Putting a few things straight….

Apologies for absence (which will continue a little longer, but the end is in sight) – I am just catching up with things here.

First of all, I’d like to confirm for both regulars and occasional readers that the policy of this site is not to delete comments (apart from commercial spam).  They can be moved, but remain visible.  The only content that is redacted is content that is NSFW or malware links.

Similarly, the only grounds for banning (again apart from commercial spammers) are posting NSFW content or malware links.

If you have author rights here, you will find you have the technical ability to temporarily delete comments, but please do not do so.  Thanks to those who restored the deleted comments, and thanks to KN for his graciousness over this matter.

To some of those at UD who have commented on Barry’s thread claiming he was “effectively banned” here:

  • No, he was not, although it may have seemed like it at the time, and I have now given him the permissions to post an OP if he would like.
  • The strapline to this blog is addressed to all who post here, including me.  I have always liked that line from Cromwell, and it is a core principle of this site, however difficult to adhere to.
  • We are not a “bunch of atheists”.  A lot of us are opponents of the Intelligent Design movement, but not all, and of those of us who are, not all of us oppose all aspects of Intelligent Design as a concept.  Also of those who are opponents of Intelligent Design, not all are atheists. And of those who are, at least some of us have come to that position via a long and thoughtful, sometimes painful, road.
  • Finally: anyone from UD is welcome to post here, and while the default registration is “subscriber”, author permissions can be given on request.

 

21 thoughts on “Putting a few things straight….

  1. My post in Sal’s thread “Entropy and Disorder…” is flagged :

    Richardthughes on November 28, 2013 at 4:28 am said:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Hi Sal. When you reference external work would you mind linking to the original source without changing any of the words or context? Thanks!

    I don’t believe we have a pre-screening / moderation policy here so could we disable it. It certainly doesn’t happen in my threads and I’ve been posting here for a while so I doubt it’s because I’m new…

  2. Richard,

    I’ve not taken any actions against comments on my recent discussions here at TSZ, nor do I intend to. Anyone can post un-inhibited by me. Whatever is causing your complication, I have nothing to do with.

    Sal

  3. Also of those who are opponents of Intelligent Design, not all are atheists.

    And of those who oppose ID and are atheists, it is not necessarily the case that the one position supports the other, in either direction.

  4. This gem from O’News:

    Well, one thing we can all conclude from this is that everyone is free to speak at TSZ provided they and a bunch of other people have half the night or something to hassle about it.

    You’ve got company; that’s how they do it in Soviet Shattabanana too.

    I have a puzzled expression, and a large question-mark hangs over my head. 🙂

  5. I have no idea what that means.

    The simple fact is that anyone can register here and post comments; most people can also post OPs if they request permission; no-one is banned unless they post NSFW links or malware; posts are not deleted, only moved, and remain in the public record; posts are not edited except to redact NSFW links or malware.

    Thus we have no border controls to keep people in or out; anyone can say what they want, the only restriction being where; and there is absolutely no restriction on what people may believe, as is evidenced by the fact that commenters and posters include IDers, YECs, as well as ID opponents.

    So if that’s how they do it in Soviet Shattabanana, I’m going to emigrate there.

  6. Allan Miller,

    I think Denyse may have been confused by the times being UTC . She may have thought that all KN and Neil did that deleting and restoring at 2:00 in the morning – although what that has to do with Soviet Shattabanana I cannot fathom.

  7. Barry Arrington

    SECOND UPDATE: Elizabeth Liddle has given me posting privileges at TSZ. I will contemplate on whether to use them.

    I can hardly wait…

  8. Mark Frank,

    Yes, it was a curious what’s-your-beef salad – the world being round means that unsocial hours are not unsocial everywhere, it doesn’t matter a damn what people do in their free time even if it is past their bedtime, and what this has to do with totalitarian regimes anyways …

  9. SeverskyP35:
    Barry Arrington
    SECOND UPDATE: Elizabeth Liddle has given me posting privileges at TSZ. I will contemplate on whether to use them.
    I can hardly wait…

    Why would Arrington want to return here? His sole appearance here has confirmed that TSZ is a hateful, atheist echo-chamber filled with hateful, echo-headed atheists, and what could a sensible, rational adult like Arrington possibly gain from a return visit?

