Pharyngula

He’s just got to dive into the Marianas Trench. Quote-mining (badly) my daughter isn’t just ugly, it’s vile and loathsome and despicable…but that’s typical Cordova, now declared Asshole of the Year.

Comments

  1. #1 Ric
    January 2, 2008

    Nothing is beneath Sal “Im in yur interwebz minin yer quotez” Cordova. And let me say, from what I’ve read of Skatje’s blog and facebook page, an irreligious future full of people like her would be just dandy.

  2. #2 Ryan F Stello
    January 2, 2008

    Only if you can also nominate FTK for female dog of the year.

    Seriously, how can someone be so stupid to not know what quote-mining is (or more likely, pretend not to know)?

  3. #3 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    Holy Crap.

    literally.

    I always knew Slaveador was unhinged. didn’t need further verification, myself. I hope by this time anybody who “knows” him doesn’t either.

    the man needs serious help.

  4. #4 Ric
    January 2, 2008

    It’s also worth noting, PZ, that Sal thinks that being hated by “Darwinists” is a badge of honor and shows he’s “on the side of what is right.” So by that logic, disparaging your daughter and thus provoking a reaction from you is logical proof to Sal that he’s been right all along.

    http://www.youngcosmos.com/blog/archives/160 (comment 2)

    Yes, that’s an insight into his warped mind.

  5. #5 Jack
    January 2, 2008

    This is one of the best arguments for re-legalizing dueling that I’ve seen in some time.

    Sometimes violence _does_ solve problems.

    Jack

  6. #6 Steve_C
    January 2, 2008

    They’re scummy.

    FTK is a bitch. She’s a liar too.

  7. #7 Jordan
    January 2, 2008

    I can see his next post already:

    “…[M]y daughter isn’t just ugly, it’s[sic] vile and loathsome and despicable.” – PZ Myers

  8. #8 JanieBelle
    January 2, 2008

    It was well a well deserved award.

    “Unhinged” is probably understating the case, Ichthyic.

  9. #9 danley
    January 2, 2008

    What a brainiac slimy shithead is.

  10. #10 zer0
    January 2, 2008

    PZ, can I date your daughter?

  11. #11 Reginald Selkirk
    January 2, 2008

    “Unhinged” is probably understating the case, Ichthyic.

    I don’t know about the accuracy of it though – is there any evidence that Cordova was ever hinged?

  12. #12 JanieBelle
    January 2, 2008

    Steve_C,

    Quite. She’s in the Young Cosmos thread at After the Bar Closes defending him as we speak.

    Starting a little way down on this page.

  13. #13 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    I don’t know about the accuracy of it though – is there any evidence that Cordova was ever hinged?

    *thinks back 5 years*

    good point.

    but then, I never actually claimed he became unhinged, so I think I’m safe.

  14. #14 BlueIndependent
    January 2, 2008

    I daresay it’s almost amusing to see cretins like Sal and this Ftk person run around with their fingers in their ears. It’s like that stupid computer mouse trick where the spot asks you to roll over it but every time you get close to it, it rushes away tauntingly. You see it in how they are challenged on that crap blog. Everyone calls them out with exact quotes, and all they do in scream “Nyah Nyah” and run away.

    But as I said, it’s almost amusing. These people can’t be honest about what they see plainly on other people’s blog post, so how can anyone truly expect them to remain honest about that cob-webbed-up book they claimn runs their life? They come from a group that tacitly allows quote-mining, and practices it on every “lost soul” they encounter. I could probably string together the whole of Christian morality by skimming the average novel for passages that sound reasonable, and assembling a docket of social rules with them. Hell, I could do that with the Dictionary.

    I would personally let this garbage from Slavedor roll off, and just nail him on how he’s so obviously wrong. Skatje can handle herself fine against misbehaving children dressed up as big tough “adults”.

  15. #15 Steve_C
    January 2, 2008

    Skatje will decimate them in one blog post.

  16. #16 windy
    January 2, 2008

    “When I heard my daughter got engaged to some stinky little pig, I was horrified. I was so relieved when she introduced me to the collared peccary! I’d thought that she had been seeing Sal Cordova.”

  17. #17 Greg Peterson
    January 2, 2008

    When the Islamists imprisoned and threatened a woman because she let her second-grade class name a teddy bear “Mohammed,” I had to change my python’s name to “Mohammed.” And now to spite Sal I have to stick it up my bum. All’s I can say is, spiting idiots is getting awfully hard on my snake.

  18. #18 Kseniya
    January 2, 2008

    I’d like to congratulate Sal for sweeping the event on January 2nd. We can now spend the next 364 days wearing bemused expressions as we wait, holding our breath only to keep out the stench, for someone to overtake him.

    I’d also like to commend Sal for his consistency in exhiting the same depth of character and intellect day in, day out, month after month, year after year. WTG, Sal!

  19. #19 Mena
    January 2, 2008

    Next year will he be going for the “Biggest Douchebag in the Universe” title?

  20. #20 Mister DNA
    January 2, 2008

    I’d like to congratulate Sal for sweeping the event on January 2nd. We can now spend the next 364 days wearing bemused expressions as we wait, holding our breath only to keep out the stench, for someone to overtake him.

    The only person who will offer any competition to Salvador Cordova for the remainder of the year is… well, Salvador Cordova.

  21. #21 JanieBelle
    January 2, 2008

    Yes, I’m aware it’s a little early to hand out this award, but I am supremely confident that it will be next to impossible for anyone to stoop any lower…

    …unless of course it’s Sal himself.

  22. #22 JanieBelle
    January 2, 2008

    HA! Mr. DNA, why don’t you come up and see me sometime, big boy? Sounds like we have a lot in common!
    :)

  23. #23 ERV
    January 2, 2008

    Tyler had a great post up on Sals debating style.

    (side note, Tyler, if you move your blog one more time, boy… *shakes fist threateningly*)

  24. #24 Mister DNA
    January 2, 2008

    HA! Mr. DNA, why don’t you come up and see me sometime, big boy? Sounds like we have a lot in common!

    I might do that, Janie. Seeing you outside the dim lights and dingy smoke of AtBC casts you in an entirely different light.

  25. #25 Tyler DiPietro
    January 2, 2008

    Yes Abbie, I shall obey. ;)

  26. #26 FtK
    January 2, 2008

    PZ, I fail to see how what Sal said can be considered “quote mining”.

    Your daughter condones sex with animals as well as incestuous relationships. Sal and I pointed that out. So what. You blog continually about the horrors of religion and it’s affect on society, so don’t go nuclear when someone considers you’re daughter’s views and how they might affect society.

    Sal was being a jerk in his attempt at humor, but he was not quote mining.

  27. #27 CJO
    January 2, 2008

    Why are you making Sal’s acceptance speech, FTK?

    He couldn’t make it?

  28. #28 shiftlessbum
    January 2, 2008

    OT for ERV.

    Hey Abbie, did you ever post the contents of Horowitz’ Medical Hypothesis paper? In your Horowitz vs ERV post from April last year (linked to on your recent New Years Res post), you mentioned you would but a lazy search by me didn’t reveal it on your blog.

    Thnx.

    (BTW I used to do HIV epidemiology in Jim Mullins’ lab in the bad old days of the early 90s when denialists were under every bush….good to see them still being shot down, especially with such aplomb as your blog)

  29. #29 Mister DNA
    January 2, 2008

    Your daughter condones sex with animals as well as incestuous relationships. Sal and I pointed that out. So what. You blog continually about the horrors of religion and it’s affect on society, so don’t go nuclear when someone considers you’re daughter’s views and how they might affect society.

    Tonight’s episode of Righteous Indignation Playhouse is brought to you by the letters F, T and K. The secret word for the day is condones. Special Guest Star: The apostrophe.

  30. #30 Hexxenhammer
    January 2, 2008

    FtK said, “Sal was being a jerk,” therefore she has apparently seen the error of her ways. Judging from that sentence fragment anyway.

    Anyway, I don’t think people should screw animals because the animal can’t really consent. But that’s neither here nor there.

  31. #31 Janine
    January 2, 2008

    FtK is outright lying here. At what point does she condones bestiality? Where? Prove your point.

    What Sal did is casebook quote mining.

    Also would suggest it is time for FtK to be tossed into the dungeon. This has moved well past creepy.

  32. #32 Mena
    January 2, 2008

    We should just be glad that nutjob extremist FtK isn’t posting abortion pictures, shouldn’t we? But she posts them with love because she cares about society. What an ego.

  33. #33 dogmeatib
    January 2, 2008

    Wow …

    Let’s examine two possible futures:

    One, future “A” we’ll call it, a future full of FtK and people who agree with her.

    The second, future “B,” a future full of Skatje and people who share her “morals.”

    I’ll take “B” in a landslide. I think I’d rather be a homeless person in future “B” than the wealthiest man in the world of future “A.”

  34. #34 Nerull
    January 2, 2008

    Your daughter condones sex with animals as well as incestuous relationships. Sal and I pointed that out.

    Except thats not what she said. That makes you a liar. Didn’t your god say something about that?

  35. #35 FtK
    January 2, 2008

    “FtK is outright lying here. At what point does she condones bestiality? Where? Prove your point.”

    From Websters dictionary:
    Condone: TO FORGIVE OR OVERLOOK

    Skatje’s post:
    Allow me to first tell you that I personally do not have an interest in bestiality. I don’t support it being legal because I want to hump animals. You might ask, why even bother arguing for this position if it really doesn’t actually matter to me. You’re right. There’s no point in me doing this, but since FTK made a comment and I replied asking why she’s against bestiality, there’s been a huge freak-out. So I feel the need to address this and clarify that I’m just arguing a rational stance and I’m not some sort of psychotic horse-raping weirdo.

    The main argument people give to ban bestiality is that it’s abusing the animal. I completely agree in some instances. Forceable penetrating a sheep is a bad, bad thing. In cases like that, there’s frequently “ripping” on the part of the animal, as well as the human would be stopping the animal from moving or leaving. It’s cruel. And this is what animal abuse laws are for. We don’t need to ban bestiality to ban this sort of mistreatment.

    Not all cases of bestiality are this way though. Animals can approach humans for sexual reasons too. Ever owned a dog? They’ll come right up to you and start poking at your crotch. What if you don’t have pants on at the time? And what if you maybe enjoy a little complication-free oral sex? You go to jail for it? It’s not like you shoved your meat into their face and raped them. The animal isn’t hurt, so animal abuse doesn’t apply.

    The second argument against zoophilia is that animals are unable to consent to have sex. That’s complete crap. Animals understand what sex is and they CAN communicate it. Not in words, of course, but in action.

    As Andrea Beetz said, “Animal owners normally know, what their own pets like or do not like. And as long as there is no sexuality involved people most probably would agree, that an animal moving away when petted, does not like it and does not consent to being petted, while an animal, that stays, pushes against the hand, and seems to enjoy it, gives consent to being petted. Owners know also other preference of their pets without having to use force.”

    I think it’s incorrect to equate an animal with a human child. We’d agree that a young human could not understand the full meaning of what sex is and is incapable of giving consent for an adult to engage in it with them. While an animal is maybe about as smart (or less than) as a very young human, that has no bearing on its understanding of sex. Unless the zoophile is trying to engage in sex with a baby animal (which probably isn’t a good idea anyway), the animal is sexually mature. Unlike a human child.

    Sexual relationships between humans and animals come as such a shock to people, but it doesn’t to me. There can be very deep, meaningful relationships between humans and their pets. Obviously they can’t obtain the same level a deep human-to-human relationship, but loving your pets isn’t anything unusual. People care for their pets, talk to them, spoil them, feel relaxed in their company, and mourn them when they die. This relationship is so underestimated. Why does it come as a surprise that when someone feels a deep connection to their pet, they might be interesting in doing something more expressive and intimate like we do in human-to-human relationships?

    That said, I remind you that my position isn’t based on my own personal wants. I just don’t see any reason to ban it other than the same reason things like homosexuality and sodomy were banned: it’s icky. I think it’s bad practice to put social taboos into legislature when no actual logical argument can be made against it.

    If that is not a post “condoning” bestiality, then I don’t what is.

  36. #36 Aaron
    January 2, 2008

    Hm. apart from simply being an ass, Sal took a quote from Skatje’s post and used it to infer that the young lady must advocate human-animal marriage, conveniently ignoring her very next sentence: “Obviously they can’t obtain the same level a deep human-to-human relationship, but loving your pets isn’t anything unusual.” [emphasis mine]

    Tell me, FtK, how is that not quote mining?

  37. #37 Stanton
    January 2, 2008

    There are two ways to tell when FtK is lying or otherwise is completely insincere: 1) her lips are moving, or 2) she’s typing something

  38. #38 ice weasel
    January 2, 2008

    “If that is not a post “condoning” bestiality, then I don’t what is.
    Posted by: FtK”

    Excellent! At least we agree you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Apology accepted Ftk.

    Next?

  39. #39 Richard Wolford
    January 2, 2008

    “If that is not a post “condoning” bestiality, then I don’t what is.
    Posted by: FtK”

    Of course you don’t, you’re a fuckwit.

  40. #40 Ty
    January 2, 2008

    “Your daughter condones sex with animals as well as incestuous relationships. Sal and I pointed that out. So what. You blog continually about the horrors of religion and it’s affect on society, so don’t go nuclear when someone considers you’re daughter’s views and how they might affect society.”

    Uh, it was exactly quote mining. It was taken out of context. She made the point that it is difficult finding a compelling legal reason to make those activities illegal, outside of the general revulsion to them most people feel. You used the word condone, but I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    I find your style of mindless attack in the name of Jayzuz to be revolting, but I wouldn’t try to make it illegal. I also do not condone what you do.

    See how that works?

  41. #41 Rachel I.
    January 2, 2008

    Huh… I’m pretty sure there’s a difference between thinking something shouldn’t be legislated by the government and thinking something’s a fine idea for people to practice.

    But that sort of distinction is one of the more easily-lost ones among groups like Creationists. Oh well.

  42. #42 FtK
    January 2, 2008

    Hon, it’s more than obvious that Sal wasn’t implying that Skatje advocated human-animal marriage. It was quite apparent that he was being flip, not quote mining. The post was listed under humor.

    He also HT’d my post which was posted right before his, and I linked to Skatje’s post in it’s entirety. It’s all in black and white and accurate as can be.

    You’ll have to try another angle to hang him on quote mining. Good luck.

  43. #43 Richard Wolford
    January 2, 2008

    Are you really so ignorant or simply dishonest as to what quote mining is? I can’t simply string together a bunch of quotes, taken out of context, to further my own agenda, then link back to the original article and claim innocence. That was nothing but a quote mine, the only real issue is whether it was done on purpose or if Sal is too stupid to understand the concept. I’m voting for the latter myself, considering the high quality of his thought processes. But I guess that’s what home schooling does to you.

  44. #44 Troublesome Frog
    January 2, 2008

    From Websters dictionary:
    Condone: TO FORGIVE OR OVERLOOK

    Do you see being unable to find a compelling argument for legal sanctions against something as “forgiving” or “overlooking” it? That seems to me to be a bit of a stretch. For example, I don’t get the idea that you think that Sal’s rudeness should be illegal, but I believe that you’ve also specifically said that you don’t “condone” it.

  45. #45 T_U_T
    January 2, 2008

    ftk, you seem to be reading something in the text that was not written there…

  46. #46 FtK
    January 2, 2008

    You people are an interesting bunch, that’s for sure.

    I post her exact words which indicate that she condones bestiality, and you still call me a liar. Check out the comments in her post. She finds incest acceptable as well. Though she realizes that birth control would certainly have to be considered for obvious reasons.

    Mercy, what a mess of a place this is…

  47. #47 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    You people are an interesting bunch, that’s for sure.

    you people.

    that about says it all.

    it’s the dungeon for you, methinks.

  48. #48 Nerull
    January 2, 2008

    FTK: You’ve said you don’t agree with Sal’s attempt at humor.

    Do you think he should be thrown in jail for it? No?

    Then by the same definition you want to use on Skatje (Which is at odds with the definition normally used in every day conversation – which I’m sure you know full well – citing that definition is just an attempt to weasel your way out of it), you condone Sal’s humor.

    FTK – “ForTheKids” condones sexual innuendo about a 17 year old girl. ForTheKids indeed.

    (No complaining, FTK – I used the same definition you did. Thats now how anyone else will read it, but you can’t have your cake an eat it too, now can you?)

  49. #49 GDwarf
    January 2, 2008

    FtK,

    I’ll grant you that one of the definitions of “condone” does work in your statement.

    However, I have…difficulty in accepting that you didn’t know that your sentence seems to be saying that Skatje is all for it.

    Regardless, it is exceptionally clear that Sal’s post all but outright states that Skatje engages in bestiality, and out-and-out says that she’s all for it.

    This is, in fact, now what the post he quoted says.

    The fact that he mashed separate sentences together (without marking them as separate sentences) in a misleading manner is really all the proof you need that he’s trying to impinge Skatje’s character with a baseless claim.

    I’ve also got to ask: Do you, ah, condone what he did? Would you be perfectly fine if PZ, or anyone, went around stating that all of your relatives had sex with animals, and “proved” this by lying?

    I can only assume you’d be directly opposed to that, and with good reason.

    So why on earth are you defending Sal doing this? It’s no different.

  50. #50 Nerull
    January 2, 2008

    Thats *not* how anyone else will read it, that is.

  51. #51 Richard Wolford
    January 2, 2008

    FTK, you unfortunately don’t seem to understand quote mining. Posting exact words is of little value, the meaning behind them is what matters. And again, you can’t understand meaning by selectively pulling sentences and phrases from an original work. This is why you and your brethren are such jokes; the most basic academic concept is beyond your cognitive abilities.

  52. #52 Ftk
    January 2, 2008

    “Do you see being unable to find a compelling argument for legal sanctions against something as “forgiving” or “overlooking” it?”

    Dude, she doesn’t have a problem with it. It’s not her cup of tea, but she would have no problem with someone else enjoying the act. That is refered to as “forgiving or overlooking”.

  53. #53 spurge
    January 2, 2008

    Why not ask she if she condones bestiality?

    Let her speak for herself.

  54. #54 Kristine
    January 2, 2008

    Ftk, give it up. Have you lost your mind? What do you hope to accomplish here? This is the stupidest stunt I’ve seen.

    So by that logic, disparaging your daughter and thus provoking a reaction from you is logical proof to Sal that he’s been right all along. http://www.youngcosmos.com/blog/archives/160 (comment 2)

    Um, is Sal aware that he replied to a pingback?

    Are you both out of your minds?

  55. #55 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    FTK, you unfortunately don’t seem to understand quote mining

    bah. she does; she just chooses to ignore it.

    surely there isn’t anyone here who thinks they will be able to convince her of anything?

    sweet plastic jesus on my dashboard, just take a look at her cheerleading over on Sal’s blog.

    she’s insane.

    I can’t figure out why PZ hasn’t tossed her ass ages ago. He threatened to do so almost a year ago now – has she shown “better” behavior since??

    the humor value was gone years ago.

  56. #56 gwangung
    January 2, 2008

    If that is not a post “condoning” bestiality, then I don’t what is.

    Yes, you don’t.

    What a poor, poor, poor witness you are. Using deceit and prevarication as your tools? Tsk, tsk tsk….

  57. #57 spurge
    January 2, 2008

    She=her

    Smacks head

  58. #58 FtK
    January 2, 2008

    “However, I have…difficulty in accepting that you didn’t know that your sentence seems to be saying that Skatje is all for it.”

    Good grief. Who exactly said Skatje is “all for it”? She obviously does not have a problem with it, and she does “condone” it. She said she’s not into it, but it’s totally acceptable for others. What is the big deal here? So what if she finds it acceptable to have sex with animals and relatives?

  59. #59 Ric
    January 2, 2008

    Ftk said: “You’ll have to try another angle to hang him on quote mining. Good luck.”

    How about post three from young cosmos blog entry I linked to where Sal says:

    “One should also recognize the critics have a propensity to dish out beatings because it gives them a sense of power.

    I beat a puppy, I believe, simply from enjoying the sense of power.

    Charles Darwin

    Comment by scordova –”

    Surely even you recognize that as a quote mine of the worst sort. Or do you deny this?

    The fact is Sal is a notorious quote miner.

  60. #60 ftk
    January 2, 2008

    “Why not ask she if she condones bestiality?

    Let her speak for herself.”

    Um….she already has?

  61. #61 Skatje
    January 2, 2008

    I don’t tell people that it’s a good thing to have sex with animals, nor a bad thing. I’m entirely apathetic about it.

    Here’s the fact: people tend to read “condone” as the strong opposite of “condemn.” Yeah, you can find a definition in the dictionary like “accept,” but people (and I’m guilty of this as well) tend to read condone as “support” or “encourage.” I do not support bestiality.

    Although that’s what everyone’s trying to make it look like I do. I guess squawking about “Those evil Darwinists will have all our children completely apathetic about bestiality! They won’t even demand locking zoophiles up in prison!” doesn’t sound as nice.

  62. #62 Richard Wolford
    January 2, 2008

    If she truly does understand quote mining and chooses to ignore it, I have even more contempt for the twit that I had before. And what is the deal with the cheer leading she does for Sal? Is there a bit of a love connection going on, or would that constitute bestiality in and of itself?

  63. #63 Brachychiton
    January 2, 2008

    If Sal-eazy Cordova gets to be Arsehole of the Year, can we nominate FtK as Haemorrhoid of the Year?

  64. #64 ftk
    January 2, 2008

    “Ftk, give it up. Have you lost your mind? What do you hope to accomplish here? This is the stupidest stunt I’ve seen.”

    Hmmm…I’m sorry, but I’m missing the “stunt” part. I’m quoting facts here, Kristine. I don’t hope to accomplish anything. I’m merely responding to PZ’s accusation of quote mining. His daughter condones bestiality and incest. So what? Get over it.

  65. #65 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    FtK:

    If you’re too fucking stupid to recognize the difference between admitting that there’s no good reason to outlaw something, and personally approving of that something, there’s no hope for you.

  66. #66 Bubba Sixpack
    January 2, 2008

    Thanks, Sal Cordova. I am going to print your name next to this quote-mining, leave Skatje’s name out (for her sake), and then show people I know the true face of fundamentalist Christianity — attacking kids.

  67. #67 ftk
    January 2, 2008

    Skatje, nobody is trying to make it look like anything. I provided your own words….nothing more. I have no idea what is wrong with my use of the word condone. The meaning is entirely accurate in this situation.

  68. #68 Arden Chatfield
    January 2, 2008

    And what is the deal with the cheer leading she does for Sal? Is there a bit of a love connection going on, or would that constitute bestiality in and of itself?

    FTK routinely refuses to criticize Creationists. They’re ‘on her side’, that’s all that matters. Given how she fawns on people like Sal, Dembski, and Dave Scot, she seems to be looking for some kind of daddy figure.

  69. #69 Kristine
    January 2, 2008

    I’m quoting facts here, Kristine. I don’t hope to accomplish anything. I’m merely responding to PZ’s accusation of quote mining. His daughter condones bestiality and incest. So what? Get over it.

    Over it.

    Bye bye.

  70. #70 Steve_C
    January 2, 2008

    ftk is a liar.

    and a bitch.

    you can quote me.

  71. #71 Ken Cope
    January 2, 2008

    I notice that the only reason ftk is not in the dungeon is because she’s listed as “on notice” for the following reasons:

    A particularly contemptible creationist who specializes in smarm and ooze. As you might guess from the alias, she thinks she’s acting out of concern for children. Not a frequent commenter, though, so I haven’t done much about her yet; she’s been trolling Skatje’s blog, though. Skatje thinks she’s creepy.

    Does anybody think ftk is not creepy? Creepy is beyond charitable. My take on ftk and ftk’s bff slimy sal is that if either of them were on fire, I can’t think of anybody who would bother to piss on them to put them out.

  72. #72 Collin Tierney
    January 2, 2008

    “PZ, can I date your daughter?” –Zero

    No. :)

  73. #73 Bubba Sixpack
    January 2, 2008

    FtK:

    I am certain that kindly people, non-Christian or otherwise, will be interested to see your attitude and actions, too. Thanks for the ammunition to be used against you. Hope you enjoy.

  74. #74 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    If she truly does understand quote mining and chooses to ignore it, I have even more contempt for the twit that I had before.

    quite a logical conclusion.

    though personally, having seen the same from her for years now, I don’t see how I could have less respect for her than I already do.

    she is simply not the kind of person to be allowed to converse with rational people – it’s like allowing a bright UV lamp of stupid to burn in the room. let it stay on long enough, and skin rashes and burns could result.

    do we CONDONE that kind of behavior here on Pharyngula?

  75. #75 Ric
    January 2, 2008

    I’d like to hear FTK respond to what I said in post 59, if she can and is brave enough.

  76. #76 KM
    January 2, 2008

    FTK, you’re really going to defend the man who trolled the journal of a 17 year old girl because he disagrees with her father?

    Your dear Sal has done enough damage, don’t you think? Your presence on PZ’s blog is wholly inappropriate.

  77. #77 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    FtK:

    Do you understand that the statements “I support x” and “I do not think x should be outlawed” are not equivalent?

    Answer yes or no.

  78. #78 gwangung
    January 2, 2008

    Hmmm…I’m sorry, but I’m missing the “stunt” part. I’m quoting facts here, Kristine. I don’t hope to accomplish anything. I’m merely responding to PZ’s accusation of quote mining. His daughter condones bestiality and incest.

    Deceit and deception. How disappointing an example for the kids.

    What rotten spiritual fruit to bear….

  79. #79 KM
    January 2, 2008

    Ric @ 75:

    Responding requires some kind of rational thought. I think you’re asking a bit too much of FTK.

  80. #80 Erasmus, FCD
    January 2, 2008

    FtK, why don’t you do this like you do the age of the earth?

    It could be 6000 years or 4.5 billions years, right? They are both valid interpretations of the same evidence (I think she has this tattooed somewhere or otherwise handy, it’s like a hail mary mantra).

    Skatje by your same logic could both condone or not condone such activity, right? I think this applies to you as well.

    You’re a fraud and you know it.

  81. #81 Sastra, OM
    January 2, 2008

    PZ Myers condones creationism, pseudoscience, and Biblical literalism. He’s actually written that it shouldn’t be criminalized, nor the perpetrators put in jail. So let’s photoshop his head onto a televangelist and all have a snicker. That’s where it leads, that sort of condoning.

  82. #82 shiftlessbum
    January 2, 2008

    Pointless, I’m sure, but FTK how would you respond to a post by Skatje that said that she thinks a law requiring motorcyclists to where helmets makes no legal sense but that she personally always wears one. Would she then be “condoning” riding helmetless?

    Do you see any parallels between this example and your response (if any) to the hoo-hah over Skatje post on bestiality?

  83. #83 Mena
    January 2, 2008

    Isn’t this the same mind set that makes these professional victims think that they will be rounded up because they are “christians”? They want to make everything that they don’t like illegal or amend the constitution to forbid it and think that we will do the same thing. They don’t seem to understand that not everyone is a nosy busy body. Put your jack boots away Ftk and try to enjoy life for a change.
    By the way, FtK condones evolution:
    Yes, yes, I know….I…support…Darwinists…the…theory falls in line with…scientific evidence…based on empirical evidence…rather than miracles or supernatural events.
    What, me quote mining? Never. Silly little me doesn’t even know what that is!

  84. #84 PZ Myers
    January 2, 2008

    FtK, what you and Slimy Sal are doing is called innuendo and slander. You want to insinuate that the children of Darwinists are immoral who will allow bestiality and incest to run rampant; you want to claim that atheism leads to heinous offenses against civilized culture.

    You’re wrong. What we’d allow to run rampant is tolerance. That’s all Skatje is advocating: that we can’t lock people up for non-harmful, private acts. She only opposes bestiality as a crime against animals, and there are already statues in place to handle that.

    But yes, you are incredibly creepy. So creepy that if every I were unfortunate enough to meet either you or Slimy Sal in person I would not shake hands with you, unless there was a washroom handy and a bucket of disinfectant available.

    It’s the dungeon for you. Good riddance.

  85. #85 Arden Chatfield
    January 2, 2008

    Do you understand that the statements “I support x” and “I do not think x should be outlawed” are not equivalent?

    Ah, but to FTK, ‘condone’ covers both cases, so that enables her to claim “Skatje condones bestiality!”, convinced she’s telling the truth.

    Does FTK understand this? Less likely.

  86. #86 mayhempix
    January 2, 2008

    Sex between Sal and FtK… now that’s bestiality.

  87. #87 flame821
    January 2, 2008

    I went over to Skatje blog, read her post and the comments.

    I took away from it what a majority of the posters here (at least those who aren’t clinging to their holy books and rending their garments) did.

    Her post is actually what I would expect to see from a good lawyer, or better yet, judge. The ‘ick’ factor is NOT legally swaying evidence nor should it be. We are SUPPOSED to be a nation of laws, not a nation of superstitious goat herders who look to invisible gods, the zodiac or animal entrails to guide us and our society.

    Give me a good LEGAL reason to ban it and we’ll talk. Show me how it is detrimental to society and we’ll talk. But it isn’t, it is just ‘icky’ and while I may personally find it repulsive that does NOT give me the right to stop anyone else from performing it.

    THAT is what I took away from her post. NOT that she approves or participates or ‘condones’ it.

  88. #88 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    It’s the dungeon for you. Good riddance.

    ’bout time, I say.

    let Sal and FTK have fun rubbing the slime on each other.

    If i tried to pull the same shit she does, I would CONDONE being tossed into the dungeon myself.

  89. #89 rrt
    January 2, 2008

    You’re missing the point, flame821. To FtK and her ilk, the ick factor IS legally swaying evidence and the mores of superstitious goat herders determines what’s detrimental to society. FtK’s comment shows her concept of a good judge’s opinion.

