Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019) and AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021).
I'm perturbed. I sent some examples of my own incivility to Stangroom for him to publish, and he refused! (In a very uncivil manner, I might add.)
Ah well. I guess I just haven't attained the heights of Gnu Atheist nastiness that would be necessary to meet his high standards. I must need more practice...
When I read Stangroom's snark-hunt post going after PZ, I felt as if I was seeing a chihuahua bite the tail of a tiger.
The poor bugger. *shakes head sadly*
Ebonmuse, I read your comment re the Great Snark Hunter's response to your terribly uncivil letter.
"Don't be an idiot", huh?
Real classy, Mr Stangroom, real classy.
BTW Ebonmuse, your rather excellent website is now on my blogroll. :)
The one thing I should say, though, is that PZ actually is civil in situations when its appropriate. Everyone knows that Pharyngula is a blog where the owner doesn't mince words, but, sheesh, no one has to read it. I'm comfortable with a different sort of approach here, but there's nothing wrong with PZ doing his thing on his own blog. If he turned up at the group where Jerry Coyne spoke the other week and abused them, it'd be completely different.
These snark-hunting types need to get a sense of social context and to stop being so precious about the intergnet. Yes, I'd sometimes like it myself if the gnet were generally gnicer, but that's not the situation.
It seems like the civility police have little to no tolerance for diversity of temperament. They ignore the fact that people don't have cookie-cutter personalities; some are easy-going, some are fiesty, and then there's every other shade in between.
Atheists like PZ may sit on the more fiery end of the scale, but usually their anger is both justifiable and justified by their own valid arguments and supporting facts. Like so many commenters on various blogs have observed, being rude doesn't equal being wrong.
Besides, as we all know, one person's rudeness is another's call-a-spade-a-spade honesty.
Everyone knows that Pharyngula is a blog where the owner doesn't mince words, but, sheesh, no one has to read it. I'm comfortable with a different sort of approach here, but there's nothing wrong with PZ doing his thing on his own blog.
That's funny, I literally just got done writing something very similar over at my blog. To be frank, I actually am uncomfortable with the level of incivility to which the comments section of Pharyngula sometimes rises (the posts themselves push the line, but for me they almost never cross it). So what? I don't read the comments at Pharyngula very often, that's what. I don't go writing fifty blog posts on what awful people the commenters are.
It strikes me that "Don't be an idiot" is sometimes a fitting response to "Don't be a dick".
I have heard PZ in debates and interviews on the radio - always very civil.
The one thing I should say, though, is that PZ actually is civil in situations when its appropriate.
I always wondered how that worked. If say a religious person talks about Hitler was an atheist, PZ is likely to deliver a smackdown on Pharyngula. However if it is a person from Coyne's meeting would he say the same thing in a more civil manner?
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