  10. “Nobody wants to be in an echo chamber.” – Elizabeth (thanks to Alan for correcting me, I had thought in British English your name had an ‘s’!)

    Actually, I’m quite happy to be in an echo chamber, which doesn’t convey only a negative meaning. Barry is quite wrong about that. Elizabeth corrected me quite early when I started to post here; there is not a simple echo or repeat of a single position here. It would be interesting to survey regulars at TSZ to see how many accept spiritual or non-material reality, supra-naturalism, etc. I wonder if Elizabeth would allow such a survey…

    UD is far more obvious as a negative meaning of ‘echo chamber’ than TSZ, imo. UD is dominant right-wing conservative evangelical (RWCE), just as is the IDM, which Dembski himself (initiator of UD) openly acknowledges. Would UD invite a survey of its regulars to verify or deny this claim?

    Well, cubist, you are in fact (meaning, how you reflexively view yourself) an atheist, are you not? And you have demonstrated anger regularly with me, who is neither an IDist nor a creationist, but is certainly not a materialist, naturalist or advocate of scientism.

    As for Denyse’s “Soviet Shattabanana,” such is typical ‘western’ smear journalism (just like MacLeans magazine does, several levels above O’Leary blather) against the ‘East’. I lived 6 years in the former USSR, and *shock*, still do (in another country – that makes 8 years total). In answer to Elizabeth’s “if that’s how they do it in Soviet Shattabanana, I’m going to emigrate there”: done.

    Denyse’s amazingly airheaded talk at Baylor University (forgetting what she even said herself) does not leave a good impression of IDists, whom she regularly defends with her oftentimes shallow, but sometimes interesting ‘News’ posts at UD. Does Denyse ever wonder with honesty to herself why credible Catholics jumped off the DI-IDist ship after a few years of seeing what DI leadership actually had to offer (Wedge, Gollum, Gollum)? Maybe she’s representing ‘This is Toronto’ too harshly as an IDist….

  11. stcordova:
    Richard,

    I’ve not taken any actions against comments on my recent discussions here at TSZ, nor do I intend to. Anyone can post un-inhibited by me.Whatever is causing your complication, I have nothing to do with.

    Sal

    No worries Sal, we tracked it down to the spam filter. Thanks.

  12. Lizzie:
    Well, he was gracious enough to report that he’d been invited to post at TSZ.

    I hope he does.Nobody wants to be in an echo chamber.

    …almost nobody.

  13. Gregory,

    I’d be interested in a survey of the TSZ regulars. I suspect we’re less skeptical than we think we are, because we tend to direct our skepticism towards claims about the supernatural, which assumes that non-supernaturalism is the epistemological default-position. Some skepticism about that assumption could be quite illuminating.

    Somewhat off-topic, I’ve started reading Lenin’s Materialism and Empirico-Criticism (1917), and I’m struck how similar our debates are to the ones that he was engaged in then. I don’t think this merits a post of its own, I’m just sharing with y’all what I’m up to these days.

  14. Well, offering my own data point to the survey, I don’t personally think that there is anything beyond this universe of spacetime and matter-energy. That includes multiverses and the many-worlds interpretation of QM.

    I am prepared to have my mind changed (and actually hope I’m wrong, because I can certainly see the appeal of there being something more). But all that is ever offered is someone else’s subjective conviction, however loftily-dressed (witness sworn-enemy-of-sophistry WJM’s continued insistence that the subjective-moralist must accept moral equivalence with Nazis :)).

    We are frequently accused of selective hyperskepticism vis a vis the supernatural, but I guess I’d just be looking for better evidence. The area is notoriously rife with charlatans, hucksters and those seeking to further their political aims by dressing up their politics in holy robes (God is, of course, always on ‘our’ side). But I am also skeptical of many claims in the material – conspiracy theories, evolutionary psychology, a fair chunk of dietary advice, the correctness of application of aspects of 20th Century population genetics to evolution (see: the ‘mystery of sex’).