  90. #90 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    …seriously, looking at Sal’s blog is very much like watching a schizophrenic describe his view of reality, and then FTK is like another schizophrenic going there not to disavow him, but to reinforce his delusions instead.

    it’s a great case example, if not something I would choose to read over dinner, or share in polite conversation.

  91. #91 Sigmund
    January 2, 2008

    This is the difference between scientists and creationists.
    For creationists, the end justifies the means and if that means lying then so be it.
    They truly believe that lives, indeed ‘souls’, are in mortal danger from the implications of evolution.
    There’s few of us who would insist on the truth in every situation if we thought innocent lives would be lost (for instance would you tell a drunk murderous wife beater with a gun where his family were hiding, if you knew?)
    Its entirely understandable that you would lie in these circumstances.
    Creationists live their lives with a similar mental dilemma.
    Evolution to them is not possible to dispute in terms of the facts, yet the implications give them the license to lie.
    Their intent is not evil, they are trying, misguidedly of course, to protect people.
    This option isn’t open to scientists. Resorting to lying once will end your career.
    Scientists have really only one commandment – Thou shalt not lie. It is the principle that underlies the peer review process and is the ultimate reason creationists cannot overcome that barrier.
    Whatever the intent, they are still liars, and we must call them on this whenever it happens.

  92. #92 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    Their intent is not evil

    Road to hell…

  93. #93 Kristine
    January 2, 2008

    I do not support bestiality.

    Skatje, we know, dear. But you know what? I just watched the film Passion in the Desert, a beautiful and tragic story of a man who falls in love with a tiger – and it’s based on a story by Honoré de Balzac! So even if you were guilty of what they’re accusing you of, you have a literary genius on your side.

    But I’ll go out on a limb and say, I’d sooner support love between a human and an animal than hatred between human beings, as Salvador Cordova does.

    So lay into me now, Ftk. Do your worst. Leave Skatje alone.

  94. #94 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    So lay into me now, Ftk. Do your worst.

    *ahem – taps Kristine on the shoulder*:

    PZ:
    It’s the dungeon for you. Good riddance.

    you’ll have to get a cell key to visit, she’s done here.

  95. #95 Venger
    January 2, 2008

    I feel my IQ rising already. And is it just me or does it smell better today than yesterday?

  96. #96 CrypticLife
    January 2, 2008

    Ummmm. . . perhaps this is the result of my legal training, but from FtK’s comments on this thread her use of the word “condone” is fine.

    “Condone” certainly is “not ban”, and is an accurate statement of Skatje’s post. “Condone” does not mean “support” or “participate in”. I’ve also read Skatje’s post, and it is quite clear that she does not claim to participate in or support bestiality. I’ve only seen glimpses of Sal’s post, and if he’s talking about relationships he’s clearly misinterpreted her posting.

    “a law requiring motorcyclists to where helmets makes no legal sense but that she personally always wears one. Would she then be “condoning” riding helmetless?”

    Yes, she would then be condoning riding helmetless from a legal sense.

    Incidentally, laws do not have to be purely utilitarian. They can indeed be somewhat arbitrary expressions of culture. There is no requirement that activities need to be detrimental to society in order to be prohibited. I even make this point in a recent blog post of my own discussing why the courts should not be overturning the California legislation requiring non-discrimination against transgendered students (as some Christian groups hope).

  97. #97 Kristine
    January 2, 2008

    Yeah, I know. But she still reads here. Actually she’ll probably drop the issue now – or pretend all this never happened.

    Passion in the Desert is a great film BTW. I recommend it. (Sal, you reading this?)

  98. #98 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    Ummmm. . . perhaps this is the result of my legal training, but from FtK’s comments on this thread her use of the word “condone” is fine.

    What FtK is attempting to do is to create a misleading impression of Skatje’s position. The term “condone” has a popular connotation of active, personal approval, whatever its technical definition, which is not Skatje’s position at all.

    To put it simply, FtK’s statement differs from Skatje’s actual position in the same way “a gang of thugs” differs from “a group of kids.” Understand now?

    Incidentally, laws do not have to be purely utilitarian. They can indeed be somewhat arbitrary expressions of culture.

    The fact that this has been done does not make it right. No law should exist that is not the least restrictive way to achieve a compelling state or societal interest. Keeping people from doing “icky” things in the privacy of their own homes is neither.

    There is no requirement that activities need to be detrimental to society in order to be prohibited.

    If that’s formally true, it represents a glaring omission in our jurisprudence that needs to be corrected immediately rather than have excuses made for it.

  99. #99 Janine
    January 2, 2008

    I think the one thing we have learned here is that Skatje is able to stand up for herself against fools and idiots. I have not checked out her blog but I am beginning to think I should.

  100. #100 Jack
    January 2, 2008

    PZ:
    It’s the dungeon for you. Good riddance.

    I’m more than a bit disappointed by this response. Sal deserves a good swift kick in the ass and Ftk deserves, well, disgusted pity, but banning participants is what the bad guys do on UD. I thought the good guys recognized that the answer to bad speech is good speech, not censorship.

  101. #101 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    Actually she’ll probably drop the issue now – or pretend all this never happened.

    actually, I’m not sure she isn’t the one who started to begin with.

    if you look underneath the picture of the peccary on Slaveador’s post, you will see:

    HT: FTK

    seems likely that FTK herself was the one who gave Slaveador the idea to begin with.

    it would explain why she fought so hard to defend it, both here and at other places.

    Moreover, she ignored last week’s thread that was a dig at Slaveador completely, but choose to jump all over this one.

    perhaps the award for asshole of the year should be shared between them?

  102. #102 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    Jack:

    Refusing to provide a platform for another person to exercise their freedom of speech is not “censorship.” FtK’s comments up to the point of being banned are still here, and as I understand it all the dungeon trolls with a web presence of their own have a link to their sites on the dungeon pages. Additionally, she was banned for being chronically dishonest, repetitive, and insipid, not for being critical.

    I imagine you think you’re being fair-minded, but if you put a little thought into it, you’ll realize that this borders on “concern troll.”

  103. #103 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    I thought the good guys recognized that the answer to bad speech is good speech, not censorship.

    *yawn*

    allowing the same lies and deceits to be posted time and time again essentially could be viewed as condoning the behavior.

    only people who either are ignorant of her behavior, or have an ulterior motive, would make this conclusion.

    so which is it?

    are you just ignorant of the many times she has repeatedly misbehaved on blogs (many blogs, btw, not just this one), or did you have some sort of ulterior motive?

    sometimes, sweeping the dirt off your floor is just that.

  104. #104 craig
    January 2, 2008

    That’s a mentality I’ve seen a lot of in certain types. I’d actually say it’s a typically American attitude – anything undesirable must be banned outright, and anything not banned must be promoted heavily.

    I’ve heard that argument against legalizing pot – “do you really want Joe Camel advertising marijuana to your kids and pot sold in gas stations?” As if making possession of marijuana legal means that you have to allow corporations to profit from it.

    No middle ground for some folks, no grey areas.

  105. #105 Colugo
    January 2, 2008

    Peter Singer addressed the issue in 2001 (‘Heavy Petting,’ Nerve):
    http://www.nerve.com/Opinions/Singer/heavyPetting/main.asp

    “(T)he vehemence with which this prohibition continues to be held, its persistence while other non-reproductive sexual acts have become acceptable, suggests that there is another powerful force at work: our desire to differentiate ourselves, erotically and in every other way, from animals. …

    But sex with animals does not always involve cruelty. … Who has not been at a social occasion disrupted by the household dog gripping the legs of a visitor and vigorously rubbing … against them? The host usually discourages such activities, but in private not everyone objects to being used by her or his dog in this way, and occasionally mutually satisfying activities may develop. …

    …(W)e are animals, indeed more specifically, we are great apes. This does not make sex across the species barrier normal, or natural, whatever those much-misused words may mean, but it does imply that it ceases to be an offence to our status and dignity as human beings.”

    That appears to be fairly reasonable. But the argument still fails. It is unacceptable, and hence should be illegal, for a human to have sex with an animal for the same reason that it is acceptable – under appropriate circumstances – to perform biomedical experiments on animals, to eat them, and to own them. Animals are both a) nonsapient and b) not us. The intermediates between human and animal are extinct. Nor are animals truly objects, in which case there would be no issue here. Rather they are nonhuman beings with highly restricted roles and protections, depending on species and context, within the human social sphere.

    A nonsapient human is still one of us. A (hypothetical) sapient nonhuman would be entitled to rights, responsibilities and privileges. But an animal – that is, a nonsapient, nonkindred animal – cannot enter into social communion with us, except in a very limited way.

  106. #106 Bride of Shrek
    January 2, 2008

    Wow, I think you’re all being incredibly unfair by naming him “Asshole of the Year” when, in deference to your non-American Pharyngulites you could have also bestowed on him the title of “Arsehole of the Year”.

    Come to think of it if he’s this years Asshole and last years Pussy can we give FtK the title of the region in between? I hereby pronounce Ftk as “Taint of the Year” or, given it’s a sciencey-type place and all, “Perineum of the Year”.

  107. #107 Dave Carlson
    January 2, 2008

    Concern trolling, Azkyroth? Not even close. In the Dungeon, PZ defines concern trolling as

    A particularly annoying form of trolling in which someone falsely pretends to be offering advice to favor a position they do not endorse; a creationist who masquerades as someone concerned about the arguments for evolution as an excuse to make criticisms.

    Now, I don’t exactly agree with Jack’s opinion about Ftk’s relegation to the dungeon, but it certainly doesn’t qualify in any way as “concern trolling.” Frankly, I think that card gets played quite a bit more often than it is really warranted.

  108. #108 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    The intermediates between human and animal are extinct.

    say what now?

  109. #109 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    You do realize that’s a circular argument, right?

  110. #110 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    I hereby pronounce Ftk as “Taint of the Year”

    LMAO!

    perfect.

  111. #111 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    a nonsapient, nonkindred animal – cannot enter into social communion with us, except in a very limited way.

    yeah, I’m just in it for the sex, I don’t want to marry ‘em or anything. Heck, I don’t even plan on introducing any constitutional amendments.

    :p

  112. #112 MikeG
    January 2, 2008

    Bye FTK.

    I shan’t miss you.

  113. #113 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    Err, the circular argument comment was directed at Colugo.

    Concern trolling, Azkyroth? Not even close. In the Dungeon, PZ defines concern trolling as

    A particularly annoying form of trolling in which someone falsely pretends to be offering advice to favor a position they do not endorse; a creationist who masquerades as someone concerned about the arguments for evolution as an excuse to make criticisms.

    Now, I don’t exactly agree with Jack’s opinion about Ftk’s relegation to the dungeon, but it certainly doesn’t qualify in any way as “concern trolling.” Frankly, I think that card gets played quite a bit more often than it is really warranted.

    PZ’s definition is a poor one; the meaning I have always understood it to have is that of a person, ostensibly well-meaning, insincerely offering very bad advice or expressing fabricated concern in the hopes that the side it’s directed at will take their advice and in so doing weaken their position and ultimately ensure their own defeat, or at the very least that they will become divided over the advice. This is one, though not the only, plausible motive for a comment like Jack’s. I agree that the label is overused, which is why I raised the possibility rather than running with it as I expected many other commenters would do.

    Come to think of it if he’s this years Asshole and last years Pussy can we give FtK the title of the region in between? I hereby pronounce Ftk as “Taint of the Year” or, given it’s a sciencey-type place and all, “Perineum of the Year”.

    And as I posted on Janie’s, if they turn out to be the same person, it can be the “horrifically botched episiotomy of the year.” ^.^

  114. #114 PZ Myers
    January 2, 2008

    Well, clearly what we have going on here is a whole Perineal Circuit: Slimy Sal is going for a Triple Crown in the whole pelvic floor category.

  115. #115 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    On the other hand, labeling Sal a “pussy” is just cruel.

    …I *really* don’t want to find myself thinking about him in about 4 hours… ;(

  116. #116 Mister DNA
    January 2, 2008

    I hereby pronounce Ftk as “Taint of the Year”

    LMAO!

    perfect.

    done. I started writing the award as soon as I saw FtK use the word “condones” with the odd emphasis. I can’t wait to hear her acceptance speech.

  117. #117 Ric
    January 2, 2008

    I agree with Dave Carlson. There was no concern trolling going on, and that term is tossed around too much here. I personally have felt the same way as Jack in some cases, and it’s frankly because I’ve been so frustrated by the ridiculously stupid arguments posted at Uncommon Descent, and the heavy-handed censorship that goes on there, making it impossible to tell the IDiots that their arguments are so bad (I know, I am a masochist for still reading that site). I personally want Pharyngula to be as dissimilar to UD as possible. Hence my general resistance to banning here.

    That doesn’t make me a concern troll too, does it?

    P.S. This case may be different. A man needs to defend his family.

  118. #118 Jack
    January 2, 2008

    Ichthyic :
    allowing the same lies and deceits to be posted time and time again essentially could be viewed as condoning the behavior.
    only people who either are ignorant of her behavior, or have an ulterior motive, would make this conclusion.
    so which is it?
    are you just ignorant of the many times she has repeatedly misbehaved on blogs (many blogs, btw, not just this one), or did you have some sort of ulterior motive?
    sometimes, sweeping the dirt off your floor is just that.

    The willfully ignorant intellectual cowards who moderate UD defend their actions with very nearly identical words. They’re wrong, too.

    No one with real respect for the value of free speech would prevent someone else from exercising their free speech in a venue such as this. Ftk is offensive, certainly, but easily refuted. If she’s repetitive, stop replying to her — the previous refutations will stand. Banishing her reflects badly on those who claim to have the moral high ground and gives the impression that Pharyngula, like UD, can’t allow any dissent.

    This isn’t anything like a “concern troll”, by the way. I could care less about Ftk. I do care that those on the side of sweetness and light live up to their ideals.

  119. #119 Damien R. S.
    January 2, 2008

    You know, I basically agreed with Skatje’s original post, but I’d have called that condoning (some) bestiality, just as CrypticLife said. Certainly legally condoning it! I don’t know about this Sal guy, but I think FtK was right for once. A materialist worldview — which Darwin supports — does lead to a morality containing elements of anathema to Christians. And vice versa. This isn’t exactly news, nor should I think it all that controversial — unless one is an atheist who still has elements of Christian morality, and is thus uncomfortable with where a morality fully native to the materialist worldview can go.

  120. #120 Dave Carlson
    January 2, 2008

    Fair enough, Azkyroth. I guess I just don’t see any reason to question Jack’s sincerity–at least from that single post. I think I’m mostly just irked at what seems to me like the too frequent labeling of contrary opinions as concern trolling by some people here (and I’m by no means saying that you’re one of them).

  121. #121 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    No one with real respect for the value of free speech would prevent someone else from exercising their free speech in a venue such as this.

    It may not seem this way to you, but that’s more or less equivalent to arguing that we’re obligated to shuttle Fred Phelps and his scumbags around in our personal cars or host their meetings on our porches, in order to “let them exercise their freedom of speech.”

  122. #122 Ric
    January 2, 2008

    Uh, no, Damien. Morals came before Christianity– they evolved. Christianity just co-opted them. Thus for an atheist to hold (some) of the morals of Christianity is no mystery and is ultimately not a result of Christianity anyway.

  123. #123 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    (Actually, there is a difference, but it’s one of degree.)

  124. #124 Dave Carlson
    January 2, 2008

    Ooh, Jack, you’re making me look bad here. You said:

    No one with real respect for the value of free speech would prevent someone else from exercising their free speech in a venue such as this.

    So because PZ bans FtK for what he perceived to be unjustifiable insults to his daughter, that means he has no “real respect for the value of free speech?” C’mon, that’s just inane.

  125. #125 Jack
    January 2, 2008

    For the record, I’m not criticizing PZ for giving Ftk the boot. I’d just rather it was more explicit: “You are attacking my daughter. You are not welcome here.”

  126. #126 The Physicist
    January 2, 2008

    It has nothing to do with Icky, your daughter is sick, get her some help. Will you really stand by?

  127. #127 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    The willfully ignorant intellectual cowards who moderate UD defend their actions with very nearly identical words.

    actually, they don’t.

    I’ve spent a lot of time in the past watching who they ban and the reasons given, and they don’t in any way resemble how and why FTK was banned.

    sorry, your argument doesn’t hold water.

    if you mean it in rhetorical fashion, then you MIGHT have a point, but in reality, looking at how both blogs operate, you haven’t made a reasonable point at all.

    I wonder how long you will continue to draw attention to a factual non-issue?

  128. #128 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    It has nothing to do with Icky, your daughter is sick, get her some help. Will you really stand by?

    Didn’t PZ already warn you against posting when you’re too drunk to read for comprehension?

  129. #129 The Physicist
    January 2, 2008

    Seriously, this has nothing to to do with God. Get the girl some help.

  130. #130 Damien R. S.
    January 2, 2008

    I don’t know where you think I’m coming from, Ric. Nothing I said suggested that morality comes from Christianity. But Christianity has its moral system, just as ancient Greeks or utilitarians have theirs — and someone raised Christian who later became atheist might well still have elements of *Christian* morality floating around their skull, because it’s hard to re-work one’s entire worldview and uproot old reflexes, even if one no longer believes in the elements of one’s worldview which grounded those reflexes.

  131. #131 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    banning participants is what the bad guys do on UD

    They also breath air — should we therefore not do so?

    And it’s hard to be more intellectually dishonest than the use of that phrase “banning participants” as if consistently banning anyone who is critical if ID is equivalent to rarely banning people who contribute nothing useful and are intentionally disruptive.

  132. #132 Jack
    January 2, 2008

    Azkyroth:

    No one with real respect for the value of free speech would prevent someone else from exercising their free speech in a venue such as this.

    It may not seem this way to you, but that’s more or less equivalent to arguing that we’re obligated to shuttle Fred Phelps and his scumbags around in our personal cars or host their meetings on our porches, in order to “let them exercise their freedom of speech.”

    That’s a ridiculous assertion. This is an open blog. It costs PZ nothing to allow people to post here. In fact, he had to go to extra effort to ban Ftk.

    The bottom line is that the cheering for Ftk being banned suggests a strong undercurrent of “Free speech for me but not for thee.” that is inappropriate for people with supposedly liberal values.

    Unlike UD, we have nothing to fear from the truth.

  133. #133 Bride of Shrek
    January 2, 2008

    Who is Icky, I don’t rememeber them posting here?

  134. #134 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    Seriously, this has nothing to to do with God. Get the girl some help.

    oh no, you first.

  135. #135 Jack
    January 2, 2008

    Ichthyic :

    The willfully ignorant intellectual cowards who moderate UD defend their actions with very nearly identical words.

    actually, they don’t.

    Check out some of DaveScot’s banning notices. He often uses phrases like “allowing the same lies and deceits to be posted time and time again.”

  136. #136 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    It costs PZ nothing to allow people to post here. In fact, he had to go to extra effort to ban Ftk.

    Even if that were true, which I doubt as PZ has mentioned in the past having to review new comments, especially on long-running threads, and I am uncertain whether there’s any kind of bandwidth charges to any of the parties here, it has no relevance to the fact that as a matter of principle others do not have a presumptive right to commandeer one’s personal property for their own self-gratification.

  137. #137 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    For the record, I’m not criticizing PZ for giving Ftk the boot.

    For the record, you’re a transparent liar.

  138. #138 Carlie
    January 2, 2008

    I say we call Sal “rectum of the year”, because shit doesn’t just come out of him, it’s held there for interminable lengths of time. Perhaps “constipated rectum”.

    Going after teenagers as a route to going after their parents is about as low as it can get. Sal and ftk realized that they couldn’t make any ground off of PZ, so they decided to assault his kids instead. That’s really worse than shameful.

    And not that Skatje needs any more acclaim from the anonymous world of the internet, because she seems damned self-assured enough as it is, but I could never have been as well-thought, well-spoken, and able to stand my ground when I was her age as she is now. Heck, I’m still not, and I’m a couple of decades older than that.

  139. #139 The Physicist
    January 2, 2008

    Didn’t PZ already warn you against posting when you’re too drunk to read for comprehension?

    Posted by: Azkyroth | January 2, 2008 10:00 PM

    He can delete at will. I don’t worry about the peanut gallery too much. I have never complained about him deleting a single post, this is his blog. If you are here to argue then make a a real point other than calling me drunk, or I won’t respond.

  140. #140 Bride of Shrek
    January 2, 2008

    Jack,

    I commented this on a previous thread when somebody got all boo hoo about some harsh comments by PZ but I’ll say it again. Its PZ’s blog ok, he can, he really really can, do WHATEVER THE FUCK HE WANTS WITH IT. If he wants to ban someone for being a dick, acting like a troll, dissing his daughter or just because he doesn’t like their screen name, then its up to him. Its got nothing to do with free speech for fuck’s sake. FtK has been shown the trapdoor because she’s an annoying twat who contributes nothing towards debate and whose arguments are mere circles of asshattery. In short she’s the Taint of the Year.

  141. #141 Tyler DiPietro
    January 2, 2008

    “You are attacking my daughter. You are not welcome here.”

    That’s essentially what PZ said in his courtesy post to FtK. There’s an easy way to resolve the issue of whether FtK should’ve been banned: look at who owns the blog. PZ’s the boss here, and it’s never wise to insult the boss’ family.

  142. #142 Laser Potato
    January 2, 2008

    “The intermediates between human and animal are extinct.”
    So humans aren’t animals? What are we then, fungus?!

  143. #143 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    The bottom line is that the cheering for Ftk being banned suggests a strong undercurrent of “Free speech for me but not for thee.” that is inappropriate for people with supposedly liberal values.

    The bottom line is that you’re an ass.

  144. #144 Jack
    January 2, 2008

    truth machine:

    For the record, I’m not criticizing PZ for giving Ftk the boot.

    For the record, you’re a transparent liar.

    For the record, you’re as much of an asshole as Ftk. Keep working at it and you might reach Sal’s level.

  145. #145 Laser Potato
    January 2, 2008

    Shorter Jack: “WAH WAH WAH CENSORSHIP!!11!”

  146. #146 ERV
    January 2, 2008

    I love you, truth machine.

  147. #147 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    Check out some of DaveScot’s banning notices. He often uses phrases like “allowing the same lies and deceits to be posted time and time again.”

    there are so many DS banning notices, one could attribute any pattern to them just by chance alone.

    and if you note the context in which he uses the ones you mention, you’ll find that he is in fact, LYING. he uses that as an excuse to ban people who have only visited the site even once.

    your concern about, and comparison to, UD is very much starting to suggest an ulterior motive.

    your argument is a pale comparison to reality.

    you’re just making yourself look silly.

    why?

    I have no worries that dissenting voices are silenced here. you can pick any thread you like to see them over and over again.

    now would you like to compare that to UD again, don quixote?

  148. #148 Jack
    January 2, 2008

    Bride of Shrek:

    Its PZ’s blog ok, he can, he really really can, do WHATEVER THE FUCK HE WANTS WITH IT.

    I have never disputed that. I simply find the cheerful support of censorship by people who supposedly value free speech more than a little disturbing. How easily we justify in ourselves that which we hate in others.

  149. #149 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    I have never disputed that. I simply find the cheerful support of censorship by people who supposedly value free speech more than a little disturbing. How easily we justify in ourselves that which we hate in others.

    repeating your argument doesn’t make it any better or more relevant.

  150. #150 Ric
    January 2, 2008

    The Physicist: Don’t respond. That would make us all happy.

    Damien: What I’m objecting to is your suggestion that “materialist ethics” naturally leads to things like bestiality and that only if atheists retain shreds of Christian morals would they have reason to object to certain acts. My point was that on grounds having no relation to Christianity, atheists can find certain acts distasteful and/or objectionable. It may be that they retain such objections from their upbringing, but these very things entered Christianity because they were pre-existent mores. My whole point is that an atheistic ethics does indeed have reason to object to certain acts and it does not necessarily lead to an “all is permitted” ethics, as I took you to be suggesting.

    I suppose I got a slight whiff of disguised religiosity in your post, which is what I was responding to.

  151. #151 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    I have never disputed that. I simply find the cheerful support of censorship by people who supposedly value free speech more than a little disturbing. How easily we justify in ourselves that which we hate in others.

    For the moment, I’m going to have to side with Jack. The fact that a person “can” (“is allowed to”) do something does not, in itself, make it right. There are better arguments in favor of PZ’s position than coupling a circular argument to a naturalistic fallacy, which is what the “well, I have the right to” amounts to when it’s deployed against criticism on moral grounds.

  152. #152 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    I simply find the cheerful support of censorship by people who supposedly value free speech more than a little disturbing.

    you also don’t seem to understand the concept of “censorship”

    you do know that FTK has her own blog, right?

    I don’t recall PZ going there to get her IP to shut down her blog.

  153. #154 Ric
    January 2, 2008

    And I’ll say again that the abuse Jack is getting here, agree with him or not, is undeserved.

  154. #155 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    No one with real respect for the value of free speech would prevent someone else from exercising their free speech in a venue such as this.

    No one with real respect for the concept of free speech would put forth such swill. Speech is only free in the commons. By your moronic reasoning, a horde of trolls could descend on this blog and post thousands of comments on any topic they choose, and it would be some sort of moral impropriety for PZ to prevent it.

  155. #156 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    I love you, truth machine.

    And me you!

  156. #157 Jack
    January 2, 2008

    Ichthyic:

    your concern about, and comparison to, UD is very much starting to suggest an ulterior motive.

    Why, because no one could actually value free speech to the extent that they would grant it to those with whom they disagree?

    The rabidness with which the Pharyngula regulars attack any perceived criticism of their glorious leader doesn’t compare favorably with the religious zealots you spend so much time deriding.

    I’ll leave you to it now, with the final note that you can simply take my words at face value. No ulterior motives. No support for the scumbag quoteminer or his sleazy sycophant. No trolling, concern or otherwise. Just a guy who values free speech. Imagine that.

  157. #158 Tyler DiPietro
    January 2, 2008

    “There are better arguments in favor of PZ’s position than coupling a circular argument to a naturalistic fallacy, which is what the “well, I have the right to” amounts to when it’s deployed against criticism on moral grounds.”

    But that presupposes that someone has a moral standing on which to object. Simply put, they don’t. PZ’s blog, PZ’s rules. How lenient he is with the comments is solely up to him.

  158. #159 Ryan F Stello
    January 2, 2008

    I dunno, Ric (153), Jack just seems all sorts of whiny.

    Like this:

    I simply find the cheerful support of censorship by people who supposedly value free speech more than a little disturbing.

    I’d at first be tempted to respond to it with a rational speech on the limits of speech in society, but then I realize: “fuck it, Jack’s made up his mind on how to play this by condemning a group based on unrealistic ideals.”

    He deserves the flambe.

  159. #160 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    For the record, you’re as much of an asshole as Ftk.

    Even if that were true, it would have no bearing on the fact that you lied about criticizing PZ for banning FtK.

    Keep working at it and you might reach Sal’s level.

    Desperate much?

  160. #161 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    The rabidness with which the Pharyngula regulars attack any perceived criticism of their glorious leader

    The truth outs.

  161. #162 Colugo
    January 2, 2008

    Ichthyic, Azkyroth, Laser Potato:

    The intermediates between humans (sapient animals) and animals (that is, nonsapient animals) are gone. I’m referring to ergaster/erectus, habilines and perhaps some late australopithecines.

    Terrence Deacon, The Symbolic Species, 1997: “Biologically, we are just another ape; mentally we are a whole new phylum of organism.”

  162. #163 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    And I’ll say again that the abuse Jack is getting here, agree with him or not, is undeserved.

    You fail to note any specific response that was undeserved, and why it was.

  163. #164 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    Why, because no one could actually value free speech to the extent that they would grant it to those with whom they disagree?

    why, because people here are immediately suspect of strawman arguments?

    ok NOW I’m on the “concern troll” bandwagon.

    You’re starting to smell a bit ripe, Jacko.

  164. #165 Bride of Shrek
    January 2, 2008

    Anyone who has been here for a while knows that we eat our own young here on Pharyngula. Really, to counter argue against a common thread is tantamount to suicide unless you have clear, concise arguments to put up against the hoards. Then I think we give the arguee the respect they derserve and will listen and maybe learn. Try to wade in against the masses with poor arguments framed on ill concieved notions well,…we’re likely to sic Truth Machine on you.

  165. #166 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    But that presupposes that someone has a moral standing on which to object. Simply put, they don’t. PZ’s blog, PZ’s rules. How lenient he is with the comments is solely up to him.

    That’s true as a practical matter, but I’m not seeing a convincing argument of principle there, since PZ’s being allowed to make those rules was not at issue.

  166. #167 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    Terrence Deacon, The Symbolic Species, 1997: “Biologically, we are just another ape; mentally we are a whole new phylum of organism.”

    i believe this to be a topic for a whole other thread.

    whereupon I will be calling up the essence of Francis Collins to hit over the head repeatedly with large, blunt objects.

  167. #168 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    Ichthyic, Azkyroth, Laser Potato:

    The intermediates between humans (sapient animals) and animals (that is, nonsapient animals) are gone. I’m referring to ergaster/erectus, habilines and perhaps some late australopithecines.

    Terrence Deacon, The Symbolic Species, 1997: “Biologically, we are just another ape; mentally we are a whole new phylum of organism.”

    To be perfectly frank, I’m not seeing the relevance of this.

  168. #169 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    If you are here to argue then make a a real point other than calling me drunk, or I won’t respond.

    so what kind of cheap liquor do you prefer?

