Blog Entries



The bizarre smears used against Michael Nugent by PZ Myers & co.

Posted 11-Oct-2014 at 05:03 AM (05:03) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 13-Oct-2014 at 09:13 PM (21:13) by Gurdur

PZ Myers, an associate professor at a small college, and a minor albeit populist and influential figure in the world of atheism, bravely stood up to Mick Nugent, and broadcast that commentators on Nugent's blog included a whole lot of rapists. PZ Myers wasn't able to name one single rapist, not one single one, which made it all a bit of a mystery. But if PZ Myers claims there are rapists running rampant among the commentators on a blog, he must be right, or? It's just not possible PZ Myers could...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 6930 Comments 6 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Ophelia Benson finds it "a little sickening"

Posted 10-Oct-2014 at 12:33 PM (12:33) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 10-Oct-2014 at 05:57 PM (17:57) by Gurdur

Ophelia Benson decided to take exception to a tweet of Christina H. Sommers'. Benson just didn't approve of what Sommers (@CHSommers) had sent out. Benson (@opheliabenson) in her blog post had the following to say:
"Christina Hoff Sommers is congratulating herself on playing a part in #GamerGate.
... [screen-capture image of Sommers' tweet snipped] ...
@Nero is an associate editor at Breitbart. Here’s what Anita Sarkeesian thinks of #GamerGate:
... [quote snipped] ...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 6014 Comments 6 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 41 votes, 4.98 average.

An open letter to Michael Nugent and Atheist Ireland

Posted 31-May-2013 at 05:58 AM (05:58) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 10-Oct-2014 at 06:18 AM (06:18) by Gurdur

To Michael Nugent, Atheist Ireland (@atheistie) and all atheist conference organizers:
The recent initiative started and sponsored by Michael Nugent, aimed at promoting dialogue within the atheist movement despite differences, is a praiseworthy endeavor. I have now added a new effort of my own to that overall general attempt at ending the defamation, harrassment and bullying going on in the atheist movement. However, very recently important questions have come up.

These concerns...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 71600 Comments 60 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Who owns atheism? Trouble and exclusivism within the atheist movement today

Posted 28-Apr-2012 at 09:46 AM (09:46) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 03-May-2012 at 05:32 AM (05:32) by Gurdur

Atheism, despite gaining much ground in public acceptance in the USA in recent years, is having difficulties. It may be getting into trouble in other parts of the world; as possibly in Russia, for example. As for the USA, the impact zone is secularism rather than atheism itself. Jacques Berlinerblau has a new article up on the British New Humanist titled, "The death of American secularism", in which he worries about conservative backlash in the USA. The atheist movement may cease to be effectually...
Views 12981 Comments 8 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

Women & feminism in atheism, humanism & skepticism: a critique of the upcoming CFI "Women In Secularism" conference

Posted 13-Aug-2011 at 01:00 AM (01:00) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 15-Aug-2011 at 07:57 AM (07:57) by Gurdur

The Center For Inquiry (CFI) has organized a conference, "Women In Secularism", to be held on 18-20 May, next year in 2012, in Washington, DC, USA. It was initially organized by Melody Hensley, CFI-DC Executive Director, and taken up by Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of the CFI. You can find out all the details here. The speakers for that convention have already been announced, and they are Ophelia Benson, Jamila Bey, Greta Christina, Elisabeth Cornwell, Margaret Downey, Annie Laurie Gaylor,...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 10195 Comments 10 Gurdur is offline

Atheism versus skepticism, part 2: the Skepticon 3 controversy, Jeff Wagg, JT Eberhard, PZ Myers, Russell Blackford, Reed Esau, Jim Lippard and all

Posted 26-Nov-2010 at 04:33 PM (16:33) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 27-Nov-2010 at 08:21 AM (08:21) by Gurdur

Please go look at my previous blog post, "Atheism versus skepticism, part 1: the program, judge for yourself", if you have not read it yet, before reading this one. It's important to one point to be made here.

