they have heard the same gossip,  the accused is guilty, case closed.

Does Dick think that the same method used by PZ to accuse Shermer is also used by companies and schools across the country to decide if someone was actually stealing  or if they actually cheated on a test? Well if that is true he should get out of the house more often. Sure an accusation can begin an investigation but it should be reported to responsible people who can check into it’s validity before punishing the accused. No every instance does not have to be decided in a courthouse but most reputable organizations follow a process that is similar to the one used by the court system because it is a good model. For Dick to gloss over that fact gives the impression he omitting important aspects in order to better support his bias.

Richard Carrier (Dick for short) then goes through and shares his fantasies about Michael Shermer’s sexual experiences.(see above) I think it’s safe to say that Dick Carrier has no idea if what he is writing is even remotely close to the truth. Unless he can travel back in time and make himself invisible so he can witness the events he wasn’t there so it all comes down to- A bunch of shit. Dick can write fictional stories. We can put him up there with other fictional writers like say…. L Ron Hubbard. Very impressive but not useful.

 

Dick continues on-

 But the preponderance of evidence (a civil court burden, whereby a claim need only have a better than 50% chance of being true, so even just a 50.1% chance of being true would win a case) is enough for me to conclude that the general picture is probably true: Shermer pursues sex with women a lot, both one-night stands and ongoing affairs, and he has often enough done so without telling his wife or his various girlfriends. His recent attempt to compel PZ Myers to retract his report of what a witness told him appeared to deny even this (that Shermer has lots of consensual trysts and affairs), which I think is disingenuous at this point.

At this point I think it is fair to ask Dick to make up his mind. Is he going to treat this as if PZ’s blog is a court of law (civil or otherwise) or is he going to claim that accepted legal procedures do not apply because it is not a court? You can’t have it both ways Dick. If we are to consider the comparison used above then it is important to note that in a civil case ALL SIDES OF THE ISSUE ARE HEARD BEFORE ANY JUDGEMENT.

How hard is it to understand? Richard Carrier is educated isn’t he? He is supposed to be intelligent. I’m sorry but this application of logic when it fits what you want to believe is exactly like the behavior of religious people. In their day to day life they apply a certain logic to everything they do because if they didn’t it would be almost impossible to function. When they consider religion a entirely different set of rules come into play because religion is different and isn’t subject to the kind of logic that allows you to function and stay alive in the world you actually live in.  Richard Carrier, PZ Myers, and all the other people who are using this emotional and/or flawed formula are doing the same thing.

I don’t know what the fuck has happened to Dick and PZ and all the other morons who want to try and convince us there is a public process which has no connection to the court system and it should be used to pronounce judgement on people accused of improper behavior or crimes. Sure there is a court of public opinion but people should be responsible when voicing their opinion.

Popular public personalities/figures should be aware that their opinion carries weight. When Jenny Mcarthy said

 The idea that vaccines are a primary cause of autism is not as crackpot as some might wish.

I would assume she thought she was telling the truth. She was incorrect though, the idea was based on completely useless or just plain made-up data. The doctor who had said there was a link was a crackpot. Jenny had given him credibility and we all know the damage that has been done due to her irresponsible behavior. She said it in an attempt to protect children much in the way PZ, Dick and others are claiming to be protecting women from rape. But at what cost? No matter how they want to twist and turn and selectively use examples the bottom line is they are accusing a man of breaking a serious law and they have portrayed him as guilty by way of hearsay, without allowing him to answer his accuser. In fact without allowing him to answer at all. Now that the accusation and presumption of guilt have been made he can not answer without legal council. He would be an idiot to do so, especially considering the types of buffoons he is dealing with here. We all want to know the truth but PZ the Clown has made that even more difficult by acting like a twit.

I’d really like anyone who also chooses to ride the PZ Myers conjecture express to imagine if it was them. Imagine if this was the typical process we used to find innocence /guilt. Even the court of public opinion doles out punishment. Punishment should be deserved. Whether it is deserved should depend  on fair unbiased people learning as much factual information about the issue as possible and listening to all sides in order to form and educated opinion about the how events occurred.

redflag

There is a big red flag here. This red flag has popped up time and time again when you read some posts at FTB. There is no link to an opposite point of view. If the writers were honest, thought they had a sound argument, and respected their readers enough to allow them to come to their own conclusions after hearing all sides, then they would give the reader a way to find that information. Whenever you don’t find a link to the original information or the opposing view being criticized, unless it is unavailable, then that is a red flag. This is an important point. There is usually a reason the other side isn’t being represented in some form and that reason is almost never good.