  169. #170 Ken Cope
    January 2, 2008

    Jack, PZ banned a lying skank who shows up here intermittently, who decided she’d cross on obvious line: don’t lie about the man’s daughter on his blog. In PZ’s words:

    I put up with this slimeball for a long time, since she rarely commented on Pharyngula; her wretched insinuations against my daughter, though, were too much. I think her pseudonym of “For the Kids” means she likes to prey on younger people with her lies and innuendo.

    You think PZ is not being gracious, or what? You say he should allow her to spew more baseless, malicious bile on the basis of the defense of the principle of free speech?

    Hey Jack, go perform an impossible sexual act with yourself. I can’t think of anything else you’re good for.

  170. #171 Ric
    January 2, 2008

    Truth at 162: It’s my impression that the first thing many people do around here is cry “concern troll” when a poster objects to something, like a banning or a user being called a fucking cockhat asslicker or some of the other language that flies out of some people’s mouths first thing.

    Look, man, I am as frustrated with the creationists and IDiots as much as the next guy, and I enjoy cursing as much as the next guy. I just think we ought to hear someone out before calling them an asshole. FtK has long ago had her say and has truly proven herself to deserve all the disparagement she got. YOu didn’t hear me objecting to any of that. To my knowledge (and by now you might know that I read and post regularly), this “Jack” has not, and thus I was prone to give him the benefit of the doubt. I suppose this makes me a fuckwit concern troll too, right?

    That being said…

    Truth at 160: Good comment. I noticed that too, and it did indeed raise my hackles a bit, suggesting that maybe you guys detected something I initially didn’t.

  171. #172 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    I’m not seeing a convincing argument of principle there, since PZ’s being allowed to make those rules was not at issue.

    I think there is a principle lurking. The reasons that PZ can ban people from speaking in his blog while the government cannot ban people from speaking in the commons undercut Jack’s claim that this is a violation of free speech.

  172. #173 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    It’s my impression that the first thing many people do around here is cry “concern troll” when a poster objects to something

    I think that’s a bit hyperbolic, but no matter, I now understand what you meant by your unspecific charge “abuse”. Note that I have not referred to Jack as a concern troll (but I did note in #160 where he seems to self-identify as one), so my calling him a liar and an ass don’t come under your umbrella.

  173. #174 Prazzie
    January 2, 2008

    I’m sorry that you have to go through this, PZ and Skatje. While we can rationally dismiss these mendacious attacks as the paltry blows of a desperate coward and his parasite, such things do have an emotional impact. I can only imagine what fatherly instincts you had to deal with, PZ, since my own initial reaction was “Lemme at him!” After dinner and a nap (and hugs all round) the emotions should settle and congratulations might even be in order. Skatje has been targeted by creationists loonies – why, she’s well on her way to stealing that “America’s Richard Dawkins” title from her dad!

    In other news: I’m having my “I condone octopus porn” t-shirts printed as we speak.

  174. #175 Prazzie
    January 2, 2008

    Greg Peterson, your snake comment had me laughing out loud.

    And now to spite Sal I have to stick it up my bum.

    I greatly admire your dedication to the cause.

  175. #176 Moses
    January 2, 2008

    No one with real respect for the value of free speech would prevent someone else from exercising their free speech in a venue such as this.

    First of all, that’s a variation of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy. But beyond that, I’ll address the point. Even if I think it’s a fallacy.

    I guess one could argue that there is an unalienable right to absolute free speech. But there’s not. Can’t engage in libel and slander. Can’t use fighting words or incitement to riot. Can’t speak State Secrets. Can’t yell “fire” in a theatre. Can’t make false and misleading advertising claims. Can be restrained by Court order. Hmmm… I’m sure there are a few others I’ve missed because I’m not a 1st Amendment Lawyer…

    But my point is, that there is no such thing as an unabridged or unalienable right to free speech. Now, knowing that the content of the freedom of speech isn’t absolute, what about circumstance by which it is practiced?

    Can I just start screaming acceptable speech at the top of my lungs? Not really, that’d be “disturbing the peace.” I can’t go to my neighbors house and force him to listen to me preach the Gospel of Atheism. Not only can he shut the door, but he can have me arrested when I don’t leave because I’m refusing to leave because I’m “exercising my right of free speech.” And there are more, but it’s getting late.

    So, recognizing there is no such thing as pure “freedom of speech” but an actual standard of “broad-based, but not entirely unlimited, freedom of speech” I would argue the opposite. In my view no one who had “real respect” for the value of free speech” (there’s that fallacy again) would allow that value to be tainted by such unmitigated buffoonery that the value of free speech became worthless.

    In my opinion, what FTK was doing was shitting in the communal punch-bowl from which we all drink with her belligerent, serial lying and refusal to admit her error and churlish behavior while flogging us with her rigid morality. From my perspective of her behavior and how it relates to the “freedom of speech” issue, she was acting like one of those crazy, shouting Jehovah’s Witness trying to force you to read the unwanted Tracts and lying about their behaviors and refusing to leave your doorstep when asked.

    I do not condone that kind of behavior and find it to be chilling to the freedom of speech by it’s abusive, abrasive, reality-challenging and strident characteristics coming from it’s constantly repeated presentation. I think the correct choice was for PZ to banish her to the dungeon. Because I also believe the “freedom of speech” has a corollary: the MY Freedom To Not Listen To Your Ravings. And that applies to PZ Myers as well.

    Especially as this is PZ’s house. We are his guests. If we behave like the crazy JW in my example, he has the right to warn us, admonish us and to do what is necessary to remove us from his house. Because he does have the right to enforce his standards on speech within his house.

    :::::

    For the record, I realize that Skatje was arguing abstract principles. And that Sal and FTK were deliberately twisting her arguments to mean something entirely different.

    Unfortunately, when you’re arguing abstract concepts with people whose emotional landscape fossilized at the six-year-old level, these things will happen.

  176. #177 The Physicist
    January 2, 2008

    I love PZ, Don’t really care what anyone says or thinks about me, be they Christian or Atheist. He is special in my own eyes (for whatever that is worth), with or without a God. Ya wanna know why? because he is honest with himself. He has his ax’s to grind with religion, but tell me one one religion that doesn’t disparage another. He makes no bones about it, and I would rather know where a man stands, than to never see a stance.

  177. #178 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    I just think we ought to hear someone out before calling them an asshole.

    Uh, Ric, no one called him an asshole. I called him an ass … in response to a specific comment, so I did “hear him out”.

    I suppose this makes me a fuckwit concern troll too, right?

    Will your not being called that make any dent in your belief that that’s what people do?

  178. #179 Damien R. S.
    January 2, 2008

    I think materialist ethics does lead in specific directions. As far as I know, pretty much any attempt to derive such ethics refers to social contracts, the golden rule, categorical imperatives, or utilitarianism. None of these readily allow banning incest between consenting and equal-power adults who active avoiding bearing an inbred child. All of them make it easy to defend, and hard to condemn, acts of bestiality where the animal does not seem to be in pain, and seems to be actively enthusiastic about the act, especially if a fluid barrier is involved to avoid inter-species disease transfer which might affect the rest of us. All of them make it easy to defend late-term abortion or even infanticide, modulo facts from neuroscience or and psychology.

    And if you raise a child in a materialist worldview, and she thinks about morality without reference to her gut instinct or other people’s traditions, she’ll probably hit upon one of the bases I listed, and come to similar conclusions. I think we should be proud of it, proud that reason and observation tends to go in the same direction. Which isn’t “anything goes” but “anything goes that doesn’t cause pain to others.” — bestiality’s an odd case because I think most liberals hew to the “animals can’t give meaningful consent to sex” line, and Skatje’s thing was to challenge that. But in general, while materialists might disagree about taxes or the death penalty, or judgments about the moral consequences of late fetal development, there’s broad agreement about sex between consenting entities. Which leads to icky results by traditional standards, or even by our own gut reactions, but they/we can just suck it up.

  179. #180 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2008

    And if you raise a child in a materialist worldview, and she thinks about morality without reference to her gut instinct or other people’s traditions, she’ll probably hit upon one of the bases I listed, and come to similar conclusions.

    *STRRRRREEEEEETTTTTCCCCHHHHHH*

    *pop*

  180. #181 Moses
    January 2, 2008

    And I’ll say again that the abuse Jack is getting here, agree with him or not, is undeserved.

    Posted by: Ric | January 2, 2008 10:18 PM

    Pontificating from a logical fallacy (his argument is a variation of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy) tends not to fly well here. And if it Jack gets his nose bloodied, that’s life. It’s happened to many of us. You can’t always be right. You screw the pooch, have a cigarette and a laugh then move on.

  181. #182 Dave Carlson
    January 2, 2008

    Re #170

    Ric, I agree with just about everything you said there. I don’t really agree with Jack’s position, and I think he came on too strong in some of his comments, but, in general, I can sympathize with his sentiments.

  182. #183 Bride of Shrek
    January 2, 2008

    Moses

    We’ll assume your “screw the pooch” was a deliberate pun ;-)

  183. #184 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    First of all, that’s a variation of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy.

    No, it most certainly is not. Someone is a Scotsman by virtue of being born Scottish — it’s true by definition — and nothing in their behavior can alter that. That being a Scotsman is an analytical truth is critical to it being a fallacy. But no one has real respect for free speech by definition; we know whether we do by their behavior. There’s nothing fallacious about Jack challenging whether someone’s behavior is consistent with such respect.

    But beyond that, I’ll address the point.

    Good. :-)

  184. #185 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    I think there is a principle lurking. The reasons that PZ can ban people from speaking in his blog while the government cannot ban people from speaking in the commons undercut Jack’s claim that this is a violation of free speech.

    True, if Jack was attempting to argue that this was a violation of free speech. I read his argument as being that what he saw as PZ’s failure to respect freedom of speech as a principle, even in a case where he wasn’t required to do so by law, was inconsistent with PZ’s stated values, which I don’t think is an inherently fallacious position but, I think, definitely was in this case, especially given his inappropriate comparison to the moderation at UD.

  185. #186 JanieBelle
    January 2, 2008

    All the free speech talk regarding this incident is bunk.

    A blog is like a person’s living room, not the street corner or the courthouse steps.

    You’re free to insult me, my Lover, my dog, even my curtains if you like. Do it in my living room and I’ll toss your ass out on the curb. Probably with a shiner.

    Dr. PZ was rather restrained in his response.

  186. #187 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    In my view no one who had “real respect” for the value of free speech” (there’s that fallacy again) would allow that value to be tainted by such unmitigated buffoonery that the value of free speech became worthless.

    Ah, but if it’s a fallacy, you’re now the one committing it.

    Better to recognize that it’s not a fallacy. :-)

  187. #188 Azkyroth
    January 2, 2008

    (Let me rephrase: true if Jack was attempting to argue that this was a legal violation of free speech).

  188. #189 Ric
    January 2, 2008

    Truth machine at 177:

    “Uh, Ric, no one called him an asshole. I called him an ass … in response to a specific comment, so I did ‘hear him out’.”

    True, you only called him an ass. I was being a bit hyperbolic with my cursing in that post. Mostly I was trying to capture the tone of the responses, but partially I was having fun cursing, cause I’m posting from home and I usually post from work.

    “Will your not being called that make any dent in your belief that that’s what people do?”

    Well, I’ve seen it enough and disagreed with it enough to have formed a belief that some people are prone to do it. Your not doing it is appreciated. If I see it happen a bit less, that will make a dent in my belief.

  189. #190 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    True, if Jack was attempting to argue that this was a violation of free speech.

    Uh, “No one with real respect for the value of free speech would prevent someone else from exercising their free speech in a venue such as this” pretty clearly said this was a violation of free speech.

    I don’t think is an inherently fallacious position definitely was in this case, especially given his inappropriate comparison to the moderation at UD.

  190. #191 Ric
    January 2, 2008

    See, Damien, that’s what I was getting at. My point was that ethics evolved and is very much gut instinct at its base level.

  191. #192 truth machine
    January 2, 2008

    [musta hit the wrong button]

    I don’t think is an inherently fallacious position but, I think, definitely was in this case, especially given his inappropriate comparison to the moderation at UD.

    I agree, of course.

    (Let me rephrase: true if Jack was attempting to argue that this was a legal violation of free speech).

    But he never made the distinction! As I said, the basis for distinction is the very thing that undercuts his argument. “free speech” is not some free floating moral principle that is independent of matters of justice. Legal free speech is a matter of justice, but there is nothing unfair about PZ banning FtK from his blog.

  192. #193 Damien R. S.
    January 2, 2008

    Ichthyic, did you have some sort of actual point or argument to make?

    Ric, I don’t think I get it. I argued that materialists who try to come up with universal ethics hit one of a few possible bases and go from there, tending to fairly similar conclusions. It’s certainly possible that this is less about Universal Pure Reason and more about tapping some instinct about fairness which evolved and is thus common to the species, tapping it free of religious interference, but I don’t think that would change my point that a materialist upbringing tends to certain moralities.

    We still find some things naturally icky, but the trend is to not impose our judgments of ick if doing so contracts social contracts or maximum utility.

    It’s not universal or absolute, but neither are “genes for” lots of traits. And I don’t see how a materialist can condemn gays or adult incest (with the usual qualifications) without ultimately appealing to a personal ‘ick’, as opposed to one of the bases for a universal morality.

  193. #194 Rey Fox
    January 2, 2008

    Aw, poo. I’m gonna miss our favorite punching bag.

  194. #195 zyan
    January 3, 2008

    Is this sick? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tRWRSfcDuQ

    Possibly.

    Should there be laws against it? Gimme a break – kitty-cat’s loving it.

    Cats have a highly sensitive pleasure center on their backs, just at the base of the tail. (Three guesses what kind of pleasure.) Imagine the shocked pet owners who’d end up on the registry of sex offenders because they unwittingly pleasured their pu…, er, cat.

    Oh, and… BITE ME, FtK!

  195. #196 Avkid
    January 3, 2008

    Jack (and others who may agree):

    Pharyngula allows dissent – perhaps not on matters of the slander and trolling of the 17 year-old daughter of its author, but it allows dissent. A quick review of the past few weeks will show that dissent is allowed. Certainly, posters here require some excellent and compelling reasons and/or evidence to effect a change of mind (or heart), but it’s at least a possibility. ID folks, on the other hand, ban people for disagreeing, period – another opinion and ya get the big ole creationist boot. If you can’t grasp the difference…

    Denying someone the nonexistent right to abuse and slander a child (even on the internet) is not contrary to any free speech legislation.

    Skatje:

    Sorry about that last paragraph. I do not think of you as a child, except in legal terms. Your arguments on bestiality alone demonstrate an intelligence and ability far beyond the years of your peers.

  196. #197 Kseniya
    January 3, 2008

    Good post, Avkid. The demise of PZ’s tolerance of FtK is a far cry from the type of abuse of moderator privilege exemplified by DaveScot’s capricious little power trips over at UhDuh.

  197. #198 Robert
    January 3, 2008

    There is a fundamental difference between respecting and upholding free speech, and expecting someone to provide a forum for someone to express disgusting views about their family in.

    No one is denying that Sal and FtK can say what they want about Skatje, but to expect PZ to allow it to happen within the confines of his private blog is absurd and frankly quite stupid.

    Its like saying that I’m procensorship just because I threw you out of my house after calling my girlfriend a whore. Anyone claiming such is just looking to score cheap rhetorical points, and frankly should be ashamed of being such a slimeball.

    Freedom of Speech does not require that everyone maintains an open forum for assholes and idiots everywhere.

  198. #199 Bride of Shrek
    January 3, 2008

    I also must say that I am impressed with the dignity and grace with which Skatje has held herself against the hysteria. Its a far cry fom how I would have reacted when I was 17 (which would have been to call the other side names, run home to mummy and cry under the covers for about 24 hours that no one liked me- not much different to now days really). PZ should be proud to have raised such a gracious daughter who seems to suffer fools a lot better than I do.

  199. #200 PZ Myers
    January 3, 2008

    I’m afraid that commenting is a privilege here, and I must also have some lightly used tools to keep commenters under control. I routinely delete spam — lots of spam — without comment. I only rarely delete or edit any comments by users who are actually engaging in the discussion here, and it actually takes prolonged, serious annoyance before I take any steps, and when I do, I keep it completely transparent and document it in the dungeon.

    You can come here and babble whatever deluded creationist nonsense you want here; nobody gets banned because they express a view with which I disagree. If that were the case, there’s a long line of people who’d be out on their ass right now (and anybody who tries to claim that the commenters here are all my sycophants are pretty damned delusional, since I get some pretty harsh arguments here. Would these threads go on so long if everyone were just agreeing with me?)

    Throwing FtK out is like chasing away a plague rat. She’s got nothing to contribute but poison.

  200. #201 PZ Myers
    January 3, 2008

    Oh, and by the way, if you want to see real censorship, take a look at Young Cosmos, where Slimy Sal posted his snotty little article. There are lots of people really disgusted with him, and I know quite a few have tried to comment there…and where are those comments? They never show up. All you see is ftk and scordova in a mutual love fest.

    Now that is sycophancy, hypocrisy, and dishonesty.

  201. #202 Norman Doering
    January 3, 2008

    PZ,

    Guess who decided to jump into the shit hole with Slimy Sal?

    Well, of course, Vox Day:
    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2008/01/atheist-dad-of-year.html

  202. #203 Janine
    January 3, 2008

    Here is the latest blast from Sal.

    But why is PZ mad? I quoted Skatje’s words accurately. Skatje articulated the Darwinist view of what humans are in relation to animals.

    I already said I’m refraining from commenting on the morality of human-animal sex. I’m merely reporting what Darwinists believe.

    If these inconvenient Darwinist beliefs puts Darwinism in a bad light, I think that’s a good thing. PZ is probably mad that painted him and his fellow Darwinists in a bad light.

    Not only is Darwinism bad science which originated from the feeble mind of math-challenged Darwin, but it’s an icky ideology and view of humanity. [What? Darwinists don't like the fact that I point out Darwin was a bit dull mentally? My critics have no inhibition about making statements about my mental faculties. Ah the hypocrisy.]

    But even apart from the issues of morality, which view of humanity will be more appealing? I’m merely exploiting the natural appeal of the idea that “humans are special”. Too bad for the Darwinists if their worthless ideology is disgusting when taken to its logical conclusion.

    I advocate the hypothesis of Intelligent Design versus Brainless Darwinism. I advocate the idea that humans, for all their flaws, are special in God’s sight and live on a Privileged Planet.

    Not only are the facts consistent with the idea that humans are special in God’s sight, it is an idea people wish to ponder. Too bad for PZ, the majority of humanity would prefer to see themselves as special.

    Thus, I’m quite happy to point out the disgusting aspects of Darwinism taken to its logical conclusion. PZ obviously despises this line of argumentation. Good. There will be more to come on why “Darwinism is Disgusting”.

    Comment by scordova

    Sal, Sal, Sal, I do not need to believe in god to think I am special. The fact that I exist is enough. Also, despite being queer, an atheist and a materialist, I never felt a sexual desire for an other animal. And for those people who do feel that, I doubt it is because they buy into the truth of evolution.

    Also, Sal ignoring what Skatje wrote about bestiality shows that he knows he took her words out of context. But instead of owing up to it, he is now trying to pass this off as “the logical conclusion of Darwinism”. Which makes no sense what so ever if all species are out to reproduce.

    Please Sal, keep going. If this is what your form of christianity is all about, it needs more sunshine. Then the slime can dry out leaving dust. And the wind can blow the dust away.

    And one last thing, Skatje is intelligent enough to deal with the likes of you. For the people decrying Sal attacking her, I think there is nothing to worry about. She seems to be a very capable young woman.

  203. #204 Janine
    January 3, 2008

    Norman Doering, you should have pointed out one very important fact, Vox did not link to Stakje’s post. Instead he linked to here. I read through the comments. (At that time, there were 92.) Lots of chortling about Skatje. It it seems no one attempted to read what she wrote. They prefer to laugh about lies rather than knowing what the real issue is.

  204. #205 Kseniya
    January 3, 2008

    I have to ask: why do we pay attention to this guy? He’s intellectually shallow and can’t even write a half-decent sentence. He presents no challenge beyond forcing his reader to balance two rather disparate needs (the need to laugh and the need to wretch) simultaneously. His “arguments” hang in the air like geese farts on a muggy day (though they lack even that much substance) and inspire nothing more or less than the desparate hope of a breath of fresh air. Do I paint an accurate picture? Or do I exaggerate?

  205. #206 Norman Doering
    January 3, 2008

    Janine wrote:

    Norman Doering, you should have pointed out one very important fact, Vox did not link to Stakje’s post. Instead he linked to here.

    Well, I didn’t know that until you told me and I clicked the links.

    And these people want to claim the moral high ground:
    http://normdoering.blogspot.com/2007/12/claiming-moral-high-ground.html

  206. #207 Janine
    January 3, 2008

    Kseniya, here is my answer to your question. You do not say if you mean Sal or Vox Day but I think it will cover both. There are people who think they are fine people and believe what they have to say. If the comments at Vox Day are any indication, Sal’s lie will not be going away soon. I am afraid PZ and Statje will hearing the echos for a long time to come. Best to know where they are coming from and why.

  207. #208 Ichthyic
    January 3, 2008

    They prefer to laugh about lies rather than knowing what the real issue is.

    *ding*

    winner.

    a bunch of morons, giving each other high-fives for being morons.

    It was amazing to watch Dembski slowly but surely cater more and more of his content on UD towards the lowest-common-denominator these idiots represent.

    theres just… so… many.. of them.

  208. #209 windy
    January 3, 2008

    Skatje, we know, dear. But you know what? I just watched the film Passion in the Desert, a beautiful and tragic story of a man who falls in love with a tiger – and it’s based on a story by Honoré de Balzac! So even if you were guilty of what they’re accusing you of, you have a literary genius on your side.

    Here’s another literary depiction of interspecies love, with a title somehow appropriate for this thread: Sinisalo’s Troll – A Love Story.

  209. #210 ndt
    January 3, 2008

    FtK’s nonsense is an example of the common fundy practice of making up new definitions for words, either to signal affinity with the in-group or, as in this case, to deliberately cause confusion when conversing with the out-group.

    “Evolution” means “atheism” or “science”

    “Convict” means “convince”

    “Believe on” means “believe in”

    “Religion” means “religion other than evangelical Christianity”

    and now, “condone” means “doesn’t necessarily think should be illegal”.

  210. #211 Farb
    January 3, 2008

    Let’s take a broader view here.

    First of all, the entire objective of ‘concern trolling’ at blogs like these is to get the troll banned, after which they can wear the ban as a badge of honor among their like-minded cronys. To achieve that, they adopt the most outrageous anti-social behavior possible to exhaust the patience of those committed to civil discussion.

    It matters not that they ban others (or even each other! FtK herself had a recent falling out with the Kansas Troll, and now they trade tirades at other forums.). They want to simulate credibility among their own imagined base, while using the bans themselves to attack those who made the ban. It’s the never-ending cycle of abuse, translated into cyberspace.

    But, secondly, even without the supernatural intervention these particular abusers alternatively invoke and pretend to conceal, they have a very real tendency to experience the exact curses they call down upon others. In real life, these ‘warriors’ often must deal with recurrent depression, substance addiction, family estrangement, even mental and physical abuse, leading them to find refuge in cyberspace, where they may right all injustice like costumed super-heroes, while all their underlying issues remain unresolved in reality.

    Or, in simpler terms, isn’t it interesting that a family unit as functional as yours, PZ, should inspire such vituperative (and repeated) efforts to discredit it? Doesn’t it speak volumes about the psychological demons driving those discreditors?

  211. #212 YSTH
    January 3, 2008

    More bad form from those who follow the religion of love and peace, lol? Doesn’t surprise me at all. The use of deceit and slander in an attempt to humiliate a young girl in order to subversively “attack” her father reeks of desperation and insecurity. Hardly something a ‘loving, forgiving, and compassionate’, creationist should feel proud of. The snide cruelty? It’s just more fuel for the fire against their hypocritical BS.

    PZ- you’re very lucky to have such a thoughtful, highly intelligent, and open minded daughter. Kudos!

  212. #213 Azkyroth
    January 3, 2008

    Yeah, I’d make plans to kidnap her in order to make her give ass-kicking lessons to my daughter in a few years, except that it wouldn’t work, and if it did would defeat the purpose, I suppose. ;/

  213. #214 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    First of all, the entire objective of ‘concern trolling’ at blogs like these is to get the troll banned

    That may apply to some regular trolls, but rarely to concern trolls, who pretend to be helping to improve you.

  214. #215 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Pharyngula allows dissent

    Consider how many global warming deniers contributed to that 1200+ comment thread and how many were banned.

  215. #216 DLC
    January 3, 2008

    Cordova, moron of the year as well as first class jerk.

  216. #217 bernarda
    January 3, 2008

    Can you pick out Sal in the picture linked below?

    http://www.streetneeds.com/uploads/twinturbonet/ASSHOLES.jpg

  217. #218 Leigh
    January 3, 2008

    @The Physicist #126: “It has nothing to do with Icky, your daughter is sick, get her some help. Will you really stand by?”

    What are you talking about here? What kind of sick, and what kind of help?

    I’m not taking your point at all.

  218. #219 Peter McGrath
    January 3, 2008

    I suspect there’s a bit of envy (as well as cowardice) behind the attacks: Skatje’s smart as paint, constructs an argument and writes well. Sal and WtF are just farting in the bath and playing in the bubbles.

  219. #220 Moses
    January 3, 2008

    Ah, but if it’s a fallacy, you’re now the one committing it.

    Better to recognize that it’s not a fallacy. :-)

    Posted by: truth machine | January 2, 2008 11:12 PM

    Addressing “The No True Scotsman” fallacy, not actually using it to bring forth my argument. My argument only tips its hat to the fallacy as a clearly identified fallacy and rhetorical device, like a rhetorical question, to get the ball rolling as it were, in the narrative.

    The actual argument consists of three parts:

    1. Freedom of speech is limited by what you may say.
    2. Freedom of speech is limited by how you may say it.

    Necessary sub-conclusion: Free Speech, I do not think it means what you think it means.

    3. Then I addressed FtK’s obnoxious behavior and why it was perfectly acceptable, to me, for PZ to defend the lines of communication within his blog and yet remain unscathed by the charges of hypocrisy inherent in the No True Scotsman argument.

    And, BTW, I didn’t even bother in pointing out that the purpose of the 1st Amendment is about limiting how the government may control the speech of its citizens. Which pretty much moots the whole “free speech” issue. But rather than just whack his argument in the head with a frying pan and move on, I thought I’d address the underlying thinking.

  220. #221 PZ Myers
    January 3, 2008

    That Vox Day post is a hoot. First he chastises atheists for being immoral monsters, then he endorses a position that is identical to Skatje’s: that social mores can be more powerful than the force of law.

    By his own argument, then, Day wants the laws that prevent him from humping dogs to be removed.

  221. #222 VD
    January 3, 2008

    You really should let Skatje defend herself, PZ, she’s obviously more capable of it than you are. You’re confusing legality with morality as well as confusing my personal position with the pure liberarian one.

    As anyone who is capable of reading on a competent level can plainly see, my position is not identical to Skatje’s. She is arguing that dog-bothering should not be illegal and that dog-bothering is not immoral. My position is that dog-bothering laws are irrelevant and that dog-bothering is immoral. To claim that the two positions are equal is simply not true.

    What is your own opinion on the matter? Do you believe, like your daughter, that bestiality is not immoral? Do you believe it should be legal, that it should be illegal, or that it is irrelevant?

  222. #223 Sastra, OM
    January 3, 2008

    I understood Jack’s point to be more along the lines of preventing open discussions, rather than a Free Speech issue as such. And, since I myself am not all that familiar with ftk — and what I’ve seen from her has mostly been fairly polite and coherent (at least by fundy standards) — I don’t think his concern was ‘concern troll’ level. But since this is doing the nasty on Skatje, and I’m taking other people’s word on ftk’s usual m.o., I have no problem with PZ banning her either.

    Skatje was exploring the concept of victimless crimes, and ftk and cordova really, truly don’t seem able to separate this issue from whether evolution occurred, or whether God exists. If the animal is not being harmed, bestiality is like shoe fetishism or some other “perversion.” Is it the state’s business? Is it a legal concern?

    And, even if God exists, would it necessarily be God’s concern? Would it have to care, one way or the other, if nobody is actually being hurt? What if God felt that establishing the superior heirarchy of man over animal required that people have sex with them (after all, in their own religion man’s dominion over women isn’t somehow set all askew because they have sex together)? There’s no clear line here separating which side has human dignity, and which does not. I think respecting choice has a dignity to it as well.

  223. #224 Lamont Cranston
    January 3, 2008

    “If the animal is not being harmed,”

    And how do you deal with the animal being harmed?

    Animals are not designed for human/animal contact.

    Bestiality is simple masturbation with an object. Use your hand or a vibrator instead and leave the animals at home.

    Victimless crimes require consent. Animals use instinct, not consent.

    PZ may wanted to counsel his daughter to explore the concept of unexpressed thoughts and their benefit.

    She posted it online, don’t act surprised to see people come out of the woodwork to hammer her for it.

  224. #225 windy
    January 3, 2008

    Victimless crimes require consent. Animals use instinct, not consent. [...] She posted it online, don’t act surprised to see people come out of the woodwork to hammer her for it.

    Right, so every teenager who writes a post condoning, or worse, ADVOCATING horseback riding, deserves to be trolled. Or can animals consent to being ridden but not to being “ridden”?

  225. #226 Scrofulum
    January 3, 2008

    I think that they shouldn’t make masturbation with stinging nettles while wearing clogs and shouting “Cake!” illegal.

    There. I condoned it.

  226. #227 Steve_C
    January 3, 2008

    Wow. This post really brought out the dipshit defenders.