Now, having read the program shown in that post, it really does look like an atheist convention, doesn't it? With a few off-topica talks here and there. And while they do give proper importance to the pub, there are all those odd little spaces where they still don't give any...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 5259 Comments 4 Gurdur is offline

The Great Gnu/Accommodationist Debates Squibs, a study in non-events: PZ Myers, Victor Stenger, Chris Mooney, Eugenie Scott, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Robert Wright and Sam Harris

Posted 12-Oct-2010 at 06:02 AM (06:02) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 12-Oct-2010 at 07:48 AM (07:48) by Gurdur

There is an ongoing argument inside atheism about strategy and tactics, and the debate is horribly confused and conflated. The participants in the debate can't even get to grips with what the debate is supposed to be about. To show the most recent examples, there has been a debate between PZ Myers and Victor Stenger on one side, and Chris Mooney, and Eugenie Scott on the other side, with Jennifer Michael Hecht as moderator. There has also being a couple of other similar debate (non-)events in the...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 7490 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

Everyone's feeling so abominated: the Vatican, Jerry Coyne, Ophelia Benson, Gnu atheists, all feeling terribly persecuted

Posted 16-Sep-2010 at 09:16 AM (09:16) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 16-Sep-2010 at 09:55 AM (09:55) by Gurdur

Every now and then the global irony becomes so thick that it's like the world was covered in Jello. Cardinal Walter Kasper complains that, "England is today a secularised, pluralist country. When you land at Heathrow airport, sometimes you think you have landed in a Third World country". Whoops. When the remarks get reported, Cardinal Kasper suddenly gets dropped from the Papal entourage of the visit to Britain. Whoops. Of course, Cardinal Kasper just would have to have a history of alleging persecution....
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 5485 Comments 5 Gurdur is offline

Still catching up, tough choices

Posted 04-Sep-2010 at 01:43 PM (13:43) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 04-Sep-2010 at 02:06 PM (14:06) by Gurdur

I'm still catching up very slowly after having been away 10 days in Britain. There are things I want to blog separately on, like the meet-up between Lesley, Alan and myself, and then the meet up with Never and Lifelinking and his family; then the DiscWorld convention, on Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen. Then of course some of my standard fare; I need to do some blog posts on psychiatric/psycholology news and issues, some on general science. Then I need to particularly carry on my blog post...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 2497 Comments 2 Gurdur is offline

Trolls, Gnu atheists, New Atheists, internet, personal abuse: meet reality

Posted 04-Aug-2010 at 04:10 PM (16:10) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

This blog post is prompted by a couple of recent comments on my blog, as well as by the long, long debate within the fragmenting atheist movement -- fragmenting largely as a result of the antics of Gnu atheists (the term New Atheists being only properly used for five people only), but more on that fragmentation in a separate blog post soon. The central issue surrounding the Gnu atheists is personal abuse (more than enough examples have been given in my blog, elsewhere, and looked at in depth)....
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 5126 Comments 3 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 6 votes, 4.50 average.

Gnu Atheists, accommodationists, New Atheists: definitions of the terms

Posted 02-Aug-2010 at 07:21 AM (07:21) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 13-Oct-2010 at 03:49 PM (15:49) by Gurdur

Since I'm going to be doing several blog posts very soon on certain recent incredible antics by wannabes, I am going to provide here definitions of some of the phrases currently tossed around in hapless word-salads on many atheist blogs and boards.
  • Atheism: Anyone who vocally rejects belief in all gods is an atheist. I am just such an atheist.

    Identification: most often self-applied, sometimes a label applied by others.
  • Antitheism/Anti-theism:
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 29054 Comments 17 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

The ultra-strange affair of the You're Not Helping blog, and some of the ramifications

Posted 28-Jun-2010 at 05:03 AM (05:03) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 28-Jun-2010 at 12:37 PM (12:37) by Gurdur

Back at early April of this year, 2010, a new blog hit the net, and more specifically, hit the atheist part of the net, feet running as it hit the ground. The new blog was You're Not Helping (YNH), and it had a lot of good stuff, criticisms of posturing and dishonesty among prominent atheist bloggers, though it also took swings against others like the U.S. National Science Board.

The YNH blog explained itself thusly:

".... We are a group of nonbelievers who champion
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 8543 Comments 21 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Ophelia Benson lying by omission? And/or the blog You're Not Helping lying by omission? An invitation to Hitch and others, on sins of omission

Posted 26-Jun-2010 at 02:04 PM (14:04) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 26-Jun-2010 at 02:46 PM (14:46) by Gurdur

Just very recently, the group blog "You're Not Helping" (YNH), made a couple of blog entries (starting here) criticising Ophelia Benson for wilfully mispresenting an organization, using an advertisment of theirs, by omitting an important part of that advertisment.