Who gets the bill ?

6thamedment

I’m  watching the debate over the legal action that could be taken over PZ Myers’ blog post about Michael Shermer being guilty of what can be defined as rape. I have been looking into the  laws regarding libel and defamation. My interpretation of the law makes me think Shermer already has a case not only proving defamation but also damages resulting from it.But….

One comment on my last blog post got me thinking


HJ Hornbeck
Submitted on 2013/08/14 at 1:30 pm

I take it none of you have read the complaint, then? It claims to have strong evidence that Myers knew the allegations are false, but then makes some trivially inaccurate statements such as:

1. Carrie Poppy is a member of FtB.
2. The “Grenade” thread is the most popular thread on Pharyngula.

It reads as boilerplate legal intimidation, with no substance behind it. Why didn’t they reveal their proof that the allegations are false, right then and there? Why are they stringing us out? This complaint looks groundless, to a skeptical eye.

Groundless? I’m not sure if I would describe it like that. I will say if Shermer has no recourse on something like what PZ has posted then we have a bigger issue to consider. This will have/has had a negative effect on Michael Shermer’s reputation. No matter what happens now a level of damage has been done. Its not unreasonable to think it will effect his income also and that should not be allowed to happen. We have a court system and people have a right to defend themselves when accused of a crime. PZ is attempting to circumvent that system. All of us should hope that is not allowed to happen not only for Michael Shermer but for our own sake. Because this type of thing could happen to anyone whether you are smart enough to realize it or not.

PZ Myers should be ashamed. How can he not see what effect his actions have had? There is a clear pattern he has established. When PZ can not win a debate or when he is too lazy to even try he attacks a person’s character. This is no better than the Christian who starts calling you a satanist or sinner when they find out you don’t believe in god or the anti vaxer who calls you a retard because you don’t believe their theory. In fact it is far worse. I don’t care if someone calls me an asshole or even a ranting asshole. To be honest I probably am on occasion at least from the perspective of some people. There are people who think differently than me, I can deal with that. When someone calls me a racist then they are accusing me of judging someone based purely on the way they were born. That’s not an accurate description of my character and anyone who knows me will attest to that. While that is a cheap shot it isn’t really accusing someone of being guilty of a crime in most cases.

Up until recently that was the level PZ Myers had sunk to. He had been doing it to creationists for years and shame on us for laughing at the clown while he performed his circus act on people who may have deserved it in some cases but as it turns out we encouraged bad habits.

Now those bad habits have come back to bite us on the ass. Anyone who thinks this bullshit PZ has pulled on Shermer is okay because “he can handle it” due to his popularity or because he is a white male is living in a fantasy land. Plenty of lives, all kinds of lives, have been ruined by unfounded allegations just like PZ has made about Shermer.

Anyone who is comfortable with PZ making allegations of someone being guilty of rape the way he has needs to consider a few things. Are false accusations ever made against people? Is there anyone who hasn’t been accused of doing something they did not do? How did it make you feel? Did the person who accused you think they had evidence that proved you were guilty? What if you were never allowed to defend yourself or explain the circumstances involved?

If it is not made clear that we support due process and frown on individuals taking such matters into their own hands then we will likely see this happen again in the future. I even did the work for you so feel free to cut and paste. Maybe if we took a couple minutes to email PZ  about our concerns it would be helpful.

Attention PZ Myers- We have a Bill of Rights for a reason. You are not above the law of the land. There are far more responsible ways you could have dealt with the issue involving Mr Shermer and been fair to all parties. You have not been elected to any position that allows you to cast judgement as to whether others are guilty of any crime. Your failure to realize your blunder even in the face of so much outcry against it only proves my point that you are not competent enough to act responsibly or to realize when the circumstances require the assistance of people experienced in such matters. You obviously have no such experience or there would be no need for threat of legal action against you. Your actions are an abuse of the right to free speech and could be compared to shouting “fire!” in a crowded theater. In other words your actions have the potential to harm others. Please read with the documents this country was founded on and familiarize yourself with the basic rights we enjoy in this country. If you could also refrain from abusing those rights in the future it would be helpful on many levels. There has been enough conflict among a small portion of  atheists/skeptics up to this point and if you could attempt to address matters that concern you in responsible ways that will minimize un-needed dramatic effect it would set a good example for others. An effort to refrain from personal attacks on others could also be beneficial to those involved the atheist/skeptical “community”.

Thanks in advance

Signed-

Reasonable People