  227. #228 Uncle Earnie
    January 3, 2008

    [PZ] Do you believe, like your daughter, that bestiality is not immoral?
    Posted by: VD | January 3, 2008 9:09 AM

    Vox, are you presuming that children do not acquire any sense of morality from their parents?

  228. #229 Kseniya
    January 3, 2008

    I think the problem here is not hat FtK misused the word “condone” (she didn’t) but that Sal quote-mined Skatje to imply that Skatje approves of or even advocates “crossing the species barrier”, and that FtK supported Sal and denied the quote-mine.

    (Oh, and Janine (#207), I meant Sal, not Vox. Vox can be a pain in the ass, but unlike Sal he’s not walking around with a leaky bedpan balanced on his shoulders where his head should be.)

    I wonder how many of those people who argue against bestiality on the grounds that an animal in incapable of giving consent are vegetarians.

    Perhaps the strongest argument against necrophilia is not the health argument, but that the owner of the body is not available to give consent and that necrophilia is therefor a form of rape. The dead have their right to dignity, too.

    Hmmm, maybe this comment belongs over on Skatje’s blog…

  229. #230 Prazzie
    January 3, 2008

    Lamont Cranston: “Animals are not designed for human/animal contact.”

    Not designed for human/animal contact? Aaaw, but it works so well? It’s almost as though some sort of design-UR wanted us to have, erm, “contact” with animals. This hypothetical design-UR made them all furry and cute, with round holes and everything!

  230. #231 MyaR
    January 3, 2008

    VD, you really have problems with thinking about morality as anything non-authoritarian, don’t you? It’s skeeery to think that WE, human beings, are the ultimate arbiters of human morality, not SkyDaddy, isn’t it? And why you, Sal, and FtK still just don’t get what Skatje was saying.

  231. #232 Janine
    January 3, 2008

    Kseniya, I would suggest you read the message Vox left here. Also follow Norman Doering’s link to the Vox Day post. If he does not have a leaky bedpan for a head, plenty of his readers do.

  232. #233 windy
    January 3, 2008

    Not designed for human/animal contact? Aaaw, but it works so well? It’s almost as though some sort of design-UR wanted us to have, erm, “contact” with animals.

    only if you are looking for a “help meet”. No one night stands! :)

  233. #234 Kseniya
    January 3, 2008

    Janine, LoL, ok I missed that – I will review.

  234. #235 JimC
    January 3, 2008

    I will admit that Skatje’s post made me uneasy. I understand her point was that of a legal argument but her line of reasoning that animals consent to sex with humans fell flat with me.

    I just don’t see it as a legit argument.

    That being said I don’t see the endorsement of animal sex either.

  235. #236 Ric
    January 3, 2008

    Didn’t Sal resign from UD because he entered some kind of program of study and wanted to stop saying stupid crap on the internet? Then what the hell is he doing?

    Or did he actually get fired from UD?

  236. #237 VD
    January 3, 2008

    Vox, are you presuming that children do not acquire any sense of morality from their parents?

    Obviously not, hence the bit about where children derive their sense of “ick” from preceding generations. But adherence to traditional morals can vary from generation to generation; I don’t know if PZ was raised by atheists or not, but in either case it would be interesting to learn whether PZ’s view of the morality of bestiality is in accordance with his daughter or with the conventional Western theists.

    And since PZ definitely isn’t a libertarian, it would also be interesting to know the reasons underlying his opinion on its legal status as well.

  237. #238 Steve_C
    January 3, 2008

    I think animals do behave on instinct and have sex for various reasons…
    do animals “consent” to it? I dunno. But most can bite and scratch the hell out of you if they don’t want to do something. I think it’s gross. But should it be illegal? I don’t see the point.

  238. #239 Sastra, OM
    January 3, 2008

    VD #222 wrote:

    Do you believe, like your daughter, that bestiality is not immoral?

    That’s addressed to PZ, but I’ll bite. It’s an interesting question, because there are levels and degrees to the concept “immoral.” We make distinctions between how bad a wrong we do.

    Is bestiality immoral …like what? Like murder? Rape? Being rude? Being deliberately irrational? Being intellectually dishonest? Wasting a talent? Wasting someone else’s talent? Violating taste? Violating decency? Violating dignity? Violating human rights or animal rights or the law?

    As for me, I’d say bestiality is immoral, in the sense of violating dignity, taste, and decency (we’re leaving aside the issue of harming the animal, and assuming a case such as Skatje brings up, where the animal is not only unhurt, but pleased). It’s pretty disgusting.

    However, I do not think these are legal issues; I recognize that there’s subjective judgment involved; and, while bestiality can be argued against and discouraged, it should not be physically prevented. One condemns it, but recognizes that it only violates the human dignity of the person involved — not me, or anyone else. Violating one’s own human dignity is not like rape.

    I give similar status to religious faith and pseudoscience. They violate human dignity, and are intellectually dishonest. But — I ‘condone’ them ;)

  239. #240 Rey Fox
    January 3, 2008

    Boy, we got some weird obsessive behavior going on here. First Sal criticizes a blog post prety much on the sole basis that it was written (a long time ago if I recall correctly) by the daughter of the Dean of American Atheists. Then we get knee-jerk defenses of Sal from others in his ideological circle. Now Teddy B. wants desperately to know what does PZ think about the lurid subject matter?

    Seriously creepy, guys. Go outside.

  240. #241 craig
    January 3, 2008

    “I have never disputed that. I simply find the cheerful support of censorship by people who supposedly value free speech more than a little disturbing. How easily we justify in ourselves that which we hate in others.”

    I’ll put this as politely as I can. Jack, you’re a fucking moron.

    You have no clue what freedom of speech means, no clue what censorship means.

    Freedom of speech, as guaranteed in the constitution, means that the government can’t punish you for your speech. Censorship means that you are prevented from speaking as you wish.

    FTK has not been imprisoned. FTK can pot to her own blog, or a thousand of them. FTK can write a letter to the editor, publish a book, get out a megaphone and stand on a street corner, distribute leaflets, whatever the fuck she wants to do.

    This blog belongs to PZ, he has to moderate it, he has to deal with the shitstorm it creates, and he in this space represents SciBlogs who has to pay for the hosting and bandwidth.

    He no more has to let every asshole say anything they want about his family than the New York Times has to run Ann Coulter’s death threats against them. No more than the Anti-Defamation League has to put up all the racist letters they get on their bulletin board.

    Calling it censorship and anti-free speech is just fucking clueless and stupid, and when you do shit like that it actually undermines REAL free speech issues by helping to obscure what they are (and by making free-speech advocates look like whiny idiots.)

  241. #242 Kseniya
    January 3, 2008

    Ric, Sal is in some sort of Masters’ program at Johns Hopkins studying Physics, at which he is apparently able to succeed even without applying a single scrap of “Darwinism”. (If you want to know more, peruse his blog – if you dare.)

    JHU isn’t Liberty U. Contrary to my earlier, disparaging comments, Sal must have more than a few brain cells to rub together. It’s too bad his mind is so corrupted that he sees everything in terms of “Darwinism” and “not-Darwinism”.

    (Note: Vox, you’re going to have to wait on PZ’s response, should he choose to respond. He’s on the road.)

  242. #243 Don
    January 3, 2008

    I thought going after family was generally considered to be beyond the pale?

    I believe in settling matters through rational debate, but some part of my brain thought of this,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B4Yi_O0trM

  243. #244 Ric
    January 3, 2008

    Kseniya, is he really or is he lying about that too? And if he’s not, why the BS story at Uncommon Descent?

  244. #245 Brownian, OM
    January 3, 2008

    Do you believe, like your daughter, that bestiality is not immoral?

    I’d rather hear Vox D’uh use that Mensic brain of his to rationalise why he believes it’s immoral (as opposed to unethical.) And if he believes it’s immoral due to some sort of interpretation of Biblical text, then I’d like to hear his views on any number of behaviours not explicitly mentioned in God’s Almanac.

    Just kidding. The guy’s dumb. I’m not interested in hearing any of his ad hoc rationalisations.

  245. #246 Brownian, OM
    January 3, 2008

    I haven’t read all of the preceding comments (too busy buggering my dead parakeet, I’m afraid), so forgive me if I’m reiterating someone else’s comment:

    Is this a case of Sal impugning Skatje for the ‘sins of her father’ or trying to lambaste PZ for the perceived sins of his daughter?

    Because if it’s the latter, well, that’s not so biblical. And if it’s not biblical, then it must be positively Darwinian (to a brain apparently unable to process grey, at least), and therefore akin to bestiality. Careful Sal: one more slip like that and you’ll be voting for Obama (horrors!)

    Geez, those bible-thumpers have ONE fucking text to read; one would think they’d at least get their bibles right.

  246. #247 Ken Cope
    January 3, 2008

    Of course VD wants to splash around in the same cess pit with Slimy Sal and FtK; it’s where he belongs. VD has demonstrated far too much dishonesty to have any standing in any discussion of morality. Rather than try to paraphrase it, here from his blog is VD’s latest turd for the punchbowl:

    The ironic truth is that Miss Myers is absolutely correct; once the basic concept of Natural Law is abandoned, there is no rational basis for banning anything from necrophilia to cannibalism other than a vague sense of “ickiness” inherited from preceding generations possessed of a more conventional morality. She is a far more rational atheist than most; it seems she is either too honest or too innocent to realize that a good moral parasite is supposed to coopt religious values, not openly admit that they make no sense sans their sky god source.

    A religious hustler like VD, who ostensibly commemorates a bloody human sacrifice by symbolically drinking blood and eating flesh, isn’t going to get away with accusing atheists of having no reason to abhor cannibalism. Claiming that atheists are moral only by virtue of having coopted religious values is backwards; morality, like religion, is a human invention. To arrogate morality to religion is obscene; it takes adherence to religion to condone the slaughter of two year olds if an imaginary god demanded it. George Carlin has the right take on this. Religion uses scary language designed to intimidate. “Religion has never really had a big problem with murder … the more devout they are, the more they see murder as negotiable.”

    Skatje has demonstrated that using reason to make moral decisions rather than scary supernatural bullshit is a virtue impervious to the baseless accusations and feeble taunts of creeps like VD and the rest, who appear to regard morality as an abstraction, some sort of weapon to use to count coup against their enemies. When they can’t land an honest blow, they’re not above going after family.

  247. #248 VD
    January 3, 2008

    I thought going after family was generally considered to be beyond the pale?

    It generally is. PZ, however, is one of the small minority of bloggers who does not subscribe to this principle, thus his family would be fair game even if Miss Myers was not a blogger in her own right.

  248. #249 Don
    January 3, 2008

    Evidence?

  249. #250 Brownian, OM
    January 3, 2008

    Once the basic concept of Natural Law is abandoned, there is no rational basis for banning anything from necrophilia to cannibalism other than a vague sense of “ickiness” inherited from preceding generations possessed of a more conventional morality.

    Boy, since your understanding of–well, anything really–is so fucking superficial, you really do have to plug your Mensa credentials, don’t you Vox D’uh?

    See, well, nearly the whole fucking history of Western and Eastern philosophy for non-Natural Law rationalisations against nearly every possible behaviour, including necrophilia and cannibalism.

    I can’t believe you haven’t yet been hit by a car on a late night stretch of road as you stand there, wide-eyed and frozen, wondering whether that glowing-eyed mechanical beast is a threat or not.

    Seriously. God gave you a brain. Boy, is he gonna kick your fucking ass when he finds out you buried it in the ground.

  250. #251 Don
    January 3, 2008

    ‘…does not subscribe to this principle, thus his family would be fair game…’

    Even if the first assertion were true, how does the second follow?

  251. #252 abeja
    January 3, 2008

    PZ, however, is one of the small minority of bloggers who does not subscribe to this principle, thus his family would be fair game even if Miss Myers was not a blogger in her own right.

    What the fuck? If PZ’s daughter didn’t have her own blog, how would Vox Day know what her opinions on anything are? Obviously, he wouldn’t, but he would go after her ANYWAY? He would attack a 17-year-old girl whose opinions are completely unknown to him since he disagrees with her father?

    Wow. Sick.

  252. #253 Damien R. S.
    January 3, 2008

    See, well, nearly the whole fucking history of Western and Eastern philosophy for non-Natural Law rationalisations against nearly every possible behaviour, including necrophilia and cannibalism.

    Some specific examples, por favor? Keeping in mind that in context, “Natural Law” covered both law as stated by some deity and natural moral law which somehow exists in the universe sans deity, and certainly something like karma.

  253. #254 jcw
    January 3, 2008

    Abeja, PZ has commented on Vox’s father and his legal woes even though Vox’s father does not blog. Thus, his comment.

  254. #255 Janine
    January 3, 2008

    Once more, I just want to point out, Skatje is not some innocent who must be coddled and protected. She appears to be an intelligent and capable young woman. The problem is quote mining in order to slander a person. In other words, open fire in the sick liars.

  255. #256 CanadaGoose
    January 3, 2008

    “Do you see being unable to find a compelling argument for legal sanctions against something as “forgiving” or “overlooking” it?”

    It’s not illegal to be an asshole (nor am I in favour of making it illegal) but that doesn’t mean I “forgive” or “overlook” it.

  256. #257 Ken Cope
    January 3, 2008

    Janine,

    Skatje can point and laugh at those idiots, eviscerating them with style, obviously requiring no help from PZ or anybody else. It’s the whole sorry spectacle of their efforts at twisting what she said, and why it matters to them that she said it, that so neatly showcases the dishonesty and hypocrisy of VD, FtK and SS. It looks to me like VD is working hard to get himself banned too, so he can point to the violence inherent in the system.

  257. #258 Kseniya
    January 3, 2008

    Kseniya, is he really or is he lying about that too? And if he’s not, why the BS story at Uncommon Descent?

    Ric, I really don’t know, and am not motivated to ring up JHU to find out. Frankly, I have no reason to disbelieve Sal on this point.

    However, I’m not sure what “BS story” you’re referring to. The one about being accepted at JH after having applied to JH and to Baylor, and the assurances he’s had from Engineering faculty at JH that his ID connections won’t be a liability? (Didn’t he say something about not posting under his own name in the future except on UhDuh and on his own blog?)

  258. #259 Ric
    January 3, 2008

    Maybe I’m not up on the annals of Sal’s silly life saga, but the last thing i read from him, before this, was that he was going to retire from blogging for fear that his wingnut views would earn him censure. Thus my confusion when I see his stupider-and-more-offensive-than-ever posts on his own blog.

  259. #260 Jake Boyman
    January 3, 2008

    What the fuck? If PZ’s daughter didn’t have her own blog, how would Vox Day know what her opinions on anything are? Obviously, he wouldn’t, but he would go after her ANYWAY? He would attack a 17-year-old girl whose opinions are completely unknown to him since he disagrees with her father?
    Wow. Sick.

    Examine VD’s track record and you’ll see he has some, uh, rather ugly issues with women.

    And VD’s daddy is a sore point, since he’s been responsible for getting VD all the jobs he’s ever had.

  260. #261 guthrie
    January 3, 2008

    Just to remind people, I think it worth pointing out that For the kids, spent many months at “After the bar closes” avoiding answering any questions about science and especially evolution. Moreover she flip flops between allowing honest debate and banning people who she disagrees with on her own blog.

    As for vox and his dad, I had thought that vox was an adult, and therefore pretty much fair game. Skatje is not quite an adult yet in my opinion and I think those of many others, therefore she is not fair game the way that say Vox and his dad is. Should Vox turn out to be 16 of course, that would be different.

  261. #262 Brownian, OM
    January 3, 2008

    Some specific examples, por favor? Keeping in mind that in context, “Natural Law” covered both law as stated by some deity and natural moral law which somehow exists in the universe sans deity, and certainly something like karma.

    Those examples you give certainly fit the definition Damien, but natural law is not the only idea out there, nor is it the only one with a basis in rationality (and many conceptualisations of natural law are pretty far removed from what we, or even VD would call rationality). Generally, a study of ethics will provide a number of other concepts, but positive law would be the most common contrast (though by definition not necessarily related to ethics).

    Essentially, to make the claim VD (or, to use the more modern rendition of his name, STI) did, one would have to willfully ignore all human philosophy and thought outside of Abrahamic derivatives.

  262. #263 Kseniya
    January 3, 2008

    Ric, yeah. I guess we’re on the same page. What he said was that he was going to stop posting under his own name – except on UD and on this own blog, I think – for fear of censure. No, that doesn’t make a whole heck of a lot of sense to me, either, but there it is.

    Honestly, I’d respect him more if he continued (continues?) to post cognito, but I suppose his being forced by the Darwinian Establishment freely choosing to hide behind a pseudonym feeds his standard-issue creationist persecution complex in just the right way.

  263. #264 Azkyroth
    January 3, 2008

    “If the animal is not being harmed,”

    And how do you deal with the animal being harmed?

    The same way we deal with it in other cases?

    Animals are not designed for human/animal contact.

    1) nothing is designed and 2) considering how rough other species’ mating often is, I don’t think there’s much chance of injury with other mammals except in cases of major size difference.

    Bestiality is simple masturbation with an object. Use your hand or a vibrator instead and leave the animals at home.

    Do you know this from personal experience? Otherwise, some evidence would be nice.

    Victimless crimes require consent. Animals use instinct, not consent.

    Excuse me? We buy, sell, selectively breed, train, euthanize, kill and eat, etc. animals without even considering their ability to consent – yet all of those things are either illegal to do to a human or require informed consent. Clearly we don’t consider animal consent important for most purposes. Why the sudden interest when it comes to fucking them?

    PZ may wanted to counsel his daughter to explore the concept of unexpressed thoughts and their benefit.

    She posted it online, don’t act surprised to see people come out of the woodwork to hammer her for it.

    You’re a pitiful excuse for a human being if you think that people who maliciously misrepresent someone’s position in order to attack her parents are doing anything defensible, or if you think people should simply never express a controversial thought for fear of being lied about.

  264. #265 Damien R. S.
    January 3, 2008

    Brownian: natural law far from rationality, right. But VD was talking about the realm of arguments outside natural law, anyway. I figure stuff like social contracts and utilitarianism are outside of natural law (maybe iffy in the latter case, with the maximum utility principle as candidate for being the putative natural law.) Positive law looks like “human-made law”, which makes sense as a conception of law but leaves open the question of what laws we should make, which throws us right back to “should bestiality be illegal?”

    A commenter on my LJ says bestiality was decriminalized in Sweden 60 years ago, and this was relatively late compared to other countries.

  265. #266 Damien R. S.
    January 3, 2008

    Huh, varies even in the US, from not illegal at all, to misdemeanor, to felony.
    http://www.totse.com/en/law/justice_for_all/beastlaw.html

  266. #267 Ichthyic
    January 3, 2008

    Essentially, to make the claim VD (or, to use the more modern rendition of his name, STI) did

    scrolling up from the bottom of the thread, I read this and thought:

    Venereal Disease

    and

    Sexually Transmitted Infection

    before I realized who you were actually talking about.

    …and then thought there wasn’t much difference in any case.

  267. #268 Brian Macker
    January 3, 2008

    After reading Prof. Myers sanctimonious moral condemnation of libertarians I don’t see where he gets off complaining about someone criticizing the political positions his daughter takes.

    Presumably he believes his daughter can stand on her own two feet since he allows her to blog about bestiality. Either her voice opinions can stand up to criticism or they cannot.

    Sure she began with: “Allow me to first tell you that I personally do not have an interest in bestiality. I don’t support it being legal because I want to hump animals.”

    Ok, I can believe that.

    Then she writes: “Ever owned a dog? They’ll come right up to you and start poking at your crotch. What if you don’t have pants on at the time? And what if you maybe enjoy a little complication-free oral sex?”

    Then: “Sexual relationships between humans and animals come as such a shock to people, but it doesn’t to me. There can be very deep, meaningful relationships between humans and their pets. Obviously they can’t obtain the same level a deep human-to-human relationship, but loving your pets isn’t anything unusual. People care for their pets, talk to them, spoil them, feel relaxed in their company, and mourn them when they die. This relationship is so underestimated. Why does it come as a surprise that when someone feels a deep connection to their pet, they might be interesting in doing something more expressive and intimate like we do in human-to-human relationships?”

    She further adds in the comments: “Of course adults should be allowed to engage in incest. I just personally think breeding would be very bad idea, for obvious reasons.”

    Her writing makes it clear that she thinks such behavior should be legal but further she gives the distinct impression that she sees little wrong with it.

    So the natural question is, what if she had a change of heart and did have “a personal interest in bestiality”, or did want to “hump animals”. Suppose one day she just happened not to have her pants on when the dog poked his nose in there and this time she liked it? I don’t see by her argument why she wouldn’t go for it and “maybe enjoy a little complication-free oral sex.”

    In which case Prof. Myers just might be in a position where his daughter is buying a larger breed of dog. Is it such a stretch for the other guy to mock Myers that his daughter might just bring home a peccary as a husband?

    Why these complains of “quote mining” the article was only written a few months ago and probably just came to his attention. Furthermore, the quotes don’t really distort what she was saying. She seems to have no notion that getting oral sex from the dog might be wrong for some reason or another. To her it’s “complication-free”. I guess so till your dad finds out, or worse the neighborhood.

    Considering her additional comment about incest just be thankful the picture of the peccary wasn’t a picture of Prof. Myers. Especially considering that there was a recent scientific paper showing that human incest might not be so incredibly dangerous from a genetic standpoint as popularly believed.

    Why the moral invective against libertarians when it appears that his own daughter goes beyond legalizing certain behavior and actually seems to think it’s morally acceptable.

    Not sure how old she is as her blog doesn’t say, but someone here claims she’s 17. Not sure what the law is on having these kinds of discussions with a 17 year old over the internet in Minnesota so I think I’ll refrain from that.

    I’m certainly interested in what moral (or other) arguments Prof. Myers would give to his daughter on this subject. That’s the angle he’s being attacked.

    I know what I would have to say but I’m not sure what he would. I think it’s a valid question from their perspective. The religious can say “God says no” and they aren’t aware of what an atheist would say to their daughter in this case.

    BTW, based on his moral denunciation of libertarians as having “bourgeois values” I get the distinct feeling Myers is a Marxist. I’d also be interested in how he can justify moral condemnation for “bourgeois values” when apparently he hasn’t even instructed his child throughly enough to even recognize bestiality as immoral.

    First he finds “libertarians represent the worst of America” and calls them “My least favorite political/economic group”. Which would mean he likes Nazis and racial separatists more. Now he seems to have taught his daughter a moral reasoning that finds incest and zoophilia morally acceptable. Not sure what to make of this. A great man Milton Freedman is some kind of moral leper to him and it seems like he might think someone who’s buggering their dog isn’t.

    Just so you don’t get confused. I’m an atheist who knows evolution is true and the theory of natural selection is the best model of how it works. So I’m not here to defend the creationist.

  268. #269 Janine
    January 3, 2008

    Ken Cope,

    I completely agree with you. I guess I did not make myself more clear about the problem with the misrepresentation of her views.

    gurthie, as far as I can tell, PZ did not misrepresent VD’s father. Sal and later, VD, misrepresented Skatje. The difference is honesty. Those “defenders” of “christian morality” do not seem to be bothered by telling the truth about their “enemies”.

  269. #270 zer0
    January 3, 2008

    PZ, I fail…what Sal said…about the horrors of religion and it’s affect on society…was…Good…

    …you’re daughter’s views…is not a post “condoning” bestiality…

    Hon, it’s more than obvious that Sal…advocated human-animal marriage.

    FtK, I couldn’t have said it better myself… winner.

  270. #271 Jake Boyman
    January 3, 2008

    First he finds “libertarians represent the worst of America” and calls them “My least favorite political/economic group”. Which would mean he likes Nazis and racial separatists more. Now he seems to have taught his daughter a moral reasoning that finds incest and zoophilia morally acceptable.

    With razor-sharp reasoning skills like this, we can understand why Brian gravitated to libertarianism.

  271. #272 Ichthyic
    January 3, 2008

    Just so you don’t get confused

    we’re not confused, Macker.

    we know from past experience you say stupid shit all the time.

    no worries.

  272. #273 Ron Paul
    January 3, 2008

    Odd, Jake, where does Brian call himself libertarian.

    Or does any type of defense of them automatically make him one.

  273. #274 zer0
    January 3, 2008

    Just so you don’t get confused. I’m an atheist who knows evolution is true and the theory of natural selection is the best model of how it works. So I’m not here to defend the creationist.

    Oh, good…. shew, wouldn’t want anyone but an Atheist to make wisecracks about how PZ raised his daughter… I’m glad you tacked that on there at the end, it makes everything you said just peachy.

    No where in Skatje’s writing does she explicitly condone Bestiality, rather, she muses on the topic. She comes to the conclusion that while repugnant and clearly not her cup of tea, it’s not something the government should bother legislating. If you can’t get that from the original text, it doesn’t matter if you’re an Atheist and believe in Evolution yada, yada, you’re still a douche bag that needs to learn to read and comprehend.

  274. #275 Rey Fox
    January 3, 2008

    It looks to me more like Brian has gravitated to crack cocaine.

  275. #276 JimC
    January 3, 2008

    I think Brian Macker in #268 raises a few points I wondered about as well.

    ‘Complication free’ oral sex with a dog?

    It’s a little over the top even as a rhetorical device, she’s 17 so I’ll cut her alot of slack but it is still a bit much.

  276. #277 Kseniya
    January 3, 2008

    Brian:

    She seems to have no notion that getting oral sex from the dog might be wrong for some reason or another.

    Since Skatje explicitly stated she’s making a rational argument, not an argument from personal preference, then rationally, Brian, how do you counter? Why might it be wrong?

  277. #278 Kseniya
    January 3, 2008

    Oh come on, Jim, that wasn’t purely a rhetorical device! Dogs don’t have cell phones. They don’t talk to your friends behind your back. They don’t hang around making a lot of noise outside your bedroom window at 2 in the morning… well ok, sometimes they do, but I mean not after having a few too many down at the Black and Tan. They don’t look at you expectantly with those hurt little puppy-dog eyes and… errr…

    Crap.

  278. #279 zer0
    January 3, 2008

    They forget you didn’t reciprocate if you say the words “outside, treat, or sit”

    I got you…

  279. #280 RamblinDude
    January 3, 2008

    “She seems to have no notion that getting oral sex from the dog might be wrong for some reason or another. To her it’s “complication-free”. I guess so till your dad finds out, or worse the neighborhood.”

    Yes, please explain in what sense getting a “lap dance” (heh) from a willing and eager dog is “immoral”

    I ask this because Skatjie made it clear in her article that animal abuse is not to be tolerated, and from your post, It seems it’s not about the moral or ethical implications: it’s about what the neighborhood will think.

  280. #281 Steve_C
    January 3, 2008

    ‘Complication free’ oral sex with a dog?
    It’s a little over the top even as a rhetorical device, she’s 17 so I’ll cut her alot of slack but it is still a bit much.

    I thought that it was funny.

    You have to have a sense of humor about bestiality.

  281. #282 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Odd, Jake, where does Brian call himself libertarian.

    Or does any type of defense of them automatically make him one.

    Yes, defense of political ideology X makes one an Xist. Macker made clear enough that he worships at the feet of Milton Friedman over in the thread that has your name on it.

  282. #283 Valmorian
    January 3, 2008

    Looks like there’s quite a few people who can’t seem to tell the difference between finding something distasteful and finding something immoral.

  283. #284 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    It seems it’s not about the moral or ethical implications: it’s about what the neighborhood will think.

    Macker, being the social misfit (i.e., libertarian) he is, has no idea what the neighbors think … or do; getting licked by the dog is a much more common practice than he imagines.

  284. #285 RamblinDude
    January 3, 2008

    I thought that it was funny.

    You have to have a sense of humor about bestiality.

    Well, I for one don’t see anything humorous about it. We need strong legislation disallowing any sexual contact between humans and animals.

    Remember that episode of “King of the Hill” in which the dolphin kept trying to hump Hank? Well, that was based on real life, people!

    Sure, like a good Christian man Hank was thoroughly embarrassed and outraged at the “immorality” of the act, but non-Christians would have willingly engaged in sex acts with that dolphin. You just know they would because they don’t have any sense of “morals”. Well, except for atheists like Brian Macker, who finds bestiality repugnant, and okay, me and I guess everybody I know, and, I’m guessing here, just about every person commenting on this blog or reading it. But somewhere out there is a person who wants to screw a dolphin. You can count on it because that’s just human nature!

    Also, women should be legally required to ride side saddle. Straddling a horse just gives them feelings that are sinful and makes them hysterical. (It should also be against the law for women to ride bicycles, and that’s why we need legislation outlawing sexual contact with machines.)

  285. #286 Brian Macker
    January 3, 2008

    “Since Skatje explicitly stated she’s making a rational argument, not an argument from personal preference, then rationally, Brian, how do you counter? Why might it be wrong?”

    Not quite sure what your question or questions are here.

    The first question is loaded with your own assumptions. Just because she states that she is making a rational argument doesn’t mean she is, or will be. You’re question also seems to contain the assumption that rational arguments and arguments from personal preference exhaust all the possibilities.

    You ask “how do I counter” as part of a compound sentence and I’m not sure what you want me to counter. Do you wish me to counter her assertion that she made a rational argument, that she is not arguing from personal preference, that bestiality should be legal, or that bestiality is moral in certain circumstances? Then you ask “Why might it be wrong?” and I don’t know what “it” refers to.

    I believe her when she says she doesn’t want to hump and animal and I understand her need to make that explicit before taking the position she did. It wouldn’t have been necessarily had she argued that it was wrong. The fact that she was bucking conventional wisdom made it a requirement.