YNH also strongly criticised Ophelia Benson among others, for being Do-Nothings, those who only complained about others but did nothing themselves, in relation to the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil-spill disaster. It is important...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 8265 Comments 23 Gurdur is offline

New Atheists: old hat

Posted 18-Jun-2010 at 06:12 AM (06:12) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 18-Jun-2010 at 06:18 AM (06:18) by Gurdur

There has just been recently an AAAS panel discussion, "Re-Envisioning the Science and Religion Dialogue", on Wednesday, 16 June. The AAAS is the Wikipedia link for American Association for the Advancement of Science American Association for the Advancement of Science, which is "an .... organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation between scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility, and .... is the world's largest general scientific society ... and is the publisher of the well-known scientific journal Science",...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 7794 Comments 15 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

The war of True Atheists and True Skeptics against the so-called accommodationists

Posted 23-Apr-2010 at 08:27 AM (08:27) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 23-Apr-2010 at 05:45 PM (17:45) by Gurdur

It is of great concern to many True Atheists/True Skeptics that there are so-called accommodationists, people who are considered counter-revolutionary traitors dangerously soft on religion. I've blogged before about the incredible over-reaction shown by Russell Blackford and Ophelia Benson (among others) towards Chris Mooney, and about Jerry Coyne's childishness towards the so-called accommodationists. There are newcomers to the ongoing revolutionary struggle debate, and their views are worth considering...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 74713 Comments 1 Gurdur is offline

Newspapers, digital journalism, atheists and the media, and everyones' obligations as concerned citizens

Posted 01-Apr-2010 at 12:09 AM (00:09) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 01-Apr-2010 at 02:52 AM (02:52) by Gurdur

This blog post of mine is for those who want to be effective rather than self-indulgent, and who want to accomplish positive things as concerned citizens and for atheism as a movement in relation to the press and other media. Many atheists are useless at relations with the press, often because they're simply not interested in having good relations with the press, but instead more interested in a kneejerk fashion expressing self-pity, victimhood and emo, as when Ophelia Benson opined that, "The...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 5899 Comments 9 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 2 votes, 3.00 average.

Dialogue with Ophelia Benson, part 1, on the internet with regard to civility, respect, the atheist movement, abuse and anonymity

Posted 11-Mar-2010 at 03:01 PM (15:01) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 01-Jul-2010 at 01:29 PM (13:29) by Gurdur

Ophelia Benson has kindly answered my invitation to respond to my previous blog post. The form she has done it in is in emails; after having made sure I have her full permission to do so, I will reproduce from now in onwards emails from her as part of this ongoing exchange of views; the email(s) quoted in this blog entry are in full at the bottom, while I first do selected quotes and here immediately reply to them. The excerpts from Ophelia Benson's emails are in quote boxes.
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 4595 Comments 6 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Ophelia Benson on sexism, name-calling, civility, abuse, and the Richard Dawkins Forum affair (RDF)

Posted 08-Mar-2010 at 04:53 AM (04:53) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 22-Jul-2010 at 08:57 AM (08:57) by Gurdur

This blog post is about Ophelia Benson (an atheist blogger) in relation to several important issues -- mainly about expression, and how dissent is expressed, as it touches upon the promotion of atheism, and including sexism, name-calling and so on. I have already mentioned in the recent past Ophelia Benson on sexism; she made a very valid point here, and I talked more about that point she made and the reactions to it here.

However, this blog post is now about her in relation to yet...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 14369 Comments 8 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 8 votes, 4.50 average.

The Christian Dog-Walkers' Club: Christian and atheist separatism and exclusivity

Posted 07-Mar-2010 at 04:57 AM (04:57) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 10-Nov-2010 at 11:11 AM (11:11) by Gurdur

I have a relative in Australia who once announced her desire to form a Christian dog-walkers' club, and that in a city which is majority Christian, in a country which is majority Christian. I'm not quite sure on which side dogs count. When you hear of such intentions as forming such a club in a place which the huge majority are Christians, if you are like me, you look bug-eyed and wonder, "What the hell? Just why?"

There are atheists and there are atheists, and there are Christians...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 10561 Comments 8 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 8 votes, 5.00 average.

Dialogue, respect, contempt, semaphore signals from all along the watchtower

Posted 04-Mar-2010 at 09:58 AM (09:58) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 04-Aug-2010 at 12:38 PM (12:38) by Gurdur

Dialogue is rather a difficult area. In my more cynical moments, sometimes I espouse one theory of mine that the less communication is actually understood between humans, the better they get along with each other. For example, if Urrr-urrrghh the caveman meets Zonka while out hunting berries and caribou, and Zonka says, "Whacka guacamole zonk zonkitty zonk Zonka grrzuzzzhack! Ghishka waska zappo ghrrsisshzzk!" to Urrr-urrrghh, and of course Urrr-urrrghh does not understand Zonka's language, then...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 14012 Comments 14 Gurdur is offline

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