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Militant atheism, organized skepticism and immorality: misogyny and sexism

From: SubversiveThinking  

Before you read this post, you have to be absolutely familiar with my series of posts on atheism and morality, in which I provide strong evidence for the philosophical view of leading contemporary atheistic intellectuals on morality.  These posts were not intended to defend that atheists are immoral, but to argue that atheism (as a worldview) cannot ground ontologically nor rationally the existence of objective morality. This is a philosophical fact which has absolutely nothing to do with whether atheists are good or bad.
But this post is different. In this post, I’ll provide evidence for certain kinds of immoral behaviour which are common (not merely exceptional) on the part of militant “skeptics” and atheists, which suggests that their purely philosophical views on moral subjectivism, relativism and nihilism has PRACTICAL consequences on their own lives as hard-core atheists. This fact has to be understood in the context of the philosophical fact mentioned above.It is well known that in USA and other countries, certain social beliefs and stereotypes exist about atheists as being immoral. Some pollssuggest that atheists are the most distrusted minority in America and the standard response by atheists to it is saying that it is due to religious bigotry. However, as I’ve argued in this post, I think religious bigotry is not the only factor to consider: The own behaviour and philosophical beliefs promoted by atheists is, for a large extension, responsible for that extreme distrust by the overwhelming majority of society (for example,this kind of irrational, childish and emotional behaviour).

This post will provide more evidence for that contention.

I’ll focus on just two proven aspects of consistent immorality shown by militant atheists and hard-core skeptics: Misogyny and Sexism.
Misogyny and Sexism:
Misogyny is defined as “the hatred or dislike of women or girls“.
Sexism is defined as “prejudice or discrimination based on sex or gender;  or conditions or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex
The question is whether misogyny and sexism, as defined above, are common among atheistic pseudoskeptics.
 According to former skeptic Stephen Bond, in his article “Why I am no longer skeptic“:
One demographic skeptics are particularly uncomfortable with is the female of the species. It’s an increasingly acknowledged fact that the skeptic community is rife withsexism…  Women are a small minority in the skeptic world, and the few who get involved get shit thrown at them constantly by their skeptic peers. Every day, they suffer the whole gamut of attitudes from sneering to leering.
Bond’s observation of his former fellows skeptics imply not only sexism on the part of skeptics, but misogyny too, since they feel uncomfortable with the presence of females among them and, in addition, the few women who are part of the skeptical groups GET SHIT thrown at them. This clearly satisfies the definition of misogyny mentioned above.
Bond’s testimony is important because he belonged to skeptical groups, so he’s talking as a first-hand eyewitness, as an insider.
In confirmation of Bond’s accurate observations as an insider, we get independent evidence for the discomfort felt by “skeptics” towards women and girls from people who have studied the history of pseudoskepticism from a more detached scholarly perspective.
For example, George Hansen, in his scholarly study of CSICOP, observed:
A third distinguishing feature is that the vast majority in CSICOP are male, and this has affected the tone and demeanor of the group… CSICOP is heavily dominated by men, and until 1991 there were no women at all on the Executive Council. A reporter for New Scientist described CSICOP as “white,” “male,” and “slightly geriatric” (Anderson, 1987, p. 51). The inside covers of recent issues ofSI display the gender imbalance; the results are summarized in Table 2. The predominance of men characterizes the local affiliates as well. Of the 40 listed local leaders, only two are women.  Certainly academia is predominantly male, and so it is not surprising that a majority of CSICOP’s members are men. However, the percentage does seem disproportionate.
Not all the local groups are totally dominated by men, and a CSICOP manual prepared for local groups encouraged the involvement of women. The East Bay Skeptics in California reported that 27% of its members were women (“Members Elect First Board,” 1988), and in a 1990 election of the National Capital Area Skeptics, 3 of 11 listed candidates were women. Despite these efforts, the debunking movement is overwhelmingly run by men. 


The perceived demeanor. Some have perceived the gender imbalance as 

Table 2
DISTRIBUTION OF MEN AND WOMEN IN SKEPTICS’ GROUPS
               Fellows        Scientific and             Leaders of
Technical Consultants    Local Groups
Men                 53                       52                     38
Women           3                        4                       2

 
Figures based on pages 447-48 and the inside covers of the Summer 1990 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer. 

If as Bond suggested above, sexism and misogyny is very common among pseudoskeptics and atheist groups, then we’d expect precisely what we find: skeptical and atheist organized groups are, as a rule, “overwhelmingly run by men”, as Hansen observed. Women and girls are seen with extreme suspicion and even hostility by most “skeptics”, and hence not prominent (or at least egalitarian) status is conceded to them among  atheistic “skeptics”. Hansen’s statistical data tells us a lot about the mindset of “skeptics” regarding women and girls.
Hansen’s observation provides an independent confirmation of Bond’s own observations as an insider and former skeptic.
But we have more independent evidence of sexism and misogyny among atheistic pseudoskeptics in the case of SKEPCHICK (her real name is Rebecca Watson), a beautiful pseudoskeptic girl who, according to wikipedia, “described an experience at a skeptical conference, concerning an approach by a man in an elevator, who invited her to his room for coffee and a conversation late at night, after she had talked extensively about disliking being sexualized at atheist conferences.[19] In a video blog, among other things, she stated that incident made her feel sexualized and uncomfortable and advised, “Guys, don’t do that”.[20] Her statement sparked a controversy among the skeptic community.[21] Her critics said she was overreacting to a trivial incident, most notably Richard Dawkins, who wrote a satirical letter to an imaginary Muslim woman, sarcastically contrasting her plight to Watson’s complaint. This in turn caused him to be criticized by those supporting her on the issue, including several figures in the community.[22][23] Watson announced that she would not buy or endorse Dawkins’s books and lectures in the future.[22]She also wrote that, as a result of Dawkins’s criticism, her Wikipedia article was vandalised and offensive images were posted on her Facebook page
According to the Mail and Guardian website, the skepchick case triggered “a fairly useful debate about feminism, sexism and appropriate sexual boundaries between men and women descended into all out troll warfare and an attendant witch-hunt to persecute sexists in the atheist community.”
Watson published in youtube a video commenting on the case:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uKHwduG1Frk

Moreover, Watson has commented on the bigotry of some “skeptics” inthis article.
In order to understand clearly why some skeptics and atheists are like that, I suggest to carefully read:
-Bond’s article on skeptics
-My posts on atheism and morality
-My posts on Jime’s Iron Law
-My post on atheism, secular humanism and sexual perversions.
If you fully understand the above posts, you won’t be surprised by the evidence of immorality discussed in this post.

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