    I don’t buy the claim that she was only arguing it should be legal. That wouldn’t require the kinds of statements she made. There were several sentences in there that jammed right up against each other in a way that went way beyond that position. This paragraph in particular:

    “Sexual relationships between humans and animals come as such a shock to people, but it doesn’t to me. There can be very deep, meaningful relationships between humans and their pets. Obviously they can’t obtain the same level a deep human-to-human relationship, but loving your pets isn’t anything unusual. People care for their pets, talk to them, spoil them, feel relaxed in their company, and mourn them when they die. This relationship is so underestimated. Why does it come as a surprise that when someone feels a deep connection to their pet, they might be interesting in doing something more expressive and intimate like we do in human-to-human relationships?”

    That paragraph goes way beyond issues of why bestiality should be legal. It’s an attempt to make us understand how an emotional connection between beast and man might lead to sex. I don’t see how that has any bearing on why it should be illegal. So she let the topic run off the rails she laid down in her beginning paragraph.

    It’s easy to see if we switch to another topic where all the same facts hold but it is perfectly clear that the activity should be illegal.

    “Sexual relationships between parents and infants come as such a shock to people, but it doesn’t to me. There can be very deep, meaningful relationships between parents and their babies. Obviously they can’t obtain the same level a deep adult-to-adult relationship, but loving your baby isn’t anything unusual. People care for their babies, talk to them, spoil them, feel relaxed in their company, and mourn them when they die. This relationship is so underestimated. Why does it come as a surprise that when someone feels a deep connection to their baby, they might be interesting in doing something more expressive and intimate like we do in adult-to-adult relationships?”

    As you can see all those points have nothing to do with why infant molestation should be legal.

    That also doesn’t sound like a very rational argument to me. It sounds more like a rationalization. Maybe one she read somewhere and didn’t have the maturity and reasoning skills to poke holes in.

  286. #287 Colugo
    January 3, 2008

    Is that your idea of a joke, truth machine? How reliable a survey of human behavior is some silly online forum (which includes a commenter purporting to be a dog)?

    Anyway, Skatje is right about the flimsiness of conservative “repugnance” and liberal “consent” arguments. However, the utilitarian position (shared by Singer) is still faulty. Being nonsapient (lacking metacognition and routine use of symbols), nonhuman animals are incapable of entering into full social communion with people. Sapient social communion includes an integrated suite of mutual responsibilities and rights, including sexuality.

  287. #288 Carlie
    January 3, 2008

    (It should also be against the law for women to ride bicycles, and that’s why we need legislation outlawing sexual contact with machines.)

    I think the vibrator lobby would have something to say about that…

    I would say that it’s a powerful lobby with the ability to hit multiple points of influence at once and can marshal its forces to target specific weak areas, thereby demolishing any hint of resistance, but I’m above such innuendo, so I won’t.

  288. #289 Brownian, OM
    January 3, 2008

    Essentially, to make the claim VD (or, to use the more modern rendition of his name, STI) did

    scrolling up from the bottom of the thread, I read this and thought:

    Venereal Disease

    and

    Sexually Transmitted Infection

    before I realized who you were actually talking about.

    …and then thought there wasn’t much difference in any case.

    Ichthyic, you interpreted my post correctly and there isn’t.

    Damien, in short, yes. But I wouldn’t claim all appeals to natural law are irrational. That would make about as much sense as suggesting all claims for non-natural law are irrational, as GonorrheaVD suggests.

  289. #290 ryana
    January 3, 2008

    Only one word can describe PZ’s blog after today. “EWWWW!” After reading the blog post and the following comments, I can say that PZ, his daughter and a significant number of PZ’s readers are freaks. This is not an atheist/believer issue, its not a evolution/creationism issue, its an issue about having a little class. As an lesbian living in the Bay Area, my hands are definitely not clean when it comes to exposure to the kinkier fringes of society. However, I couldn’t imagine being a minor & posting a really borderline, let’s be frank, rather strange screed intermingling the legal & psychological reasons for (canine) bestiality. Then, not only having my father read it, (“hey Pop, can you pick up some anal beads and milk bones while your at the mall?”) but then twist it into a duel w/ a weirdo like Sal Cordova. ALL IN FRONT OF THOUSANDS OF COMPLETE STRANGERS.

    It is possible to be sexually uninhibited but still have class. Furthermore, its far sexier.

  290. #291 Brownian, OM
    January 3, 2008

    This thread brings up an interesting idea. Since women in the Bible (when they aren’t actively causing normally God-fearing men to trespass) are little more than chattel, above other beasts but below men, one must conclude that any non-male-on-male sex fits some description of bestiality?

    And more importantly, when do I get to call the stuff I make up Theology rather than stuff I make up?

  291. #292 windy
    January 3, 2008

    I believe her when she says she doesn’t want to hump and animal…

    Then why do you accuse her of rationalization? Maybe that word does not mean quite what you think it means?

    It’s easy to see if we switch to another topic where all the same facts hold but it is perfectly clear that the activity should be illegal.

    Right, if you are talking about ass-raping an infant. But how much jail time in your opinion for mothers who orgasm while breastfeeding, oh wise one?

  292. #293 Kseniya
    January 3, 2008

    Brian:

    Then you ask “Why might it be wrong?” and I don’t know what “it” refers to.

    Oh really.

    Never mind, then.

  293. #294 CJO
    January 3, 2008

    Concern trolling at its stupidest. Also, ryana, you make the point yourself. “EWWWWW” does not a rational argument make, nor, in Skatje’s view, does it make a sound basis for policy. That’s what her post was about and none of any of this has fuck-all to do with being sexually inhibited or uninhibited, holier than thou twit.

  294. #295 ryana
    January 3, 2008

    CJO: Whose going to waste the time penning a rational argument about a man and his minor daughter tag teaming creationists while writing about bestiality?

  295. #296 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    Colugo,

    “Anyway, Skatje is right about the flimsiness of conservative “repugnance” and liberal “consent” arguments. However, the utilitarian position (shared by Singer) is still faulty. Being nonsapient (lacking metacognition and routine use of symbols), nonhuman animals are incapable of entering into full social communion with people. Sapient social communion includes an integrated suite of mutual responsibilities and rights, including sexuality.”

    Two problems:

    1. You’re implicitly invoking the very consent argument that you admitted to find faulty earlier.

    2. Sexuality is normal bodily not exclusive to humans. What does the cultivation of sexual pleasure necessarily involve “sapient social communion” and its implicit “rights and responsibilities” anymore than excreting or consuming food?

  296. #297 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    “2. Sexuality is a normal bodily function not exclusive to humans.”

    Fixed.

  297. #298 Kseniya
    January 3, 2008

    Ryana, did you take the bar exam yet? If so, how did it go?

    (For those of you keeping score at home, it appears that Skatje is a minor according to Minnesota law. FWIW.)

  298. #299 Steve_C
    January 3, 2008

    Yeah. Ryana isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  299. #300 Brian Macker
    January 3, 2008

    There seems to be some interest in whether I’m a libertarian or not, as if it’s a dirty word or would somehow undermine my moral credibility. Sort of ironic considering the topic and the outrage over someone else questioning whether a certain persons personal preferences ran that way because she was defending a particular position.

    It’s damn funny these two quotes by truth machine when juxtaposed.

    “Yes, defense of political ideology X makes one an Xist.”

    While defending bestiality:

    Macker, being the social misfit (i.e., libertarian) he is, has no idea what the neighbors think … or do; getting licked by the dog is a much more common practice than he imagines.

    No wonder he hides like a coward behind a pseudonym.

    His and several other commenter’s assumptions here are laughable. So what the neighbors do is what makes something moral, and even more laughable that he found a post on the internet asking what it’s like he assumes it’s some kind of survey.

    I must be a libertarian because I think Milton Friedman is one of the good guys, and does not count as selfish and all the other hateful nonsense Prof. Myers has to say about all libertarians. Probably due to his ignorance of just how diverse the ideology is. Yeah, Robert LeFevere and Lysander Spooner must be downright evil.

    I do find many arguments made by libertarians quite convincing. The same is true of conservatives, and liberals however.

    The only problem is there are certain obstacles to me actually being a libertarian. I reject certain arguments that are central to the ideology. I for instance believe in good Samaritan law. I don’t however think that libertarians reject this because they are somehow selfish or evil.

    Some other things that prevent me from actually being a libertarian. I don’t believe that all taxation is theft. I don’t believe that interventionist war is immoral. I don’t believe in totally open borders. I believe that an argument can be made for compulsory retirement savings and insurance.

    You can think of me as a libertarian if that makes you feel superior or something. I don’t even mind being classified as one although it’s not really accurate. It’s certainly more accurate than calling me a republican, conservative, or socialist.

    Certainly my political views are libertarianish. I prefer to call myself a responsibilian but that’s a self coined term so don’t bother looking it up.

  300. #301 A Lurker
    January 3, 2008

    Slimy Sal is a jerk, there can be no doubt. Going after the children of one’s critics instead of the critics themselves is really low. If Skatje turns into a serial killer, it would not make any of PZ’s writings about evolution wrong. And the attack on Skatje turns out to be dishonest quote mining by someone too cowardly to make the link to what he quoted. As others have pointed out, finding it difficult to find a reason to make something illegal is hardly support.

    (No Slimy Sal, I am not suggesting that Skatje is going to become a serial killer: that is something that is far more likely for a religious nut cases.)

    I might point out there might be a legit reasons to ban bestiality. I don’t see how an animal can provide competent or informed consent to its owner’s wish to have sex with it. There might be health reasons concern as well: are people involved with bestiality having “safe sex” and are they risking the health of future human sexual partners?

  301. #302 G
    January 3, 2008

    It’s really funny to realize that every word ryana said in her original concern troll is exactly the kind of thing people say daily in all different parts of this country in reference to homosexuality.

  302. #303 ryana
    January 3, 2008

    Later everyone. I’ll be back next week to read PZ’s latest posting on his daughter’s menstrual cycle and masturbation techniques. I also always look forward to the witty ad hominem of Steve_C, someone who if you search his comments, says intelligent things like:
    _______________
    They’re scummy.

    FTK is a bitch. She’s a liar too.

    _______________

    Skatje will decimate them in one blog post.

    _______________

    ftk is a liar.

    and a bitch.

    you can quote me.

    _______________

  303. #304 Colugo
    January 3, 2008

    Tyler DiPietro:

    “You’re implicitly invoking the very consent argument…”

    It’s not about consent; it’s about rights and privileges. Animals have none.

    “Sexuality is a normal bodily function not exclusive to humans.”

    Generically, yes. Specifically human sexuality, no. Animals have no more right to participate in that than they have the right to vote, make medical decisions, or to enjoy blanket protection from medical experimentation, being sold, hunted, used as food etc. And since animals have no such right, no human has a right to engage them in such activity.

    This is an esoteric technical point, of course. There is no significant demographic actually interested in engaging in such practices instead of merely discussing hypotheticals.

  304. #305 Brian Macker
    January 3, 2008

    Windy,

    “Then why do you accuse her of rationalization? Maybe that word does not mean quite what you think it means?”

    Perhaps the word “accuse” or the phrase “sounds like” doesn’t mean what you think it does.

    “Right, if you are talking about ass-raping an infant. But how much jail time in your opinion for mothers who orgasm while breastfeeding, oh wise one?”

    How about thigh fucking, something supposedly practiced by Muslims in imitation of Mohammed? I think that fits her criteria whereas ass raping doesn’t. So too oral sex. Think it should be legal for the mother to achieve orgasm by placing baby food down below?

    Try to lower your tone a little or I’m going to put you in the same slot as truth machine and ichthyic. Actually there are quite a few posters here of their caliber. Doesn’t exactly reflect well on you.

  305. #306 Brian Macker
    January 3, 2008

    “I’ll be back next week to read PZ’s latest posting on his daughter’s menstrual cycle and masturbation techniques.”

    He might if she blogs about it.

  306. #307 Brian Macker
    January 3, 2008

    Colugo,

    “It’s not about consent; it’s about rights and privileges. Animals have none.”

    So I used to think.

  307. #308 jbp
    January 3, 2008

    A blast from the past–honorable mention in the 1998 Darwin Awards:

    “5. BREMERTON, WA – Christopher Coulter and his wife, Emily, were engaging in bondage games when Christopher suggested spreading peanut butter on his genitals and letting Rudy, their Irish Setter, lick them clean. Sadly, Rudy lost control and began tearing at Christopher’s penis and testicles. Rudy refused to obey commands and a panicked Emily threw a half-gallon bottle of perfume at the dog. The bottle broke, covering the dog and Christopher with perfume. Startled, Rudy leaped back, tearing away the penis. While trying to get her unconscious husband in the car to take him to the hospital, Emily fell twice, injuring her wrist and ankle. Christopher’s penis was in a Styrofoam ice cooler “Chris is just plain lucky,” said the surgeon who spent eight hours reattaching the penis. “Believe it or not, the perfume turned out to be very fortuitous. The high alcohol content, which must have been excruciatingly painful, helped sterilize the wound. Also, aside from it being removed, the damage caused by the dog’s teeth to the penis per se is minimal. It’s really a very stringy piece of flesh. Mr. Coulter stands an excellent chance of regaining the use of his limb because of this.” Washington Animal Control has no plans to seize Rudy.”

  308. #309 Janine
    January 3, 2008

    Methinks ryana completely missed how this sordid thread started. If we are talking about ryana’s hypothetical topic, it will because Sal a new topic on his blog and lied about it.

  309. #310 G
    January 3, 2008

    Here’s a couple questions, how would a mute consent to sex without using sign language (or any other language)? Must consent be verbal or can it be non-verbally implied? Is non-verbally implied consent substantially different from some of the sexual behaviors exhibited by pets toward their owners? What about an 18-year-old who is mentally disabled who may or may not understand the full implications of sexual intercourse, but who can consent by law, even though they may only be able to demonstrate it non-verbally? (sorry, lots of assumptions loaded into that one, but I’m sure people out their like that exist) What specifically does consent entail in the law vs. in the public mentality?

  310. #311 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    Colugo,

    “Generically, yes. Specifically human sexuality, no.”

    This is vague. What exactly is it about “specifically human sexuality” that engenders a moral distinction? There are aspects of food consumption that are pretty specific to humans as well, usually involving taking thorough pleasure in the experience. I don’t see any morally compelling case for prohibiting pet owners from pampering their pets with food.

    “And since animals have no such right, no human has a right to engage them in such activity.”

    This is a non-sequitor. Simply because animals lack rights doesn’t mean that humans are reciprocally implicated in lacking them. Animals don’t have a right to medical care, but a human has a right to provide it to their pets, for example.

  311. #312 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Is that your idea of a joke, truth machine? How reliable a survey of human behavior is some silly online forum (which includes a commenter purporting to be a dog)?

    I didn’t say it was a reliable survey. You’re as stupid and intellectually dishonest as Macker.

  312. #313 Brownian, OM
    January 3, 2008

    It is possible to be sexually uninhibited but still have class. Furthermore, its far sexier.

    I don’t recall anyone asking you to adjudicate on what’s sexy and what’s not.

  313. #314 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    who finds bestiality repugnant, and okay, me and I guess everybody I know, and, I’m guessing here, just about every person commenting on this blog or reading it

    You people really do need to get out more.

  314. #315 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    While defending bestiality

    Macker, being the mental midget that he is, cannot distinguish an empirical claim about how widespread a practice is with defending it. But as long as we’re at it, yes, I have no problem defending women who let their dogs lick them.

  315. #316 windy
    January 3, 2008

    Perhaps the word “accuse” or the phrase “sounds like” doesn’t mean what you think it does.

    Ah, so you only made vague insinuations instead of an actual point. Never mind then.

    How about thigh fucking, something supposedly practiced by Muslims in imitation of Mohammed?

    No, I don’t think that tf-ing babies should be legal, but this is just a slippery slope argument. You didn’t address the issue of infants + sexual feelings not being so clearly separated as you think. Should it be illegal to enjoy breastfeeding?

    I think that fits her criteria whereas ass raping doesn’t. So too oral sex. Think it should be legal for the mother to achieve orgasm by placing baby food down below?

    More slippery slope. This sounds like a cause for psychological evaluation rather than a serious criminal/moral question. Plus there is probably a choking hazard.

    Try to lower your tone a little or I’m going to put you in the same slot as truth machine and ichthyic.

    Move over guys, party in the slot!

  316. #317 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Jake Boyman: With razor-sharp reasoning skills like this, we can understand why Brian gravitated to libertarianism.

    Ron Paul: Odd, Jake, where does Brian call himself libertarian.

    Brian Macker: Certainly my political views are libertarianish.

    Close enough.

  317. #318 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    This is silly. Animals cannot consent because they lack the mental faculties to properly weigh the decision. They may act compliant, just as a child may, but that is not sufficient to make the sex consensual.

  318. #319 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    Colugo said:

    It’s not about consent; it’s about rights and privileges. Animals have none.

    Tell that to Michael Vick.

  319. #320 Colugo
    January 3, 2008

    truth machine: “I didn’t say it was a reliable survey.”

    Then why did you cite it?

    Tyler DiPietro:

    “There are aspects of food consumption that are pretty specific to humans as well, usually involving taking thorough pleasure in the experience.”

    But sexuality is not only a sensory and cognitive experience but also a social one embedded in these aspects. Social interaction of any kind between humans and nonhuman animals is always highly limited, diminished by a vast cognitive gulf.

    “Animals don’t have a right to medical care, but a human has a right to provide it to their pets, for example.”

    You’re right; I should distinguish between rights (or the lack thereof) in the sense of permissibility (or prohibitions) and entitlements (or the absence of entitlements).

  320. #321 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Animals cannot consent because they lack the mental faculties to properly weigh the decision.

    They can’t consent to anything … like, say, going for a walk or having ball thrown at them.

  321. #322 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    truth machine said:

    They can’t consent to anything … like, say, going for a walk or having ball thrown at them.

    Right, but none of those things requires consent. Legal sex does.

  322. #323 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Then why did you cite it?

    As an illustration and an example, moron; I labeled the link “getting licked by the dog”, not “a reliable survey indicating what fraction of women get licked by their dogs” or “a reliable survey of people’s attitudes toward women being licked by their dogs”. Since I didn’t say it was a survey, let alone a reliable one, you’re a fool to complain that it isn’t one. But if you go searching the internet, you will find that this is not the only example of people talking about engaging in such behavior (and other people telling them they will burn in hell for doing so).

  323. #324 windy
    January 3, 2008

    Right, but none of those things requires consent.

    So it would be all right if someone comes up, slips a collar on you and drags you around the town without your consent? Legal sex with a human requires consent but so does taking a human for a walk.

  324. #325 Norman Doering
    January 3, 2008

    Of course, excuse me if this has already been said (too many posts here to read today), both Vox Day and Skatje Myers goofed.

    When Vox said: “…there is no rational basis for banning anything from necrophilia to cannibalism other than a vague sense of “ickiness” inherited from preceding generations possessed of a more conventional morality.”

    And Skatje said, “I think it’s bad practice to put social taboos into legislature when no actual logical argument can be made against it.

    They both missed an important logical reason for discouraging bestiality, necrophilia and cannibalism and we can now see what our ancestors couldn’t. Here is the logical reason to avoid sexual relations with animals: It could introduce new sexually transmitted diseases into human populations. In fact, it’s believed by many that AIDS originally came from monkeys and that syphilis was originally spread by shepherds after having sex with their sheep before any alleged Christ was ever born, or even before any alleged Moses was born.

    One of the things you need to think about when pondering what is and isn’t morally wrong is how we got our moral inclinations and icky feelings in the first place. They are, by these two different viewpoints with the same error, either a product of evolution or god-design. They make much more sense as evolutionary in origin and if you try to read God’s mind to figure them out you wind up with a really fucked-up God.

    Our ancient ancestors didn’t know about bacteria and virii and all they could do was make a general observation that populations that engaged in behaviors like bestiality, necrophilia and cannibalism suffered, perhaps, they might easily imagine, punished by some god for such behavior.

    And I have more thoughts on that here:
    http://normdoering.blogspot.com/2008/01/what-is-morality.html

  325. #326 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Right, but none of those things requires consent. Legal sex does.

    Uh, ad hoc much? Non-consensual sex isn’t illegal because it’s sex, it’s illegal because it’s non-consensual; other forms of physical coercion between humans are also illegal. Your argument leads to the conclusion that walking the dog should be made illegal because it isn’t consensual. My point is that you need an additional argument; lack of capacity of an animal to consent is not sufficient to outlaw only sex. Other laws governing behavior toward animals are based on cruelty, not lack of consent.

  326. #327 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    Colugo,

    “But sexuality is not only a sensory and cognitive experience but also a social one embedded in these aspects.”

    It only fits into the latter to a very limited extent (and not to reiterate excessively, but this extent also encompasses culinary practices and traditions). Sex is to a much larger extent an intimate exchange.

    “You’re right; I should distinguish between rights (or the lack thereof) in the sense of permissibility (or prohibitions) and entitlements (or the absence of entitlements).”

    But that begs the question of why it is impermissible for humans to engage in such activities with animals in the first place. The sense I got from your argument was that the lack of entitlement entailed the conclusion, but it seems here that you are simply assuming that that the prohibition is valid.

    H. Humbert,

    “Right, but none of those things requires consent.”

    So if I just started randomly throwing balls at you, there’d be no legal ramifications?

  327. #328 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Here is the logical reason to avoid sexual relations with animals: It could introduce new sexually transmitted diseases into human populations.

    It’s also a reason not to let your dog lick your face, or to bring sick birds home to care for them, but I’m not sure we should make those illegal. Public health is a matter of education.

  328. #329 Norman Doering
    January 3, 2008

    I don’t see how an animal can provide competent or informed consent to its owner’s wish to have sex with it.

    Do you think anyone cares if they give informed consent to their owners before they are killed and eaten?

  329. #330 windy
    January 3, 2008

    They both missed an important logical reason for discouraging bestiality, necrophilia and cannibalism and we can now see what our ancestors couldn’t. Here is the logical reason to avoid sexual relations with animals: It could introduce new sexually transmitted diseases into human populations.

    That is one logical reason to avoid it but not necessarily a logical reason to make it illegal (what Skatje was talking about), since we don’t ban all unhealthy activities or those that could introduce new diseases (like keeping exotic animals).

  330. #331 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    I’d like to say that even if I don’t find the purely moralistic line of reasoning offered by, e.g., Colugo very compelling, I think Norm Doerings case is much more so. The epidemiological ramifications of human/animal sexual activity form a much better basis of argument than abstract principles.

  331. #332 Carlie
    January 3, 2008

    I think it’s a very interesting question that Skatje was trying to tackle: Are there any rational arguments to uphold anti-bestiality laws? We can then go over the possibilities.

    1. The “eww” argument. This has already been covered a lot here. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it ought to be illegal. I can’t stomach the idea of sleeping with Fred Thompson, for instance, but obviously his wife can, and it wouldn’t be nice to make sleeping with Fred Thompson illegal. The eww factor is about the lamest reasoning.

    2. The “it’s immoral” argument. Just because it’s immoral to you doesn’t mean it should be illegal for everyone. I was raised to think that drinking alcohol at all, ever, was immoral. And, in fact, the country did try making that illegal. Problem is that everyone has different ideas as to what constitutes immoral. Even if the vast majority of a group agrees that an act is immoral, that doesn’t mean that there is a need to devote police and judicial energy, not to mention a lot of tax money, to prosecuting it. There are a lot of other ways to discourage an activity besides going the route of throwing people in jail, such as public shunning, private peer pressure, etc.

    3. The “it harms the animal” argument. There are already laws against harming animals, so anti-bestiality laws are redundant if used only for that reason.

    4. The “animals can’t consent” argument. This one, to me, has the most likelihood of being a rational reason. However, I think there is possibly room for debate on that. Presuming it is an activity that doesn’t hurt the animal (which was already covered in #3), the discussion is then what we can and can’t do to animals without their consent. I doubt that any of the chickens on a Tyson farm consent to having their beaks cut off. I doubt that cats consent to having their claws gouged out. I doubt that little cup dogs consent to being dressed up with stupid bows and carried in a purse. You can’t make the blanket statement that “any action an animal can’t consent to is illegal”, because we do things to animals without their consent all the time.
    There would have to be a specific argument that sexual activity is a class of actions separate and unique from anything else we do to animals, and thereby subject to special rules. That argument could be made, but I haven’t seen anyone really tackle it yet.

  332. #333 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    “That is one logical reason to avoid it but not necessarily a logical reason to make it illegal (what Skatje was talking about), since we don’t ban all unhealthy activities or those that could introduce new diseases (like keeping exotic animals).”

    Not to speak for Norm, but I don’t know if by “discourage” he necessarily meant “making it illegal”. We discourage consumption of tabacco through public outreach, hefty taxation and also mitigate its effects by banning it in public places (.e.g., restaurants, bars, etc.) But it’s not outright prohibited, nor do I think it should be.

  333. #334 Norman Doering
    January 3, 2008

    truth machine wrote:

    It’s also a reason not to let your dog lick your face, or to bring sick birds home to care for them, but I’m not sure we should make those illegal. Public health is a matter of education.

    I don’t think letting your dog lick your face is as risky as genital penetration. But bringing sick birds home to care for them is probably the riskiest behavior. Especially if that bird flu might be around.

  334. #335 Carlie
    January 3, 2008

    Oh, yeah, I had thought about the disease one and then promptly forgot it.

    5. It can introduce some really nasty diseases.

    Sure, but so do a lot of other activities that are not illegal. Keeping exotic pets, as mentioned, letting your pet lick your face, etc. To be honest, I’m not sure that it’s even illegal to have sex with another person and knowingly introduce a disease to them. Can a person be prosecuted if they have syphilis and have sex with another person without telling them? Can a person be prosecuted for sneezing on another person? Is that f*ing idiot with the MDR TB being prosecuted for being a public health threat?
    It’s an argument that has some rational backing, but it’s not consistent with the way we treat that same problem under other circumstances.

  335. #336 Colugo
    January 3, 2008

    Tyler DiPietro: “The epidemiological ramifications of human/animal sexual activity form a much better basis of argument than abstract principles.”

    Fair enough, but that is contingent on the consequence – namely, risk of transmitting zoonoses – prevailing. Once that condition is no longer a factor, the argument no longer applies. That’s the nature of utilitarian reasoning. But my argument – which I prefer to call “sapient communion” rather than moralistic – applies regardless of local conditions.

  336. #337 Norman Doering
    January 3, 2008

    Tyler DiPietro wrote:

    Not to speak for Norm, but I don’t know if by “discourage” he necessarily meant “making it illegal”.

    Well, I did say no to making laws on my blog, but that’s because how could you ever know without invading people’s privacy in a very invasive and expensive way? It’s unenforceable.

  337. #338 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    windy said:

    So it would be all right if someone comes up, slips a collar on you and drags you around the town without your consent? Legal sex with a human requires consent but so does taking a human for a walk.

    We’re necessarily discussing entities unable to ever provide consent. It’s illegal to take me for a walk against my will precisely because I am able to consent to such an action if I choose. However, it isn’t illegal to take a child for a walk, even when they don’t particularly feel like going.

    Tyler DiPietro said:

    So if I just started randomly throwing balls at you, there’d be no legal ramifications?

    See above.

    truth machine said:

    Uh, ad hoc much? Non-consensual sex isn’t illegal because it’s sex, it’s illegal because it’s non-consensual; other forms of physical coercion between humans are also illegal.

    No, it’s both because it’s sex and because it’s non-consensual. Legal sex requires informed consent from all participants. That is a requirement particular to sex. It’s the same reason why sexual congress with a corpse is prohibited, since the dead by definition cannot assent.

    Your argument leads to the conclusion that walking the dog should be made illegal because it isn’t consensual.

    No, actually, my argument leads to the conclusion that the legality of individual actions need to be weighed against the fact that animals cannot provide consent. Sorry if you’re the type who prefers neat little ethical rules applicable in all situations, but real life rarely lends itself to such black-or-white morality.

    My point is that you need an additional argument; lack of capacity of an animal to consent is not sufficient to outlaw only sex.

    No, you really don’t.

  338. #339 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Here is another example of people discussing this subject. The comments run the gamut of views. I think this one makes a good point:

    I doubt the dog knows that what he is doing is sexual… its just the human morals that are into play is a disgusting and shameful situation like this.

    As for the following amusing comment, if animals can’t consent, can they be demeaned?

    Oh girl! Let me tell YOU!

    I once let my dog lick my pussy. THEN he got seriously horny and mounted me! His c*ck was huge and it felt really good but he blew his load inside of me and I became pregnant!

    Nine months later I gave birth to eight little puppy/humans! It was hideous! They had furry human bodies with puppy heads and they just kept barking and barking! I only have two nipples and it was difficult trying to feed them all at once.

    Oh God! It was horrible!

    Don’t ever let your dog “lick” you! You’ll end up like me and have mutant babies!

    Seriously though sweetheart, it’s demeaning to the dog, stop it.

  339. #340 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    Colugo,

    “Fair enough, but that is contingent on the consequence – namely, risk of transmitting zoonoses – prevailing. Once that condition is no longer a factor, the argument no longer applies.”

    I don’t see any particular problem with this state of affairs, or with consequentialist morality in general.

    “But my argument – which I prefer to call “sapient communion” rather than moralistic – applies regardless of local conditions.”

    If we take it as axiomatic it does, but I don’t see what should compell us to admit the principle if it isn’t adequately responsive to real world conditions. It seems that you are proffering a rather bizarre form of Platonism, living in the world of “pure forms”, which I consider a dubious concept.

  340. #341 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    That is a requirement particular to sex.

    Why?

    It’s the same reason why sexual congress with a corpse is prohibited, since the dead by definition cannot assent.

    Defiling a corpse is illegal. Stop making such blatantly intellectually dishonest ad hoc arguments.