    RWCEs, particularly, seem to see no further than the label ‘atheist’ and assume they know everything I think and why (I am fully aware of the glaring irony embedded in that statement). Now, to top up my loft insulation.

  15. KN,

    I’d be interested in a survey of the TSZ regulars. I suspect we’re less skeptical than we think we are, because we tend to direct our skepticism towards claims about the supernatural, which assumes that non-supernaturalism is the epistemological default-position. Some skepticism about that assumption could be quite illuminating.

    I try to practice an equal-opportunity skepticism (see The Myth of Absolute Certainty).

    What matters is whether a claim is coherent and supported by the evidence. Plenty of non-supernatural claims fail to meet these criteria, such as the claim that magnetic bracelets improve health or that eye movements can reduce the impact of traumatic memories.

    Regarding non-supernaturalism as the epistemological default, this isn’t an assumption — it’s a (provisional) conclusion based on the evidence to date and the judicious application of Occam’s Razor.

  16. Gregory: It would be interesting to survey regulars at TSZ to see how many accept spiritual or non-material reality, supra-naturalism, etc. I wonder if Elizabeth would allow such a survey…

    As you see, Elizabeth manages to exert the same control as a cat herder. 😉

    I’m not sure if it a question of accepting rather than not ruling out. I doubt anyone here or anywhere can rule out that there may be supernatural (I object to the word supernatural on semantic grounds but laissions-le tomber) or extra-dimensional realities that exist which don’t impinge on our own limited reality. We may be akin to a colony of ants busy with our own affairs and building our society under a crack in the pavement a few feet from the Empire State building, oblivious of its existence.

    But as a pragmatist, I wonder what else we can do.

    I am assuredly not persuaded by the obviously (in my own subjective view) man-made dogmas that are currently on offer. I have a particular aversion to the Roman Catholic Church but that may be due to deeply ingrained cultural prejudice rather than their continual meddling in politics from the 3rd century onwards. Attempted murder of sovereign rulers, Elizabeth I and James I / IV, the practically successful genocide of the Cathars, recent prevarication over the issue of paedophile priests, the lease-back arrangement of churches to the church in France leaving the state paying all upkeep costs etc may also have had some influence.

  17. Kantian Naturalist:
    Gregory,
    I’d be interested in a survey of the TSZ regulars.I suspect we’re less skeptical than we think we are, because we tend to direct our skepticism towards claims about the supernatural, which assumes that non-supernaturalism is the epistemological default-position.

    As best I can tell, the word “supernatural” is either (a) a meaningless noise, or else (b) a code-word that people use instead of saying I don’t understand [this thing I’m calling ‘supernatural’]. Sometimes, the associated meaning of the code-word is sorta-kinda extended to include —and nobody else ever will understand it, either.
    So from where I sit, ‘supernaturalism’ can’t be an epistemological default position. You might as well declare colorless green ideas sleep furiously to be an epistemological default position—in both cases, there’s no ‘there’ there.

    Some skepticism about that assumption could be quite illuminating.

    What’s to be skeptical about? ‘Supernatural’ isn’t a well-defined concept, it’s a label which some people slap onto weird stuff they can’t wrap their heads around. [shrug]

  18. Kantian Naturalist:
    Gregory,

    I’d be interested in a survey of the TSZ regulars.I suspect we’re less skeptical than we think we are, because we tend to direct our skepticism towards claims about the supernatural, which assumes that non-supernaturalism is the epistemological default-position.Some skepticism about that assumption could be quite illuminating.

    Like cubist I find the term “supernatural” to be meaningless and indicative, at least to me, of someone who hasn’t given the subject any real thought. For supernatural to have any real meaning, the person using the term has to have a really concrete concept of what is “natural” and I find that very few people who use those terms really do have such cut and dry conceptualization. So I am skeptical of the supernatural, not as a noun describing a place or dimension outside the natural realm, but rather as a meaningful concept used in good faith.

    Further, I too am skeptical of many material claims. I just recently read Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science and found it depressingly fascinating. There are waaaay too many dubious claims out there to take most any of them seriously.

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