    Sorry if you’re the type who prefers neat little ethical rules applicable in all situations,

    You’re the one with the neat little “it’s wrong because it’s non-consensual sex” rule, jackoff.

    No, you really don’t.

    Uh, right, you don’t need arguments for your pronouncements. And no one need credit them.

  341. #342 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    H. Humbert,

    “We’re necessarily discussing entities unable to ever provide consent. It’s illegal to take me for a walk against my will precisely because I am able to consent to such an action if I choose. However, it isn’t illegal to take a child for a walk, even when they don’t particularly feel like going.”

    The bolded bit contradicts your later statement here:

    “No, it’s both because it’s sex and because it’s non-consensual. Legal sex requires informed consent from all participants. That is a requirement particular to sex. It’s the same reason why sexual congress with a corpse is prohibited, since the dead by definition cannot assent.”

    You may want to get your ideas in marching order before going any further.

  342. #343 Kristin
    January 3, 2008

    Well, unless I missed something, I didn’t really see anything all that offensive. While I agree with your daughter, and Sal’s argument is rather juvenile, I’ve seen much more horrid responses to people saying this sort of thing.

  343. #344 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    Tyler, consent is always required from entities able to consent. Consent is sometimes required from those unable to consent, depending upon the act in question. There’s no contradiction there.

  344. #345 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    I don’t think letting your dog lick your face is as risky as genital penetration.

    So who said it is? Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’ve been talking about dogs licking women’s genitals.

    But bringing sick birds home to care for them is probably the riskiest behavior.

    So do you want to make it illegal? Or declare it immoral?

    It’s fine to talk about the historical source of various social sanctions, but it really doesn’t help us settle whether we should accept them as moral prescriptions.

  345. #346 Anthony
    January 3, 2008

    All this talk is making me hungry. ;)

  346. #347 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Tyler, consent is always required from entities able to consent. Consent is sometimes required from those unable to consent, depending upon the act in question. There’s no contradiction there.

    You have failed to grasp the (obvious) contradiction, one which I already explicitly pointed out. The illegality of non-consensual sex between humans is due to it being non-consensual, not due to it being sex. There are no blanket laws against non-consensual sex between humans and non-humans; there is no legal principle that extends the illegality of non-consensual sex between humans to non-consensual sex between humans and non-humans — that is simply a fabrication of yours to try to rescue your bogus argument. Humping your vacuum cleaner isn’t illegal because the vaccuum cleaner can’t consent. Your claim about corpses is patently ridiculous. The prohibition against humping corpses isn’t because they can’t consent or because it’s sex, it’s because they are corpses, which have special status, and must not be defiled.

  347. #348 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    “Consent is sometimes required from those unable to consent, depending upon the act in question.”

    So sex is arbitrarily in the category of things that require consent in all instances? Special plead much?

  348. #349 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    I realize I might not be communicating clearly, so let me rephrase.

    When adults of sound mind are able to consent, then their consent is both required and sufficient.

    When an entity (be it an incapacitated adult, a child, or an animal) is unable to provide consent, then consent is required from other adults of sound mind, in the form of the community which votes laws into effect. We, as a society, speak in place of those unable to speak for themselves. The law is merely the codification of what we’ll allow and what we will not.

    So, in any given case, inability to obtain consent doesn’t mean consent isn’t required, nor does it mean anything requiring consent is impermissible. It simply means you must obtain consent through another channel–namely the law.

  349. #350 AJS
    January 3, 2008

    Just what is up with these creationists? They seem to have sex on the brain! Would it be a cheap below-the-belt shot if I were to speculate out loud whether this might have anything to do with the fact that they aren’t getting any?

    I do sort of see where Skatje is coming from. I don’t think that “I cannot think of a sound reason never to do X” is at all the same as “I think everyone should do X”. We’re irrational beings, who sometimes do — or avoid doing — things for the most unsound of reasons.

    The “ick” factor (which almost certainly has served some vital evolutionary purpose — subject for further discussion elsewhere) alone would put most people off the thought of having sex with an animal; but hey, if someone enjoyed it and the animal enjoyed it, and nobody got hurt, what business is it of anybody else’s, really?

    And I don’t think you can use the argument that “It’s the same reason why sexual congress with a corpse is prohibited, since the dead by definition cannot assent.” Surely a dead body is an inanimate object? Does that mean, by your standards, that sex with a dildo is unlawful because a piece of plastic cannot consent?

    We don’t need laws. Most people wouldn’t want to break them anyway because, well, because it’s a bit ….. it’s ….. well, I think “unhygienic” is the kindest way of putting it.

  350. #351 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    I realize I might not be communicating clearly, so let me rephrase.

    You’re communicating your fallacious argument (properly identified by Tyler DiPietro as special pleading) just fine. And the fact that you are unable to grasp that it is fallacious doesn’t mean we aren’t communicating clearly either.

  351. #352 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    We’re discussing human morality. Of course it’s going to be arbitrary.

    truth machine, the bottom line is that you’re asking for a justification that no one has a duty to provide you. If you ask a woman if you may have sex with her and she says “no,” that’s the end of the discussion. She doesn’t have to give you a reason. When consent passes to society, the same rules apply. So long as you aren’t discussing sex between consenting partners, then the law gets to say whether you get to proceed or not, and the law can be whatever we decide it is. It is, after all, merely an extension of our own arbitrary morality.

  352. #353 Norman Doering
    January 3, 2008

    It’s fine to talk about the historical source of various social sanctions, but it really doesn’t help us settle whether we should accept them as moral prescriptions.

    Moral prescriptions don’t have to be laws, they just have to be advice, maybe stern advice. For the record, I don’t say anywhere we should make laws about these things. On the other hand, I don’t say we shouldn’t. In some times and places, maybe. When talking about any form of sex it’s always good to remember it’s not necessarily the victimless crime we like to think it is.

  353. #354 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    “It is, after all, merely an extension of our own arbitrary morality.”

    I can extend it further: whatever society decides should be prohibited, is prohibited. Why is your arbitrary inclusion of consent as a distinctive attribute more compelling than my arbitrary exclusion? Why shouldn’t this extend to the broader society?

  354. #355 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    truth machine, the bottom line is that you’re asking for a justification that no one has a duty to provide you.

    Cut the bullshit. You’ve made a special pleading for sex always requiring consent, with no argument support it, and you have ignored the rebuttals. That’s all there is too it.

  355. #356 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Moral prescriptions don’t have to be laws, they just have to be advice, maybe stern advice.

    This is a reason to inculcate such advice in others as moral prescriptions, but it doesn’t tell us that we should accept them as moral prescriptions. I’m perfectly happy to accept that something has undesirable results without necessarily considering it to be immoral.

  356. #357 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Sometimes it helps to go back and see what the context was:

    This is silly. Animals cannot consent because they lack the mental faculties to properly weigh the decision. They may act compliant, just as a child may, but that is not sufficient to make the sex consensual.

    This is a strawman. Regardless of whether the sex is consensual, the question is whether it is morally wrong. We know that lack of consent from animals, by itself, is not enough to make some action toward them immoral. So the claim that sex with animals is immoral needs some other justification than lack of assent. Claiming that no justification is needed is bad faith. In any case, there is no need for anyone to pay attention to unsupported pronouncements.

  357. #358 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    tm, you asked why sex is special. And the answer is: because people place special importance upon it. Dismissing this answer as special pleading is not a “rebuttal,” it is simply a denial that human laws are going to reflect human concerns, as arbitrary as they are.

    I can extend it further: whatever society decides should be prohibited, is prohibited. Why is your arbitrary inclusion of consent as a distinctive attribute more compelling than my arbitrary exclusion?

    It’s not my arbitrary distinction, but the composers of the Constitution who placed primacy on individual rights. Yes, other societies have played by different rules. I don’t see how that’s either here nor there.

  358. #359 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    BTW, there is a separate justification for declaring sex with children as immoral beyond the lack of consent, and that is that it’s abusive. We aren’t concerned with the psychological damage that can be done to a dog by encouraging it to lick someone’s genitals, but we certainly are concerned with that in regard to children.

  359. #360 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    tm, you asked why sex is special. And the answer is: because people place special importance upon it.

    My question was, why is consent a requirement particular to sex. As Tyler put it, “So sex is arbitrarily in the category of things that require consent in all instances?” Your answer is no answer at all to that question.

    I no longer care whether your failure here is due to dishonesty or to stupidity, I’m done with you.

  360. #361 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Just one more:

    It’s not my arbitrary distinction, but the composers of the Constitution who placed primacy on individual rights.

    Uh, yeah, primacy on individual animal rights.

    Lose track of the point much?

  361. #362 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    “It’s not my arbitrary distinction, but the composers of the Constitution who placed primacy on individual rights. Yes, other societies have played by different rules. I don’t see how that’s either here nor there.”

    Your interpretation of the Constitution in this regard hasn’t been ascendant throughout most of American history and, in particular, bans on homosexuality and interracial sex were legal for most of it. Were these laws ethically valid because society at large considered them justified?

  362. #363 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    Your interpretation of the Constitution in this regard hasn’t been ascendant throughout most of American history

    More important, this was his argument for the inclusion of consent as a distinctive attribute in the context of… animal sex!

  363. #364 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    Were these laws ethically valid because society at large considered them justified?

    I don’t think so, but I’m sure they did. Ethics are fluid things, I’ve observed. Judging the absolute morality of bestiality is impossible. All we can say is that it is abhorrent to a majority of people, probably for deep-seated evolutionary reasons, and that the outlawing of it does not unreasonably infringe individuals’ rights. Perhaps there may come a day when that sentiment changes. For now, it’s enough.

  364. #365 Brian Macker
    January 3, 2008

    There sure are a lot of assumptions flying around. Let me remind you that you have no idea what I find repugnant. Nor have I made any arguments that anything should be outlawed or is immoral merely because I or anyone finds it repugnant.

    I’ll give you a very abbreviated explanation of my moral philosophy. I’m not going to be too precise because that will take to long. Then within that framework I will explain why bestiality is immoral.

    First you will need my definition of self. I believe the self encompasses not just your physical body. To properly understand morality you need to expand beyond what is normally referred to as the self to include all aspects that make up “you”. This would include your genes, body, beliefs, family, friends, culture, language, race, nationality, etc.

    I believe that morality is acting in ones enlightened self interest. Since every individual is different this may mean different things for different people. There are however commonalities between people and general principles that can be derived from these commonalities. As should be apparent this is neither a subjective nor objective theory of morality.

    Immoral behavior can be classified into two categories.
    1) Behaviors that work directly against our self interest.
    2) Behaviors that work indirectly against our self interest.

    Behaviors in both categories are complex and must take into account human nature. Fallibility, habit, maturity, finite knowledge, ability to learn, and other human attributes need to be considered in both categories. In the case of category two behaviors one must take into account the existence of others and their strategies for dealing with us. Such strategies include reciprocity, retribution, communication, reputation, habit, limited knowledge, etc.

    An individuals well being is intimately influenced by others because we are a cooperative species that uses the strategy of division of labor. The ability of others to fail to cooperate or to even retaliate means that one must take these facts into account when deciding how to behave. Since humans are fallible and habitual creatures one cannot depend on ones ability to avoid detection in order to evade the consequences others will bear upon the self. Thus one should take others into account if one values the self.

    Similarly we need to interact with animals and their behaviors with the knowledge of the lower capacities but still respecting their ability to act reciprocally, learn, retaliate, etc.

    Immoral behaviors in category 1) and or category 2) may or may not be criminal. Not all vices are crimes. There are lesser and greater degrees of immorality to actions depending on circumstances, both individual and inter-subjective, and on the amount of harm caused or potentially caused by the actions.

    Moral systems in general are competing systems of normative and ancillary beliefs. I do not believe that any, including my own belief system is a complete and fully accurate model of how to behave.

    Why is beastiality immoral? Because it violates certain principles of moral law.
    1) I unnecessarily endangers the self and others.
    a. One can be harmed by an animal directly. For instance, it may not obey your “no” command if you should discovery it is hurting you.
    b. It’s possible to contract diseases with direct contact with animals. They are not exactly clean. Some animals tend to be far more promiscuous than humans and thus have higher levels of sexual disease.
    c. A sexually habituated animal may:
    i. Attempt to have sex with other people potentially molesting or harming them. This includes attacking individuals who may be less able to defend themselves from the animals advances.
    1. A large male stallion can crush and suffocate a human. You may have taken safety precautions during your act that are not available to an unsuspecting victim.
    ii. The animal may become jealous and possessive of their new sexual partner. It may harm other animals or people when they are shown affection.
    d. Harming the animal is immoral.
    i. A sexually abused animal may become vicious towards humans.
    ii. The reciprocal symbiosis with some animals introduces a duty to return the behavior.
    iii. The owner of the animal may not share your assessment of the harm you are causing the animal.
    e. There is the potential to create and introduce a new strain of animal pathogen into the human population, thus harming others. This potential though small is not outweighed by any real benefit to the offender.

    2) It damages the self directly.
    a. It lowers the individual socially to the level of the animal. Thus reducing ones self esteem. One literally becomes a mating partner if not breeding partner of an animal.
    b. It can become a substitute for a healthy relationship.
    3) It socially endangers the self
    a. Humans are habitual and fallible. There is a likelihood you will repeat the behavior until caught. The self is then damaged via the quite rational actions of others. Other people communicate, remember, judge, avoid, shame, retaliate, etc.
    i. Your self esteem will surely be damaged if it becomes public.
    ii. Your social standing will suffer making it harder to get cooperation from others.
    iii. People won’t trust you with their animals.
    iv. One will most likely find it harder to find a sexual partner, marriage partner, friends, and so forth. All things that are good for the self.
    v. It will have consequences for your family and friends. It may impact the reputations of other aspects of the self such as ones identity.
    vi. People may come to associate your behavior with some group you belong to. Especially if your actions are repeated by others in your group. There may be a correlation and so this may be rational on their part. For instance, they may shun people you associate with because they too may share your interest.
    4) Having sex with an animal without the owners permission is a form of theft of services.
    a. This is straightforwardly a crime just like using someone’s car without permission, or driving it somewhere they didn’t want you to. O
    b. Some people emotionally bond with their pets and livestock. They will justifiably view your trespass against their animal as a violation of a friend, companion, etc. This is true even though it is not the truly the same as a human friendship it is none-the-less a valid reciprocal relationship between individuals.
    i. You are subject to retailiation.
    c. If caught you will no longer be trusted with other types of property.

    I think I have provided enough information. I’ve been working on my moral beliefs for a long time and it is not possible to impart all my reasoning in the comment section of a blog.

    Now some of these reasons are not sufficient for making bestiality illegal. Morality should only be legalized when it involves harm to others and those reasons do not cross that threshold. Other reasons I listed are insufficient to outlaw bestiality outright but are sufficient to justify regulation. Sometimes where regulation is not practical it may make sense to use an outright ban.

    For instance, if you are using horses for your sexual pleasure, it might just be reasonable for the law to require that you register such animals for this use and take extra precautions in maintaining such animals, such as stronger enclosures, signs, restrictions on other uses. I think it pretty clear that it is negligent and criminal behavior to be screwing a donkey and then to be using the same donkey for a children’s game park.

    Rhianna will be pleased to know that under my moral system homosexuality is not immoral. Well only immoral if you are not homosexual, and then only a minor issue.

  365. #366 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    More important, this was his argument for the inclusion of consent as a distinctive attribute in the context of… animal sex!

    Uh, no it wasn’t. It was in response to your question about why we don’t let majority rule on all matters of law. So now who’s being intellectually dishonest? Or did you just lose track of that point?

  366. #367 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    BTW, his nutty argument could be applied to justify preventing animals from having sex with each other because neither party consents. One could even, using his methods, support this by arguing that it’s the same with children.

  367. #368 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    “I don’t think so, but I’m sure they did. Ethics are fluid things, I’ve observed. Judging the absolute morality of bestiality is impossible.”

    This argument is then distinct from any handwaving you did earlier about consent. I consider that particular argument defeated.

    “All we can say is that it is abhorrent to a majority of people, probably for deep-seated evolutionary reasons, and that the outlawing of it does not unreasonably infringe individuals’ rights.”

    So it is your opinion, in other words, that bans on homosexuality didn’t “unreasonably infringe individuals’ rights”?

  368. #369 JD
    January 3, 2008

    I hate to say it, but despite our best intentions, Skatje will henceforth always be known as the “bestiality girl”, by association (and perhaps even by “design”). Might even make it to one of those dreadful creationist magazines. I’m against waterboarding, but maybe in Sal’s case…

  369. #370 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    It was in response to your question about why we don’t let majority rule on all matters of law

    You’re lying and/or incredibly stupid. It was Tyler’s question, and that’s not what it was about. I used his very words, you blithering idiot: “inclusion of consent as a distinctive attribute”.

    So now who’s being intellectually dishonest?

    You, as always. Go fuck a corpse.

  370. #371 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    This argument is then distinct from any handwaving you did earlier about consent. I consider that particular argument defeated.

    Then you’re missing the rational for why society gets to make the decision when ability to consent is not present.

    So it is your opinion, in other words, that bans on homosexuality didn’t “unreasonably infringe individuals’ rights”?

    Of course not, which is why I find bans on homosexual rights unethical. Bans on animal sex are not comparable.

  371. #372 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    To recap:

    DiPetrio: I can extend it further: whatever society decides should be prohibited, is prohibited. Why is your arbitrary inclusion of consent as a distinctive attribute more compelling than my arbitrary exclusion?

    blithering idiot: It’s not my arbitrary distinction, but the composers of the Constitution who placed primacy on individual rights. Yes, other societies have played by different rules. I don’t see how that’s either here nor there.

    DiPetrio: Your interpretation of the Constitution in this regard hasn’t been ascendant throughout most of American history

    me: More important, this was his argument for the inclusion of consent as a distinctive attribute in the context of… animal sex!

    blithering idiot: Uh, no it wasn’t. It was in response to your question about why we don’t let majority rule on all matters of law.

  372. #373 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    “Then you’re missing the rational for why society gets to make the decision when ability to consent is not present.”

    I may have missed it, but I have not seen to offer any “rationale” for this at all. You just asserted the claim and said it was justified because most of society agreed with you on bestiality.

    “Of course not, which is why I find bans on homosexual rights unethical. Bans on animal sex are not comparable.”

    But by the criteria you have set forth, you have no grounds on which to objects. Homosexuality was, to use your own words, “abhorrent to a majority of people” and most did not consider it an unreasonable violation of individual rights to ban it. You’re just special pleading, over and over again.

  373. #374 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    It’s late, and I’m done with this for now. I don’t see much of a reason for continuing the discussion at this point. If I come back tomorrow and see sometime aside from the special pleading and circular reasoning I’ve seen thus far, I’ll continue. Otherwise I won’t.

    Peace.

  374. #375 Ichthyic
    January 3, 2008

    If i shove my arm into a horse’s vagina in order to properly prepare its cervix for a round of artificial insemination…

    is that rape? Is it “morally wrong”?

    should i figure out how to garner consent from the mare?

    phht.

    this discussion has become so utterly pointless.

  375. #376 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    is that rape? Is it “morally wrong”?

    should i figure out how to garner consent from the mare?

    No doubt Humbert will tell us that’s different, without being able to justify it.

    this discussion has become so utterly pointless.

    It’s inevitable when people argue in bad faith.

  376. #377 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    You just asserted the claim and said it was justified because most of society agreed with you on bestiality.

    Look, there’s two issues here. 1) That society must stand in for entities unable to provide consent. 2) Do we decide to provide consent or not?

    The question of whether animals are distinct from sound-minded adults speaks only to the first point. If you can make your own decisions, then society need not make decisions on your behalf. If you are incapable of making decisions, then society must make decisions for you.

    What the majority of people find moral only speaks to the second point: do we provide consent or not. Note that we only need to consider point 2 if the subject is unable to render consent. This neatly excludes any social interference into homosexual relations between consenting adults. However, having reached the point where society must collectively decide what to permit on behalf of those unable to render consent, then (arbitrary) moral considerations certainly come into play.

    But by the criteria you have set forth, you have no grounds on which to objects. Homosexuality was, to use your own words, “abhorrent to a majority of people” and most did not consider it an unreasonable violation of individual rights to ban it.

    There is no question but it is a violation of individual rights. Society may speak for entities unable to render consent, but not for those who can. This seems like a fairly clear distinction to me.

  377. #378 Brian Macker
    January 3, 2008

    “Ah, so you only made vague insinuations instead of an actual point. Never mind then.”

    No, I made a point. The point being that one entire paragraphs sounded like a rationalization. The reason I believe her when she says it’s not a personal interest is I have no other basis for thinking otherwise. She sounded sincere.

    I wrote: “That also doesn’t sound like a very rational argument to me. It sounds more like a rationalization. Maybe one she read somewhere and didn’t have the maturity and reasoning skills to poke holes in.”

    I thought it more probable that she read this rationalization somewhere else and repeated it. So her views are a rationalization for the original source. Which is perfectly consistent with her not being interested in dog love.

    Of course I could be wrong.

    “No, I don’t think that tf-ing babies should be legal, but this is just a slippery slope argument.”

    LOL. No it isn’t since tf-ing babies should be illegal. I’m not arguing it will lead to worse behavior. :))

    “You didn’t address the issue of infants + sexual feelings not being so clearly separated as you think.”

    You don’t know what I think since I never discussed the subject. I’m finding it extremely funny that you and a bunch of the others jumped to the conclusion that I find anything offensive about sex and that if I did it would be the fact that you get pleasure from it. LOL.

    What I believe to be moral and immoral is an entirely different subject from what if find disgusting, repugnant, desirable or undesirable. The way you talk you probably think I find honey dippers to be moral degenerates.

    You don’t even know if I experience pangs of disgust upon hearing about bestiality. How can you make this the basis for your conjectures?

    Let me clue you in. I don’t feel pangs of disgust visualizing myself raping the shit out of Jessica Simpson, in fact I could see it giving me a big woody, but I don’t think it would be moral to do so. It does however make me feel shame to think about it or reveal this basic animal fact about me. Plus I would feel horrible about actually hurting her in that way and I don’t even know her.

    It also makes me puke thinking about screwing Barbara Bush but that doesn’t mean George is some moral leper.

    My moral beliefs have little to do with what I find revolting. Theory wrong. Try again.

    “Think it should be legal for the mother to achieve orgasm by placing baby food down below?”

    “More slippery slope. This sounds like a cause for psychological evaluation rather than a serious criminal/moral question. Plus there is probably a choking hazard.”

    No shit there’s a choking hazard. I can’t believe you gave this response. Again, slippery slope to what? I’m not arguing it may lead to bad behavior. I’m saying it is bad behavior.

    “Try to lower your tone a little or I’m going to put you in the same slot as truth machine and ichthyic.”

    Move over guys, party in the slot!

    Duly noted and eminently deserved. Well maybe not. Truth Machine is hard to beat.

  378. #379 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    If i shove my arm into a horse’s vagina in order to properly prepare its cervix for a round of artificial insemination…

    is that rape? Is it “morally wrong”?

    No, for the same reason that it isn’t rape when a doctor probes you. Really, all we’re talking here is the ability to make common sense judgments, the same as you would for yourself. We are deciding in place of the animals. We say medical probing is fine and sex is not. It’s our decision, not the horse’s.

  379. #380 Tyler DiPietro
    January 3, 2008

    Okay, one more post before I hit the hay.

    “Look, there’s two issues here. 1) That society must stand in for entities unable to provide consent. 2) Do we decide to provide consent or not?”

    H. Humbert, follow me through this:

    1. Dildos are entities.
    2. Dildos are inherently incapable of consenting to any sexual arrangement.
    3. Society can thus arbitrarily decide to interfere in sexual activities with dildos and, assuming your presmises, such a thing does not constitute an unreasonable violation of individual rights.

    You offer no consistent rationale for why consent is a distinctive attribute in this equation, once again you simply assert it. When I challenged you on this, you resorted to claiming that human morality is inherently arbitrary anyway and society can make the distinction at whim. When I pointed out that society has in the past decided that homosexuality and interracial sex was impermissible and banned it (not to mention punished it by such inhumane methods as death and castration), you resorted to the above special pleading. You have not justified either argument, you’re still just employing special pleading and circular logic.

  380. #381 H. Humbert
    January 3, 2008

    Tyler, I see what you’re saying. Obviously I don’t mean to include dildos, or even if we were to specify living things, carrots. However, animals can experience pain in a way that inanimate objects and vegetables cannot, thus the imperative to make decisions on their behalf which safeguard their welfare. So, I think truth machine had a point when he stated that consent is not a sufficient distinguishing criteria (he’s still a fucking prick, though). I need to think on this some more. Thank you for not losing your cool, even when it seemed we were talking past each other.

  381. #382 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    No, for the same reason that it isn’t rape when a doctor probes you.

    But you’re mute on what that reason is. The fact is that sex with children is psychological abuse. Even if a doctor probing a child could be seen as abusive, the benefit to the child of providing medical care overrides.

    If you’re going to claim “the same reason”, it has to actually be the same reason. But the objection to sex with animals is not psychological abuse of the animal, or any other reason that we object to sex with children. Or, if there is such a reason that applies to both, you need to state it. And “consent” doesn’t work, which was precisely the point of the example.

    We say medical probing is fine and sex is not.

    We say this for children, and we say it for a reason. But you can’t simply declare “we say” when the very thing said is being disputed. At least, you can’t if you’re arguing in good faith and aren’t a moron. If it’s simply arbitrary, then your opinion doesn’t matter. The question is why should something to be considered immoral. It’s no answer to claim that it simply is immoral, when that’s the claim being disputed.

  382. #383 truth machine
    January 3, 2008

    ink truth machine had a point when he stated that consent is not a sufficient distinguishing criteria (he’s still a fucking prick, though).

    My being a fucking prick is a function your being an intellectually dishonest cretin who willfully ignored every counterargument — this is not the first time that the point has been made about inanimate or non-living objects. If you had not insisted on being so, I would have been nice.

  383. #384 truth machine
    January 4, 2008

    However, animals can experience pain in a way that inanimate objects and vegetables cannot, thus the imperative to make decisions on their behalf which safeguard their welfare.

    This bit about making decisions on their behalf is a completely irrelevant strawman; no one questions that we make decisions on the behalf of animals. The question is, why do we disallow sex with animals that causes them no pain or other harm — and the mere fact that the sex isn’t consensual cannot honestly be construed as harm.

  384. #385 Brian Macker
    January 4, 2008
    Is that your idea of a joke, truth machine? How reliable a survey of human behavior is some silly online forum (which includes a commenter purporting to be a dog)?

    I didn’t say it was a reliable survey. You’re as stupid and intellectually dishonest as Macker.

    LOL!

    It’s damn funny these two quotes by truth machine when juxtaposed.

    “Yes, defense of political ideology X makes one an Xist.”

    While defending bestiality:

    “Macker, being the social misfit (i.e., libertarian) he is, has no idea what the neighbors think … or do; getting licked by the dog is a much more common practice than he imagines.”

    More defending of beastialty on the part of TM:

    You people really do need to get out more.”

    “But as long as we’re at it, yes, I have no problem defending women who let their dogs lick them.”

    LOL!

    Using TM’s logic we’re going to have to start calling TM Trobbing Member of distemper, or Canine Tooth Machine.

    truth machine: “I didn’t say it was a reliable survey.”

    Then why did you cite it?

    As an illustration and an example, moron; I labeled the link “getting licked by the dog”, not “a reliable survey indicating what fraction of women get licked by their dogs” or “a reliable survey of people’s attitudes toward women being licked by their dogs”. Since I didn’t say it was a survey, let alone a reliable one, you’re a fool to complain that it isn’t one. But if you go searching the internet, you will find that this is not the only example of people talking about engaging in such behavior (and other people telling them they will burn in hell for doing so).

    Talk about revisionism.
    ROTFLMAO! Bwaaaahahahaha!
    Ur, killing me. Down boy.

  385. #386 Brian Macker
    January 4, 2008

    “To be honest, I’m not sure that it’s even illegal to have sex with another person and knowingly introduce a disease to them. Can a person be prosecuted if they have syphilis and have sex with another person without telling them?”

    Read an article where some guy was up on criminal charges for infecting a bunch of girls with AIDs. I believe it was upstate NY. Deservedly so.

  386. #387 Azkyroth
    January 4, 2008

    First, the summary stuff:

    Humbert, A Lurker, etc.

    The consent argument is bullshit. As I argued previously,

    We buy, sell, selectively breed, train, euthanize, kill and eat, etc. animals without even considering their ability to consent – yet all of those things are either illegal to do to a human or require informed consent. Clearly we don’t consider animal consent important for most purposes. Why the sudden interest when it comes to fucking them?

    -Azkyroth

    …I typed the opening of this comment back when I read Humbert’s first comment, and so far, in all these comments, he hasn’t provided one goddamn reason why sex is special in this regard.

    As for the disease, that’s perhaps a legitimate concern but absolutely no reason to make it illegal, unless we’re also going to criminalize having sex with another human without both partners getting tested for STDs. Also, can you point to any evidence that catching diseases from fucking an animal is any likelier than from simply being around one all the time?

    But sexuality is not only a sensory and cognitive experience but also a social one embedded in these aspects. Social interaction of any kind between humans and nonhuman animals is always highly limited, diminished by a vast cognitive gulf.

    -Colugo

    Sex seems to be a social thing for many animals too (primate dominance displays come to mind). And, are you suggesting that any sexual activity by humans that doesn’t have the kind of social and emotional connection we consider normal between humans should be prohibited? Drunken one-night stands come to mind…

    You’re right; I should distinguish between rights (or the lack thereof) in the sense of permissibility (or prohibitions) and entitlements (or the absence of entitlements).

    -Colugo

    You should explain why you think animals’ lack of human rights has implications for sex between humans and animals that are the exact opposite of the implications you think it has for literally every other kind of interaction between humans and animals, first. Otherwise I’m going to continue to write this off as a circular argument compounded with special pleading.

    They both missed an important logical reason for discouraging bestiality, necrophilia and cannibalism and we can now see what our ancestors couldn’t. Here is the logical reason to avoid sexual relations with animals: It could introduce new sexually transmitted diseases into human populations. In fact, it’s believed by many that AIDS originally came from monkeys and that syphilis was originally spread by shepherds after having sex with their sheep before any alleged Christ was ever born, or even before any alleged Moses was born.

    -Norman Doering

    And speaking of dumb arguments…

    Sheep, I’m pretty sure, are Old World mammals. Syphillis is a New World disease. Care to try again>

    As for the AIDS thing, if there’s any evidence that it came to humans sexually, it’s the first I’ve heard of it.

    I don’t think letting your dog lick your face is as risky as genital penetration. But bringing sick birds home to care for them is probably the riskiest behavior. Especially if that bird flu might be around.

    Aside from one of those seeming grosser than the other, do you have a single reference to back that up?

    1. The “eww” argument.[snip]

    2. The “it’s immoral” argument.

    -Carlie

    Err, you do realize that in practice these are two different ways of phrasing an identical argument, perhaps best described as “Appeal to Gag Reflex.”

    And finally, ryana…

    Only one word can describe PZ’s blog after today. “EWWWW!”

    Which, incidentally, happens to be the entire argument against legalizing bestiality, which is the real reason why people make arguments against it that would apply to many other situations as well, yet insist that they don’t for…well, just because!

    But of course, you’re going to use a lot more words, aren’t you?

    After reading the blog post and the following comments, I can say that PZ, his daughter and a significant number of PZ’s readers are freaks.

    Thank you.

    This is not an atheist/believer issue, its not a evolution/creationism issue, its an issue about having a little class. As an lesbian living in the Bay Area,

    …which, to many people, implies that you lack class. What makes your perspective any more valid than theirs?

    (Actually, since you presumably actually engage in sex with other women, rather than simply arguing that sex between women shouldn’t be illegal, you’re even worse from their perspective).

    my hands are definitely not clean when it comes to exposure to the kinkier fringes of society.

    *hands ryana a towel* here you go.

    However, I couldn’t imagine being a minor & posting a really borderline, let’s be frank, rather strange screed intermingling the legal & psychological reasons for (canine) bestiality.

    So, do you have anything to add to this argument other than “children should be seen and not heard!” and “ewwww!”?

    Then, not only having my father read it,

    What’s wrong with reading your kid’s blog if they’re ok with it? What’s wrong with being ok with it?

    (“hey Pop, can you pick up some anal beads and milk bones while your at the mall?”)

    This has no logical connection to anything Skatje said, and you know it.

    but then twist it into a duel w/ a weirdo like Sal Cordova. ALL IN FRONT OF THOUSANDS OF COMPLETE STRANGERS.

    As you are perfectly aware, this became a duel when Sal Cordova decided to maliciously misrepresent her position in order to smear her father by association. So far, you don’t seem to be much better than Sal.

    It is possible to be sexually uninhibited but still have class.

    Where do you draw the line, and what is your justification?

    Many people feel that being sexually uninhibited inherently implies a lack of class. What makes your position more valid than theirs?

    Furthermore, its far sexier.

    Why should anyone here care about how sexy you do or don’t find PZ’s underage daughter except PZ and said daughter?

    CJO: Whose going to waste the time penning a rational argument about a man and his minor daughter tag teaming creationists while writing about bestiality?

    Anyone worth listening to.

    There is no reason, ever, to deploy a weak, irrational (but of course I repeat myself) argument in support of anything other than one’s own choices for one’s own life, ever. When a sound, rational argument is available it should be used; when not, the challenge should not be made.

    And remember, the next time you have your head buried between your lover’s thighs and your tongue wrapped around her clitoris, that there are people who find what you’re doing every bit as disgusting as you’d find it if it was a labrador retriever licking her.

  387. #388 Brian Macker
    January 4, 2008

    “Macker, being the social misfit (i.e., libertarian) he is, has no idea what the neighbors think … or do; getting licked by the dog is a much more common practice than he imagines.”

    Oh, and this post he’s trying to rewrite history on was humorous in the first place. The concentrated irony is so ludicrous another commenter asked him if he was serious. Which he responds to as if he was serious. LOL.

    Notice the irony of him criticizing me for not reading my neighbors minds while:

    1) Assuming he knows what I’m thinking. Exactly how many people does he imagine that I imagine have their dog sexually pleasure themselves? I never said.

    2) His mindreading about my political beliefs.

    3) Him thinking that it’s a common practice for my neighbor to be pleasuring themselves on their dogs. How does know that? Mind reading I presume. Yes, because he speaks of what the “neigbhors think”. But maybe I live in an old folks home and they don’t allow animals. So how the hell does he know. :)

    4) Him chastising me as a social misfit when he has no clue as to how tied into my community I am, or what kind of reputation I have with my peers. Which is another case of him mind reading.

    Then there is the irony of these two:

    1)Makes a statement that certainly identifies him as some kind of social misfit or pervert. Guy thinks all is neighbors are screwing their dogs.

    2) Him chastising me as a social misfit.

    He doesn’t know where I live, what my social status is, whether I’m married with kids or not, whether I have many friends, whether I’m respected at work, etc.

    Do social misfits have hundred millionaires come up to them at parties and ask them how they are doing and reminisce over old times? That’s one thing I was doing last month. When to two xmas parties. Had dinner with three different families too.

    Do social misfits get packets of letters from school children saying how much they loved the science kits I made for them, with sentences like “Mr. Macker, you’re superman” and “Those sundews are cool. You must have lots of flies in your house.”

    I’m married to a beautiful wife and one of the nicest people you will meet and we have two well adjusted kids. One of whom just got into a good college in the honor program for computer science and aced his first semester. My other son is a straight A student in high school. Apparently I’m doing something right.

    He’s been making these kinds of ridiculous comments ever since I started commenting here. I usually just chuckle to myself but this as just too rich.

    Don’t get your wiener caught on a canine, Tooth Machine. To round out the joke he probably has one of those wiener dogs. Get ur done, social misfit.

  388. #389 Scott Hatfield, OM
    January 4, 2008

    Re: post #144

    Jack:

    I would like to go on record as much preferring the openly hostile ass-Holiness of ‘truth machine’ versus the weirdly adulatory passive-aggressive ass-Holiness of ‘Ftk’. And, as far as her arrival in the dungeon is concerned, this isn’t a free speech issue. This falls under the category of looking after the young’uns, plain and simple. It is the height of creepiness that someone whose monicker is ‘For the kids’ would appear to deliberately target the 17-year-old daughter of an intellectual nemesis.

    Ftk:

    Please take my advice. Retire your name and persona and hope that your true identity doesn’t ever come out in a public debate on evolution/ID, because if this excuse for a Christian happens to be there, I will give any spectators present the goodies on this little episode. You should be ashamed to be even associated with Sal.

    Ric:

    You hit the nail on the head. Sal is a habitual quote miner, and the evidence is out there to prove it. He’s another who should avoid public debates with me present, because I’ll make it my business to get the truth out.

  389. #390 Scott Hatfield, OM
    January 4, 2008

    Vox writes:

    I thought going after family was generally considered to be beyond the pale?

    It generally is. PZ, however, is one of the small minority of bloggers who does not subscribe to this principle, thus his family would be fair game even if Miss Myers was not a blogger in her own right.

    Vox, I suspect you’re referring to the fact that PZ and others have taunted you regarding your dad’s troubles with the gummint. I’m not (ahem) condoning that or anything, but, in all seriousness, do you think Jesus would buy this line of reasoning? Doesn’t this sort of rationalization boil down to just ‘an eye for an eye’ or ‘they started it’ or ‘they have it coming’ ?

    C’mon, guy, is it really OK to go after the minor daughter of an ideological foe in this way? It is at best an unsavory tactic unworthy of someone of your professed gifts. I seem to recall that another Paul (not PZ) once said something to the effect that ‘all things are lawful, but not all things are profitable.’ I think that could equally apply to the topic, and some of the choices that have been made by some in the blogosphere.

  390. #391 Escuerd
    January 4, 2008

    I admit that I haven’t been following all the ID/Creationists lately, but this fellow makes most of them look bright in comparison. Why give him more publicity?

    It’s despicable that he went after your daughter, but only the very nearly brain-dead would lend any credence to this pathetic sort of tactic in the first place.

    Come to think of it, maybe “Darwinism” actually does cause people to favor the removal of feeding tubes from these folks after all.

    I love to gawk at the mentally ill as much as any well-adjusted person, but I can’t help but think that getting noticed this much must give him the idea that he’s onto something.

  391. #392 Ichthyic
    January 4, 2008

    No, for the same reason that it isn’t rape when a doctor probes you.

    not the same thing at all, moron.

    if you want a direct comparison, it would be like me taking sperm samples and force-inseminating women when they are strapped down.

    hence, why i fucking compared it to rape, see?

    i swear, some people are just so, damn, dense.

    it’s not even worth laughing at.

  392. #393 Ichthyic
    January 4, 2008

    It’s our decision, not the horse’s.

    That, at least, is on point, though it doesn’t address the “moral issue” some here seem intent on forcing into this arena.

  393. #394 Ichthyic
    January 4, 2008

    Try to lower your tone a little or I’m going to put you in the same slot as truth machine and ichthyic. Actually there are quite a few posters here of their caliber.

    yeah, we all hate morons.

    *shrug*

  394. #395 Colugo
    January 4, 2008

    Azkyroth: “why you think animals’ lack of human rights has implications for sex between humans and animals that are the exact opposite of the implications you think it has for literally every other kind of interaction between humans and animals”

    I wrote:

    “Animals have no more right to participate in that than they have the right to vote, make medical decisions….”

    Those are prohibitions. A person cannot bestow these rights on animals on their own initiative; a person cannot designate a nonhuman animal as their medical guardian in case they are rendered incompetent.

    We all agree that there is a category of behaviors and statuses that ought to be restricted to sapient, competent, adult human beings; these include voting and legal guardianship of children and incompetent adults.

    There are distinct ethical-legal categories of beings: competent adult, incompetent adult, minor child, nonhuman animal.

    I also wrote:

    “Nor are animals truly objects, in which case there would be no issue here. Rather they are nonhuman beings with highly restricted roles and protections, depending on species and context, within the human social sphere.”

    Sexuality interaction with human adults is a category of behavior in which everyone would agree ought to have some legal restrictions based on the category of being participating. If animals should not be permitted to vote, to have legal guardianship, to babysit children, to drive, why should they be permitted to participate in that?

  395. #396 Stewie
    January 4, 2008

    Damn, but aren’t the pig fuckers a nasty lot? That’s all the reason anyone needs to ban bestiality right there–the practice turns people into flaming assholes.

  396. #397 windy
    January 4, 2008

    Tyler:

    Not to speak for Norm, but I don’t know if by “discourage” he necessarily meant “making it illegal”.

    Yes, but saying that Skatje “goofed” is misleading if they are not talking about the same thing. Other than that I found Norm’s argument sensible, too.

    Brian:

    My moral beliefs have little to do with what I find revolting. Theory wrong. Try again.

    I wasn’t implying that you found it disgusting. It was you who came up with the parents + infants analogy and said that it was “perfectly clear” that it should be illegal. I pointed out that it’s not so clear.

    …tf-ing babies should be illegal. I’m not arguing it will lead to worse behavior. :))

    I meant slippery slope in the sense of fallacy, not as a moral tut-tut argument, which I’m not accusing you of. Perhaps I should have used another name for the fallacy of bringing out successively worse examples. If you say that it’s perfectly clear that combining driving and alcohol is illegal in all circumstances, and I say that driving after one beer is legal in most places, saying “oh yeah, but how about after six beers, or twelve?” is irrelevant.

    And as for the harmfulness of the act itself, we could put it in another context by imagining a tribe that has some solemn ritual of thigh-fucking babies, as opposed to, say, cutting off a baby’s foreskin and then sucking the penis. It seems to be more about us being rightfully very, very suspicious of the motives and mental health of a person who uses a baby for masturbation, than the actual harm caused by the act.

    No shit there’s a choking hazard. I can’t believe you gave this response.

    It was a joke.

  397. #398 windy
    January 4, 2008

    Colugo, I’m as baffled by your “categorical” argument as some others here, although it’s interestingly novel.

    We all agree that there is a category of behaviors and statuses that ought to be restricted to sapient, competent, adult human beings; these include voting and legal guardianship of children and incompetent adults.

    But not sex, as a category, for obvious reasons! See #367. If you are saying “sex acts involving competent human adults should be restricted to competent human adults”, you seem to be assuming the conclusion.

  398. #399 Colugo
    January 4, 2008

    windy:

    Would I be assuming the conclusion if I wrote that “certain binding legal contracts involving competent human adults should be restricted to competent human adults” (in many jurisdictions legal contracts, e.g. real estate, are voidable by minors). And would I be inconsistent if I did not also urge a blanket prohibition against kids having lemonade stand-level “contracts” with each other, or animals reaching some kind of mutual understanding with other individual animals? No.

    My point is that adult human sex – not the generic category of sexual behavior – is a kind of activity, like legal contracts, voting, or guardianship, that assumes a certain level of competence (and by inference, sapience, humanity and adulthood) in its very conception.

    How about one specialized kind of contract: marriage. Nobody on these threads would argue that marriage ought not be restricted to competent human adults. Sure, animals pair-bond with each other. But an animal cannot marry a human because the very notion of marriage assumes sapience, competence, human status, and adulthood.

    In fact, can people who advocate that human-animal sex ought not be illegal produce a valid, internally consistent reason why, in that case, human-animal marriage ought not be legalized?

  399. #400 Carlie
    January 4, 2008

    1. The “eww” argument.[snip] 2. The “it’s immoral” argument.
    Err, you do realize that in practice these are two different ways of phrasing an identical argument, perhaps best described as “Appeal to Gag Reflex.”

    Not at all. If everything labeled as “immoral” also inspired the gag reflex, then priests would never have to hear confessions, because no one would want to break the rules. An awful lot of religious effort is spent in trying to avoid immoral actions that are very desirable, and then repenting when one gives in anyway. That’s the whole idea behind temptation, that there are things that are entirely immoral yet incredibly desirable. Adultery has been illegal in most societies through time with a justification that it’s immoral, not because people don’t want to sleep with other people’s spouses. Many Protestant denominations hold that drinking alcohol is immoral, even though to a lot of those individuals holding that view it tastes really good.

  400. #401 windy
    January 4, 2008

    Would I be assuming the conclusion if I wrote that “certain binding legal contracts involving competent human adults should be restricted to competent human adults” (in many jurisdictions legal contracts, e.g. real estate, are voidable by minors).

    Sort of. But legal interactions and contracts between humans are matters of law by definition. Acts like sex and eating aren’t. Equating a general type of activity that may or may not be regulated by law (like sex) with a specialized legal contract (like marriage) is still weird, sorry.

    In fact, can people who advocate that human-animal sex ought not be illegal produce a valid, internally consistent reason why, in that case, human-animal marriage ought not be legalized?

    People should be able to freely engage in sex with dildoes and inflatable dolls, but not to marry them. An animal is clearly in a different “ethical-legal category” than a sex toy or a human, but when we are discussing why and when sexual acts between these categories should be illegal, it’s not very satisfying to simply define them as such.

    And don’t you get a bit worried when you end up arguing essentially the same point as Cordova, only politely? :)

  401. #402 AJS
    January 4, 2008

    Colugo wrote:

    Nobody on these threads would argue that marriage ought not be restricted to competent human adults. Sure, animals pair-bond with each other. But an animal cannot marry a human because the very notion of marriage assumes sapience, competence, human status, and adulthood.

    In fact, can people who advocate that human-animal sex ought not be illegal produce a valid, internally consistent reason why, in that case, human-animal marriage ought not be legalized?

    Marriage in any form is an outdated and irrelevant concept.

    There was once a time when people believed that elaborate rituals were necessary to ensure fertility. (Remember, the idea that every child born will survive to adulthood is a comparatively recent phenomenon.) More recently, a marriage certificate was literally a licence for sexual intercourse — both extramarital sex and intramarital denial of sex were punishable offences, and a wife was deemed to be a mere chattel.

    Thankfully, those days are behind us. What a group of people choose to do in private is nobody’s business but theirs, and certainly does not require the approval of any outside authority, be it church or state.

  402. #403 Tulse
    January 4, 2008

    Just an observation from this former farm boy: Human routinely masturbate farm animals to collect sperm, and no one seems to get in a tizzy about it.

    It seems to me that there are two classes of arguments being made here, a) the impact of bestiality on the animal, and b) the impact on the human. The former I think can be dispensed with pretty easily. I am a strong believer in animal welfare, but I also have two dogs, and I regularly demand behaviour of them to which they don’t explicitly consent. As long as there is no harm to the animal, I don’t see what the issue is. Certainly using an animal for sex is less harmful to them than killing them for food or using them for medical research, and isn’t any less dignified that being carried around in Paris Hilton’s purse.

    The latter argument regarding human impact is also pretty easy to dismiss. As long as the individual is an adult, and not causing harm, it is hard to see what role the State should have in limiting their private behaviour. As Pierre Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister once famously said, “There is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” Presumably, as long as no one is getting hurt, that would include kennels.

    And, as others have done, I will point out to ryana that however distasteful you find bestiality, that is precisely how distasteful many people find homosexuality. It is people just like Skatje who provided rational arguments against that view of homosexuality, and to whom you owe the ability to talk openly about being a lesbian. Your reaction to her posting shows a remarkable lack of appreciation for history. If you can’t provide a more rational response than “ewww!”, how is that any different than the people who say the same thing about lesbianism?

  403. #404 windy
    January 4, 2008

    Oh, and one more thing…

    In fact, can people who advocate that human-animal sex ought not be illegal produce a valid, internally consistent reason why, in that case, human-animal marriage ought not be legalized?

    You yourself brought up some of the reasons: “…a person cannot designate a nonhuman animal as their medical guardian in case they are rendered incompetent. We all agree that there is a category of behaviors and statuses that ought to be restricted to sapient, competent, adult human beings; these include voting and legal guardianship of children and incompetent adults.

    Since the function of marriage as a “licence for sex” is almost obsolete in many places, it seems that the legal function of marriage is mostly as a tool for managing joint property, guardianship of children and medical guardianship in case of emergency. Since animals can’t own property (occasional cats “inheriting” their owners aside) or be anyone’s guardian, marriage as currently practiced among most humans is impossible with animals without redefining either marriage or the legal status of an animal (resulting in lots of absurdity). Sex with an animal does not create such property or guardianship issues.

  404. #405 June
    January 4, 2008

    In #290, Ryana asked for ‘a little class’. I second that motion, since the concept seems to be going extinct from this thread as well as from our culture. Given that this is a blog read by an international community of scientists, one might well expect PZ to ban commenters who respond to serious, polite comments with ‘you fucking moron’. The endless insults from bullies like Truth Machine harm Pharyngula and contribute nothing. They demean people, inhibit comments, derail the discussion, ignite flame wars, drive away the serious scientist, and feed quote miners. Not to mention that a claim containing an insult is a logical fallacy that invalidates the claim – or is logic also going extinct?

    Instead, FTK is banned, even though her comments (26, 35, 42, 46, 52, 58, 60, 64, and 67) are consistently polite, responsive, rational, logical, and free of obscenities. There is no slander (and hence no innuendo). She does NOT always defend Sal (unless ‘jerk’ has become a defense on this blog!). She fully quotes Skatje and directly points to those words that seem to condone (accept, allow, permit, tolerate) bestiality and incest.

    Perhaps PZ could give us a little fatherly direction regarding class?

  405. #406 Ken Cope
    January 4, 2008

    re: #405

    This post reads like a classic concern troll, likely to have been written by an FtK sock puppet, although, of course, I could be mistaken, in which case the best that could be said on behalf of the post is that June’s grasp of the situation is woefully inadequate. To echo Ryana’s “plea for class” (which I remember mostly for its sex toy shopping list) makes it very difficult for me to take this post seriously.

  406. #407 Carlie
    January 4, 2008

    Given that this is a blog read by an international community of scientists, one might well expect PZ to ban commenters who respond to serious, polite comments with ‘you fucking moron’.

    June, have you ever been around an international community of scientists? They are all perfectly capable of calling idiots “fucking moron”, and often do, especially after a long day of talks when everyone’s drinking. :)

  407. #408 spurge
    January 4, 2008

    June

    What makes you think Truth Machine isn’t a working scientist?

  408. #409 Rey Fox
    January 4, 2008

    Yeah, this continuing insinuation that scientists must at all times be unemotional and unfailingly polite and deferential is annoying and rather insulting, really. It’d be like if you found out someone in an online argument runs a day care and you started chastising them for using naughty words or talking about adult subjects.

    Haven’t these concern trolls ever had the pleasure of witnessing a really well-crafted insult made to someone who richly deserves it? Seriously, live a little.

    “Not to mention that a claim containing an insult is a logical fallacy that invalidates the claim.”

    The Earth is round, because it has been demonstrated time and time again that one can set off in one direction on the face of the Earth and return to one’s starting point without backtracking, you moron. Oh crap, my insult just invalidated my claim.

  409. #410 Robin Levett
    January 4, 2008

    @June (#405):

    Instead, FTK is banned, even though her comments (26, 35, 42, 46, 52, 58, 60, 64, and 67) are consistently polite, responsive, rational, logical, and free of obscenities. There is no slander (and hence no innuendo). She does NOT always defend Sal (unless ‘jerk’ has become a defense on this blog!). She fully quotes Skatje and directly points to those words that seem to condone (accept, allow, permit, tolerate) bestiality and incest.

    It might be possible to read FtK’s posts that way, if you squint, hold them upside down and rewrite the parts that remain inconsistent despite that treatment.

    SCordova’s point, in the post that was the origin of this thread, was that Skatje was into bestiality -at the very least that she advocated bestiality. He quotemined a post of hers directed at the legality of bestiality and suggested that when she brought home her boyfriend to PZ, it would be what I am reliably informed is a collared peccary.

    Skatje is PZ’s daughter; this was fairly transparently an attempt to attack PZ by sliming, his daughter.

    FtK, however politely, called Sordova a jerk for the way he made the point, but insisted that his point was valid. She claimed that Skatje “condoned” bestiality, when she had already been told, on another blog, the confusion that the use of this word causes. Instead of making her position entirely clear, she clung to the use of that word and the defence of SCordova’s “point”.

    Do you now see why her behaviour, however polite, was odious? Or do her posts remain, in your mind, squinted at upside down and edited?

  410. #411 Azkyroth
    January 4, 2008

    In #290, Ryana asked for ‘a little class’. I second that motion, since the concept seems to be going extinct from this thread as well as from our culture.

    Given that this is a blog read by an international community of scientists, one might well expect PZ to ban commenters who respond to serious, polite comments with ‘you fucking moron’. The endless insults from bullies like Truth Machine harm Pharyngula and contribute nothing. They demean people, inhibit comments, derail the discussion, ignite flame wars, drive away the serious scientist, and feed quote miners.

    Do you have a single fact to back up your idiotic assumption that serious scientists never use naughty or harsh language, and that doing so automatically invalidates…well, anything? Or that those presently participating aren’t serious scientists? Didn’t think so.

    Anyway, if your idea of what constitutes “class” obliges people to never discuss controversial subjects or honestly express their contempt for the dishonesty of certain participants in the discussion, let it go extinct. It will be missed about as much as smallpox.

    Not to mention that a claim containing an insult is a logical fallacy that invalidates the claim – or is logic also going extinct?

    Apparently your local population is extirpated. An insult, or even an unflattering statement, is only a logical fallacy when it is used as a premise and is actually irrelevant to the argument (“Jim has a long history of dishonesty” for example is a valid reason for additional skepticism about any claim for which Jim’s testimony is used as supporting evidence, though it does not automatically invalidate that claim). This is so basic I’m reasonably certain my pet fish understand it. Why don’t you?

    Instead, FTK is banned, even though her comments (26, 35, 42, 46, 52, 58, 60, 64, and 67) are consistently polite, responsive, rational, logical, and free of obscenities.

    Her posts are neither rational nor logical, as I’m pretty sure even my pet fish could tell me if they could talk.

    And while you’re at it, give me one reason why anyone, ever, should under any circumstances give a flying fuck about the opinion of a person stupid enough to care less about what people say than about how they say it.

    There is no slander (and hence no innuendo).

    Can you actually define either of those words?

    She does NOT always defend Sal (unless ‘jerk’ has become a defense on this blog!). She fully quotes Skatje and directly points to those words that seem to condone (accept, allow, permit, tolerate) bestiality and incest.

    Refer to my previous point about the difference between “a gang of thugs” and “a group of kids.”

  411. #412 RamblinDude
    January 4, 2008

    So to recap, this post with over four hundred comments happened because a 17 year old girl dared to objectively examine a taboo subject fearlessly. She considering it from different angles without the knee jerk abhorrence demanded by societal pressures and centuries of religious dogma. In her article she continually asks “what if?” and “Why not?”, exploring the subject rationally and without prejudice. And with predictable American sensibility, a bright light was shone on her for daring to do this. She was castigated and used offensively in a power struggle, and attempts were made to make her seem immoral and not fit for polite society–and her dad, too.

    Rock on, Skatje!

  412. #413 Anton Mates
    January 4, 2008

    Not to mention that a claim containing an insult is a logical fallacy that invalidates the claim – or is logic also going extinct?

    Really?

    So if my premises are

    1) All men are mortal” and
    2) “Socrates is a man, cowardly motherfathering slimeball that he is,”

    Then “Socrates is mortal” is no longer a valid conclusion?

    Thanks, June, I’ve learned so much about logic today!

  413. #414 Kseniya
    January 4, 2008

    Maybe June meant “a claim that contains a trilobite”.

  414. #415 Carlie
    January 4, 2008

    Trilobites are extinct, and ugly.

    Oops, I think I may have just opened a rift in the space-time continuum.

  415. #416 Kseniya
    January 4, 2008

    Carlie! OMG! You called them ugly, which invalidates your claim that they are extinct. Watch your step next time you go to the beach!

  416. #417 RamblinDude
    January 4, 2008

    Trilobites are extinct, and ugly.

    Your claim that trilobites are extinct is false and you’re a moron for saying that.

    Whew! I think that set things straight again. That was a close one!

    (Or do I have to say it twice? I’m not sure how this works.)

  417. #418 Kseniya
    January 4, 2008

    Next thing you know, everyone will be wanting to have sex with these trilobites.

    (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

  418. #419 Carlie
    January 4, 2008

    Oh no, Kseniya, you’ve just invoked Rule 34. Now it’s out there somewhere. Will no one think of the children?

  419. #420 Azkyroth
    January 4, 2008

    Oh no, Kseniya, you’ve just invoked Rule 34. Now it’s out there somewhere. Will no one think of the children?

    You mean besides clergymen? *coughs*

  420. #421 Enkidu
    January 4, 2008

    I just popped over to her site . . . she can kick any asses that deserve kicking all by herself. PZ, you’ve done good, now turn her loose on the world!

  421. #422 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    Not to mention that a claim containing an insult is a logical fallacy that invalidates the claim – or is logic also going extinct?

    You wouldn’t know logic if it sat on your face, you fucking moron.

  422. #423 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    So if my premises are

    1) All men are mortal” and
    2) “Socrates is a man, cowardly motherfathering slimeball that he is,”

    Then “Socrates is mortal” is no longer a valid conclusion?

    She referred to claims, not arguments, so it’s the claim “Socrates is a man” that is invalidated, you silly goose. Oh no, I must be wrong!

    Here’s a little “logic” for June: by including such an ignorant claim in her argument she really does “invalidate” it, in the sense that people are more inclined to ignore her content. The same may apply to my use of vulgarity, but I don’t really care — I play to the adults and love to tweak the “he said ‘fucking moron’, heh heh” juveniles like June.

  423. #424 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    And while you’re at it, give me one reason why anyone, ever, should under any circumstances give a flying fuck about the opinion of a person stupid enough to care less about what people say than about how they say it.

    Um, Azkyroth, isn’t this what I have said to you repeatedly? It’s nice that it’s been awhile since you’ve wasted your time berating me, but this is a surprise, I must say.

  424. #425 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    I frankly don’t think that the person who writes things like

    Sexuality interaction with human adults is a category of behavior in which everyone would agree ought to have some legal restrictions based on the category of being participating. If animals should not be permitted to vote, to have legal guardianship, to babysit children, to drive, why should they be permitted to participate in that?

    and

    In fact, can people who advocate that human-animal sex ought not be illegal produce a valid, internally consistent reason why, in that case, human-animal marriage ought not be legalized?

    has any better grasp of logic than June. If we don’t let them drive, why don’t we let them lick pussy? Uh, because the consequences are different; because the reasons for our prohibition of the former don’t apply to the latter. Oh sure, someone can gin up some reason, based on categories or whatever, that applies to both, but that’s a fallacy of affirmation of the consequent that no one other than the sophist who crafts that bit of apologetics would be swayed by.

    The same applies to marriage of course; you can have sex with your hand or with a hoover but you can’t marry them.

    Actually, June may well have a better grasp of logic than Colugo.

  425. #426 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    If we don’t let them drive, why don’t we let them lick pussy?

    Damn natural language; I mistranslated from the binary. Make that “If we don’t let them drive, why should we let them lick pussy?”

  426. #427 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    P.S. June would be wise to show a bit of intellectual courage and admit that her “logical fallacy” claim was stupidly wrong, else she will be reminded of it every time she posts.

  427. #428 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    truth machine: “The same applies to marriage of course; you can have sex with your hand or with a hoover but you can’t marry them.”

    Is an animal equivalent to a hoover? If that were the case nobody would have raised the issues of consent and cruelty. Therefore the examples are erroneous, and so is the implication – that animals are simply objects. Nonhuman animals are a category of being. Everyone recognizes the categories of competent adult, noncompetent adult, nonadult, and animal. You are free to create your own system of categories of beings and objects, one shared by no one else, but ultimately that would be as fanciful and pointless as the notion of a dog-human hybrid.

    This thread shows how influential Singerian utilitarian reasoning has become. But even utilitarianism depends on ethical axioms; otherwise, it could only explore hypothetical consequences but could never prescribe anything. So ethical axioms are not disallowed by virtue of being axiomatic; any system rests on them.

  428. #429 Azkyroth
    January 5, 2008

    Um, Azkyroth, isn’t this what I have said to you repeatedly? It’s nice that it’s been awhile since you’ve wasted your time berating me, but this is a surprise, I must say.

    Heh. Well, it doesn’t follow from my claim that the way in which a thing is said is completely irrelevant (merely that it’s secondary), but I suppose you have a point. You may have noticed that I’d backed off on that?

  429. #430 Azkyroth
    January 5, 2008

    (Rereading, you apparently have.)

  430. #431 Azkyroth
    January 5, 2008

    Actually, June may well have a better grasp of logic than Colugo.

    To be fair, Colugo’s argument reminds me somewhat of some contentiuons I half-recall hearing (admittedly secondhand) from thinkers like Descartes and Kant; specifically, the arguments that, when I reflect on them, make me think of the joke about mathematicians whose punchline is “consider a spherical cow…”

  431. #432 Anton Mates
    January 5, 2008

    She referred to claims, not arguments, so it’s the claim “Socrates is a man” that is invalidated, you silly goose.

    Damn! She was too subtle for me!

  432. #433 Tulse
    January 5, 2008

    Nonhuman animals are a category of being.

    Absolutely, which means that we have a special duty of care to them, and as an ethical vegetarian I think that duty extends pretty damned far. That said, as an ethical vegetarian I fail to see what principle one would use to say that non-harmful sex with animals is immoral due to considerations regarding the animal. As has been pointed out repeatedly, we routinely carry out actions on animals that are far more harmful to them (such as killing them for food or medical research — did I mention I was an ethical vegetarian?). Why is an action that is not damaging to them (and perhaps even enjoyable for them) immoral?

    Sure, the practice wigs me out at a gut level, but that is no basis for rational morality. I can honestly say that Skatje’s post, and this general discussion, has changed my mind on this issue. I don’t like the notion of human-animal sex, but as long as the animal is not harmed (and that can be interpreted as broadly as you like), I don’t see any reason to make it illegal, or to consider it any more immoral than other kinky sexual behaviour that hugely inventive humans think up.

  433. #434 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    Is an animal equivalent to a hoover?

    Are you equivalent to a purveyor of fallacies? Every word of your post is embedded in a strawman or fallacy of affirmation of the consequent.

  434. #435 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    Therefore the examples are erroneous, and so is the implication – that animals are simply objects.

    It’s just barely fathomable to me how someone can be so stupid as to take that as the implication of what I wrote. You asked whether there’s a valid internally consistent reason why, if human-animal sex ought to be legal, human-animal marriage ought not. The blatantly obvious answer is, of course, that different criteria apply to marriage than to sex. All I have to do is show any example for which that is obviously true in order to support the “internal consistency” of that justification. Nowhere is there any implication that that animals are in the same category as hoovers. As I said, anyone who comes to that conclusion has no grasp of logic.

  435. #436 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    To be fair, Colugo’s argument reminds me somewhat of some contentiuons I half-recall hearing (admittedly secondhand) from thinkers like Descartes and Kant; specifically, the arguments that, when I reflect on them, make me think of the joke about mathematicians whose punchline is “consider a spherical cow…”

    I think that’s very unfair to Descartes, Kant, and mathematicians. Mathematicians may offer arguments that are unsound due to silly premises, but they aren’t in the habit of making radically invalid arguments. His argument seems to run something like: because animals form a category different from humans and inanimate objects, we shouldn’t treat them the same as humans or inanimate objects. Well, sometimes. (Note that this is a modal error, as is “whites have higher IQs than blacks”.)

  436. #437 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    Thanks for the compliment, Azkyroth. (I know; it was qualified, but I will take them where I can get them.)

    truth machine: “because the consequences are different; because the reasons for our prohibition of the former don’t apply to the latter.”

    Can rules about activities (legal contracts, guardianship, marriage, sex and so on) as they apply to various natural and universally recognized distinct categories of beings (adult, noncompetent adult, nonadult, animal) emerge solely from consequentialist reasoning? That is, because if A does x then y will likely result? (y being degree of harm or benefit, to complete the utilitarian sequence?)

    I don’t believe they can. Activities, and hence the rules about them, are about the nature of the agent as well as the nature of the consequence. These rules cannot simply be about assessment of probabilities and degree of benefit or harm. Why? Because categories of beings are not recognized simply because they are convenient variables in heuristics of costs and benefit, but because they are instrinsic to the very conception of these activities.

    Because certain activities, like contracts and marriage, presume sapience and competence, not simply because some harm would issue otherwise – but because sapience and competence are essential to the very nature of what a contract, of marriage, of being a guardian, are. Sure, these are “merely” definitional (ultimately, axioms about what these things ought to be), and we could extend or redefine what we mean by these or any other activity.

    The very edifice of utilitarianism is the issue here. This thread is not really about bestiality (nobody is really interested in such a preposterous practice); it’s about where utilitarian reasoning takes you.

  437. #438 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    Colugo writes:

    blah blah blah blah …

    Sorry, but I can’t find any pony in all that shit — a rebuttal to my argument.

  438. #439 Anton Mates
    January 5, 2008

    Colugo,

    Because certain activities, like contracts and marriage, presume sapience and competence, not simply because some harm would issue otherwise – but because sapience and competence are essential to the very nature of what a contract, of marriage, of being a guardian, are.

    Sure. So why are sapience and competence essential to the very nature of the act of licking/humping/whatever a human’s a naughty bits?

    After all, the animal in question is not engaging in “specifically human sexuality,” as you define it. That would be impossible, if only thanks to your definition–the animal can’t think and express precisely the same things that humans think and express when having sex. The animal is merely engaging in “animal sexuality,” or “animal acquisition of peanut butter,” and a human happens to be in the way.

    Playing organized sports is a specifically human activity; presumably, most animals are incapable of adhering to a formal set of rules for play, keeping score in an abstract point system, and so forth. But humans and dogs can still work together to play flyball and compete in agility trials.

    This thread is not really about bestiality (nobody is really interested in such a preposterous practice)

    Just going by the various surveys mentioned on Wiki, from Kinsey onward, over 2% of sexually active American adults are interested in it. That’s a non-negligible number of people.

  439. #440 Anton Mates
    January 5, 2008

    Oh, and

    Can rules about activities (legal contracts, guardianship, marriage, sex and so on) as they apply to various natural and universally recognized distinct categories of beings (adult, noncompetent adult, nonadult, animal) emerge solely from consequentialist reasoning? That is, because if A does x then y will likely result? (y being degree of harm or benefit, to complete the utilitarian sequence?)

    Sure. Why not? Such categories themselves can emerge from consequentialist reasoning–we classify children as legally separate from adults because, if children attempt to do everything adults do, and adults treat them as they treat other adults, harm results.

    If you attempt to convince a horse to pull your plow without restraint or coercion for six weeks, in return for thirty bales of hay to be delivered at the end of that time, and with the threat of the glue factory if the horse defaults, neither you nor the horse are likely to be satisfied by the outcome. Therefore, horses are incompetent to enter into legal contracts.

    The nature of an agent–competence, sapience and all–is assessed by the consequences of interactions with that agent. I don’t see any other way to do it.

  440. #441 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    Just going by the various surveys mentioned on Wiki, from Kinsey onward, over 2% of sexually active American adults are interested in it. That’s a non-negligible number of people.

    Not to mention the fact that, Colugo, being the dishonest solipsistic git he is, denies the very obvious fact that a number of people contributing here really are talking about the practice, “preposterous” or not. But that word is very revealing — it’s his gut feeling that it is preposterous that drives his sophistic apologetics.

  441. #442 GuLi
    January 5, 2008

    Colugo #437

    This thread is not really about bestiality (nobody is really interested in such a preposterous practice); it’s about where utilitarian reasoning takes you.

    IMO, this thread is more about an oft asked and never answered
    “What’s so special about sex?”.

  442. #443 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    Just going by the various surveys mentioned on Wiki, from Kinsey onward, over 2% of sexually active American adults are interested in it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoophilia#Extent_of_occurrence gives considerably higher numbers.

  443. #444 June
    January 5, 2008

    Some commenters here typically argue by ridiculing the opponent to gain the approval of the observing audience. While an insult does not necessarily constitute an Ad Hominem fallacy, there are other fallacies that apply to insults, such as Appeal To Emotion, Appeal To Authority, Poisoning The Wells, Ad Baculum, Irrelevance, and Ridicule.

    And, yes, a fallacy does invalidate an argument.

  444. #445 Carlie
    January 5, 2008

    And, yes, a fallacy does invalidate an argument.

    Only if the fallacy is the source of the argument. If it’s an add-on, then it does nothing with regard to the argument itself. If I say “You’re wrong because you never managed to graduate from high school”, that’s fallacious. If I say “You’re wrong and you’re stupid because you never graduated from high school” then the ad hominem wasn’t related the argument, and therefore did not invalidate it.

  445. #446 Brian Macker
    January 5, 2008

    To those arguing from the position of “animal consent”. You are confused.

    Requiring consent comes from the recognition that all humans are equal in their autonomy within a just society. That’s what the Declaration of Independence is actually referring to when saying that all men are created equal. It doesn’t mean that all men are equal in the sense of having equivalent ability or that the deserve equal outcomes.

    Our laws should be in harmony with what a rational actor would agree to abide by as an individual from all perspectives of a law.

    Animals just don’t have this kind of autonomy within human society. They may have a different kind of autonomy in the wild but we are talking about captured or domesticated animals. Even in the wild they do no come to agreements as rational actors.

    Within society animals are just not equipped to behave as rational actors either, and we do not treat them as such. As other posters here have pointed out we do not allow dogs to decide who their masters are, where to live, what role they are to play in society, etc.

    To argue that consent plays any role in deciding what our laws should be with regards to animals is ludicrous. The second that you do that it opens to question whether animals can even have a productive role in human society, and which humans get the benefits. Cages, fences, doors, leashes, and other obstacles to free animal movement would have to be done away with. We can’t know what the animals want to do verbally so such restraints might just be violations of their consent.

    How does one get consent from an dog not to shit on your lawn, or a dingo not to eat your baby? Ownership of animals would have to be done away with since it violates consent and then it would be a matter of who could best attract what are essentially feral animals. Any human who does keep animals would have to install doggy doors in any building that the animal was allowed into so that it could come and go of it’s own free will.

    The implications of this kind of thinking are ridiculous, because animals cannot consent as rational actors. That’s because they are not rational actors.

    If you truly which to control bestiality you are going to have to do so on different grounds. In a society based on natural rights you can do so on the issue of endangerment of others, or property rights. One thing that could be done is to make sales contracts on dogs to be encumbered by rules that disallow bestiality. This is a general concept already recognized by the law. One can for instance sell land but retain mineral rights.

    In fact, some breeders sell their dogs that are intended to be pets with the requirement that they be spayed. No reason why you can’t sell a dog as a pet with the requirement that it not be used for sexual activities. No reason why the American Kennel Club cannot require that all breeders that work with it include such provisos.

    If indeed there are empirically provable dangers involved with having sex with animals it is perfectly reasonable to restrict such activities on that basis.

    Animal consent is a non-starter.

  446. #447 Brian Macker
    January 5, 2008

    With animals consent is not a factor at all. Dog fighting is considered wrong even though the dogs themselves seem more than willing to get into a tangle with each other.

    I think there are proper and valid reasons for outlawing animal cruelty and bestiality but consent is not one of them.

  447. #448 windy
    January 5, 2008

    Is an animal equivalent to a hoover?

    No, and sex is not equivalent to marriage. So you get to argue by analogy but we don’t?

    You might as well argue that if a person thinks there’s nothing wrong with having multiple sex partners in a lifetime, they have no valid reason of not allowing polygamy.

  448. #449 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    Windy: Come to think of it, referring to your own ethical logic can you make a case for why polygamy should not be legalized? (Assuming that it is between consenting adults of course.)

  449. #450 windy
    January 5, 2008

    I guess I would have to refer to some of that suspicious and evil consequentialist reasoning and say that polygamy would result in an unsolved muddle of practical issues! What would be the upper limit of allowed partners in a marriage and how would you set it without consequentialist reasoning?

    I wasn’t saying that polygamy between consenting adults is necessarily wrong, I was saying that it does not follow from accepting sex with multiple partners that one must allow polygamy, since sex and marriage are not the same thing!

  450. #451 Brian Macker
    January 5, 2008

    Carlie,
    “Only if the fallacy is the source of the argument.”

    True. But some arguments are multi-sourced.

    “If it’s an add-on, then it does nothing with regard to the argument itself.

    False. It counts as an additional fallacious argument.

    “If I say “You’re wrong because you never managed to graduate from high school”, that’s fallacious. ”

    True.

    “If I say “You’re wrong and you’re stupid because you never graduated from high school” then the ad hominem wasn’t related the argument, and therefore did not invalidate it.”

    Care to correct that. Your example was bad. Not graduating from high school is actually evidence that one is stupid. So that doesn’t count as an ad hominem at all. There is no ad homenim because there are really two separate conclusions being made.

    1) An unsupported claim that the person is wrong. Not really an argument at all but just an assertion.
    2) That the person is stupid. An in this case an actual argument based on the fact they didn’t graduate from high school.

    A sentence like “You’re wrong because X and you are stupid” is merely an argument with an appended insult and not an ad hominem argument at all.

    I’ll give you an example of something that is an insult and also ad hominem. One of the nastier posters here had the following to say:
    “we’re not confused, Macker. we know from past experience you say stupid shit all the time. no worries.”

    Obviously this is an insult. It is also however an argument. First he implicitly assumes that I was making a claim that the other posters were confused about my beliefs on the existence of god. Of course, I wasn’t making this claim. I was obviously trying to prevent a bad assumption before it was made. They did the same with regard to my political beliefs so it was a reasonable assumption on my part.

    Taking this imaginary claim as a starting point he then argues against it. as my argument the then argues against it fallaciously saying, “we know from past experience you say stupid shit all the time. no worries.”

    This is both an ad hominem and a bald assertion. He’s arguing that the claim I didn’t make is false but making a personal attack. In addition he is asserting that I make stupid statements all the time. This not being any argument in and of it self since he doesn’t back it up with any evidence.

    This however serves a further rhetorical and fallacious purpose of misleading other readers who are not familiar with my comments. He wishes other readers to view my actual comment as wrong merely on the basis that he believes my comments in the past to be stupid.

    Actually, I’m much more intelligent that him and I’m sure I say things all the time that I would more politely characterize as incorrect. Problem is that he does this far more frequently than I do so that if he thinks I’m stupid he should have an even lower opinion of himself. Perhaps this explains his behavior.

    How do I know I’m more intelligent. Well I’ve read what he’s written. You’ll have to judge that for yourself. Take as an example what I’ve just pointed out. I’m too intelligent to make that kind of response to another commenter because it is just to easy to pick apart. Most of the time I don’t bother with these guys because frankly I have better things to do and I know the more intelligent readers here can see through their silly arguments, assertions, and insults.

    I’m certainly more polite.

    If you want I can point out many other instances of the kind of thing that Jane is getting upset with. She’s perfectly correct.

    In fact, P Z Myers is prone to such fallacies in his arguments. Calling people greedy isn’t exactly an argument.

  451. #452 Brian Macker
    January 5, 2008

    Actually, my mistake, I think it was “selfish” or some such.

  452. #453 June
    January 5, 2008

    Carlie (445): Thanks for your rational reply. You are talking about the Ad Hominem fallacy, but there are several other fallacies caused by insulting the opponent. For example, some replies to my #405 eagerly insulted me (to make my point, I suppose). One pompously demanded definitions of well-known words like ‘slander’ – a sure sign of side-tracking a debate (remember ‘condone’). Another demanded detailed proof – another sign of moving the debate to a different level. Still another has no idea what a ‘concern troll’ is (hint: it involves a FAKED concern).

    So far, nobody has addressed my list of problems that insults create for the Pharyngula community.

  453. #454 windy
    January 5, 2008

    Anton Mates wrote:

    If you attempt to convince a horse to pull your plow without restraint or coercion for six weeks, in return for thirty bales of hay to be delivered at the end of that time, and with the threat of the glue factory if the horse defaults, neither you nor the horse are likely to be satisfied by the outcome. Therefore, horses are incompetent to enter into legal contracts. The nature of an agent–competence, sapience and all–is assessed by the consequences of interactions with that agent. I don’t see any other way to do it.

    Good point. And Colugo has not explained why animal labor shoud not be forbidden as well as animal sex, when having a human do physical work for us presupposes sapience, competence, adulthood and consent (since we don’t allow slave or child labor anymore).

    Quoting GuLi in #442, what’s so special about sex?

  454. #455 Carlie
    January 5, 2008

    If I understand you properly, your main argument is that the use of insults is offensive to real scientists.

    I would reply that I have met a lot of scientists, and very, very few of them haven’t ever insulted anyone. There are a few, who are the sweetest and most considerate people I’ve ever met, but most of them are just… people. People who not only lose their tempers and hurl insults occasionally, but who are trained to look for weak points in the arguments of others (particularly in their areas of expertise) and exploit them mercilessly. Scientists are people who are passionate about knowledge, or else they wouldn’t have gotten into such a punishing field in the first place, and are equally passionate about defending it. If you think rude language really turns off scientists, I’d suggest you hang around the hotel bar at any scientific convention at the end of the day. You might be surprised.

  455. #456 Ken Cope
    January 5, 2008

    So far, nobody has addressed my list of problems that insults create for the Pharyngula community.

    Wah!

  456. #457 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    “since sex and marriage are not the same thing!”

    Of course they are not. But in which ways are they different in the case of human-animal relations? Merely because of the association with child-rearing? That’s hardly fair to the childless. Because of differential competence? Nobody suggest that we ought to invalidate marriages in which one partner has been rendered incompetent and is under the guardianship of another. Because of the duration? We already have lifetime (theirs, at least) animal companions. Deep emotional connection? We love our pets and they presumably love us, right?

    What’s special about sex? Sex is not just sex. It is deeply embedded in a sphere of cultural, symbolic, interpretive, affective relations that are core to the nature of our self-definition, our relationships, and the larger social contract that binds us together – in a way that ordinary work and play are not. Beings of various categories interact with us within our social world; rules regarding these interactions affirm and maintain the larger social contract. Engaging categories of beings that are not sapient, competent, adult humans in sexual activity inherently violates these categorical boundaries and hence the social contract, while engaging them in work and play do not.

    One might complain that this is a consequentialist argument. Arguably so. But consequentialist arguments tend to be in the form of immediate or short term cost and benefit to participating agents, not the validity and stability of categories, institutions, and contracts.

    “evil consequentialist reasoning”

    Evil? No. Blinkered, stilted, and naive, yes. Utilitarianism has lead Singer and Dawkins into ethical folly time and again.

  457. #458 windy
    January 5, 2008

    Engaging categories of beings that are not sapient, competent, adult humans in sexual activity inherently violates these categorical boundaries and hence the social contract, while engaging them in work and play do not.

    So you say, but seem unable to offer much support other than you think that the categorical boundary in the case of sex is uncrossable.

    Beings of various categories interact with us within our social world; rules regarding these interactions affirm and maintain the larger social contract.

    Yes, and sometimes we change these rules. Do you think that the social contract in Sweden has collapsed because there is no law against bestiality?

    (side note: this lack has little to do with bestiality being common or accepted: the law was overturned because it was in the same paragraph as homosexuality)

    But consequentialist arguments tend to be in the form of immediate or short term cost and benefit to participating agents, not the validity and stability of categories, institutions, and contracts.

    Arguments against gay marriage tend to invoke the validity and stability of societal institutions, too. Do you find that reasoning correct?

  458. #459 GuLi
    January 5, 2008

    Colugo #457

    Sex is not just sex. It is deeply embedded in a sphere of cultural, symbolic, interpretive, affective relations that are core to the nature of our self-definition, our relationships, and the larger social contract that binds us together – in a way that ordinary work and play are not.

    I’m afraid this looks like a lot of handwaving, to me. And I
    happen to disagree with the bits I think I understand : As
    far as I’m concerned, you can have sex with who/whatever you
    like – ain’t you lucky. My social contract forbids doing
    harm to others, and that’s about it.

  459. #460 June
    January 5, 2008

    Carlie (455) “If I understand you properly, your main argument is that the use of insults is offensive to real scientists.”

    No. I want to see valid arguments presented for both sides of a debate, but fallacies invalidate arguments. Insults generate fallacies and sidetrack the debate. I am arguing against insults, against sounding like juveniles who just learned the F word.

  460. #461 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    Windy: “Arguments against gay marriage tend to invoke the validity and stability of societal institutions, too. Do you find that reasoning correct?”

    Gay and straight, men and women, different “races” – these all belong to the more fundamental natural category of sapient, competent – human – adults. So no, I do not.

    “Do you think that the social contract in Sweden has collapsed because there is no law against bestiality?”

    No, and I doubt that it will because bestiality is such a marginal and fringe practice. Still, its legalization is an affront to fundamental categorical boundaries and hence it comprises that contract in subtle ways that may have indirect consequences.

  461. #462 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    On the subject of categorical boundaries and their violation:

    I am going to assume that everyone commenting on these threads is opposed to, and would support a legal ban on, the creation of a human-chimpanzee hybrid. A viable creature (the kind that David Barash has mused about), not an experimental culture or embryo.

    But on what grounds?

    Repugnance? Not really an argument. Platonic absolutes? Arbitrary moral axioms? Those are bad reasons, I’ve heard.

    Harm and suffering? Why assume that the Pan-Homo hybrid is suffering in any way?

  462. #463 windy
    January 5, 2008

    No, and I doubt that it will because bestiality is such a marginal and fringe practice. Still, its legalization is an affront to fundamental categorical boundaries and hence it comprises that contract in subtle ways that may have indirect consequences.

    So consequentialist arguments are OK as long as you are referring to subtle, indirect, as-yet-undetected consequences? Holy fuck. This is getting quite pointless.

    Harm and suffering? Why assume that the Pan-Homo hybrid is suffering in any way?

    Why assume that it isn’t? It would be the equivalent of intentionally creating a severely handicapped human. If we could be sure that such hybrids would not suffer and we could offer them a reasonable place in human society, there might be no reason to impose a categorical ban, but there is no way to ascertain how much a hybrid would suffer without creating the hybrid.

  463. #464 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    I noted that there may be consequences in regard to the impact of the lifting of such a band in Sweden, but the argument does not rely on them. It ultimately rests on the maintenance of categorical boundaries – not contingent on temporal and local conditions – as being valuable in and of itself. These categories naturally emerge because they are fundamental components of human social contracts, but once established the integrity of these categories is an ends, not just a means.

  464. #465 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    I mean “ban in Sweden.”

  465. #466 Brian Macker
    January 5, 2008

    While we’re on the topic of the ad hominem fallacy I want to point out a few things. Making an argument that questions personal attributes of the opponent do not always count as ad hominem attacks. It depends on whether those attributes are related to some supporting argument made by that opponent.

    For instance, should an opponent claim to be an authority on some subject and is relying on his authority directly to make his argument it is perfectly valid to question that authority via attacks on his person that are relevant to that authority.

    Another case would be where the person making the argument is using evidence from a source where trust is involved. We can’t all go out an test for ourselves so we have to use a certain amount of trust in others. If there is evidence that puts that trust into question it is perfectly valid to point it out. Data produced by scientists funded by tobacco companies on cigarette smoking comes to mind.

    It’s also valid and not an ad-hominem attack to question someone’s argument based on authority where those authorities can be show to have made basic mistakes in their area of supposed expertise, or failure to follow protocols designed to ensure the exposure of error.

    Likewise not all arguments that depend upon an authority are fallacious. Only if the person making the appeal claims that the authority makes the claim absolutely certain is the appeal to authority a fallacy. It all depends on precisely how the claim is being made.

    A good example of this dynamic is the global warming advocates. They trust in certain scientists that claim that global warming exists. This is strictly not an appeal to authority and thus not a fallacy as of yet. The natural counterpoint then is to question that authority, which often the pro side views as ad hominem attacks. This is wrong. The attacks are often perfectly valid too.

    The anti side often points out quite valid mistakes and failures to follow standard scientific protocols on the part of the authorities that were appealed to. There have been very serious concerns raised about failures in the areas of keeping data secret, failing to control for variables, having conflicts of interest, splicing data together incorrectly, claiming data sources are independent when they are not, etc. I’ve checked out many of these claims and they turned out to be true. The authorities in question have committed these mistakes and failed to follow reasonable protocol.

    The correct response to this is to retract the claims and correct the failures. This has not been the strategy used however. The response has been to further dig in ones boots to claim that the authority knows best and that the opponent’s criticisms are not valid because he is not an authority. This changes the dynamic. What was before a valid argument from trust becomes too strong and instead becomes an argument purely based on authority, thus committing a fallacy. In fact, it also commits the ad hominem fallacy. If these criticisms are not based on a issue of trust, then to reject them based on the fact that someone is not an authority is also an ad hominem fallacy.

    Many of these criticisms of global warming scientist are straightforward and easy to understand. They should not for instance be keeping their raw data or the methods they use in collecting it secret. Once they do that they are in fact opened to a questioning of their authority because that is all they are relying on. In addition, hiding of data and methods is a direct violation of the rules and procedures we use for even claiming that we are even using the scientific method. So the very claim to be an authority comes into question.

    I’ve always been concerned about the philosophy of science ever since I was a young child. I rejected belief in gods on this basis at the age of seven. I find it very disturbing that some scientist and others wish to short circuit and debase these methods and criteria for whatever reason that motivates them.

    These issues are way to complex to for any individual to be sure they are not mistaken on. Throwing out the very methods by which we assure our trust in authorities is not the way to build trust. The scientific community needs to come clean on this issue, demand an open accounting for the mistakes, and discipline any individuals involved in breaking protocol or actively participating in scientific fraud. There’s nothing wrong with making a mistake. It’s quite a different thing to hide or lie about it once it’s been pointed out.

    So address the problems found instead of insulting your opposition or projecting nefarious motives onto them.

  466. #467 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    I further note that categorical boundary violations inherently breach the social contract in principle, regardless of their functional impact on society.

  467. #468 RamblinDude
    January 5, 2008

    I am going to assume that everyone commenting on these threads is opposed to, and would support a legal ban on, the creation of a human-chimpanzee hybrid.

    That’s an interesting argument, and I am going to assume that the reason it would be more than likely universally condemned is because it’s a scenario so fraught with unknowns that nobody wants to touch the subject of “playing god”.

    I’m also going to assume that it’s unthinkable for us superior, dominate, masters of the planet that such a life form could possibly be anything less than a suffering, maladjusted, less-than-human hybrid with enough intelligence and cognizance to know that it is a suffering freak. A regular movie monster.

    A third possibility is that (less consciously perhaps but, it seems to me, far more importantly) we don’t want any other species to be able to compete with us–or pollute our gene pool. An escaped band of intelligent, freakazoid chimps could cause us a lot of problems. And if people started mating with them?

    IMO, this gets to the real issue of this thread: we don’t want such a commingling of the species, with anything that affects us as deeply as sex, because there is a deep seated, evolved compulsion to keep our gene pool secure, and our place on the planet dominate. It may get dressed up as morality or religious dogma or whatever, but in the end, it is a primal fear and self centered agenda with very materialistic origins. We are the dominate species, having “dominion over the fish of the sea… and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” and we want to keep it that way. We don’t want to lose that dominance by elevating “lower life forms” to the status of sexual partners. UNACCEPTABLE! And that is the reason this is such an especially hot topic for the religious crowd, because religion has been telling us for millennia that we are damned special and that the universe was created just for us.

    And also, I can’t help but think, we equate sex with reproduction and there is, lurking in our minds, the fear that sex with animals will ultimately degrade us and slip us from our number one spot. Sure, we know that it can’t lead to offspring–but what if it does?!!

    In other words, I think concern for ‘animal rights’ in this area is, in many ways, contrived.

    I wonder, though, how long would our distaste for sex with animals last if the “animals” involved were a highly evolved species from another planet (say Centaurs, for example): smarter, stronger, faster reflexes, more artistic, etc. I’d bet anything that in short order we’d be bestowing them with souls, and finding moral reasons to “upgrade”.

    (I’m just thinking out loud here, and I’ve spent way too much time writing this. I gotta go.)

  468. #469 windy
    January 5, 2008

    I noted that there may be consequences in regard to the impact of the lifting of such a ban in Sweden, but the argument does not rely on them. It ultimately rests on the maintenance of categorical boundaries – not contingent on temporal and local conditions – as being valuable in and of itself.

    Apparently categorical boundaries aren’t as valuable to all of us, so you are reduced simply to asserting that they should be.

    Previously you said that “Gay and straight, men and women, different “races” – these all belong to the more fundamental natural category of sapient, competent – human – adults”. But it hasn’t always been agreed that women or people of all races belong in this fundamental category! I’m sure even the inclusion of women as fully competent participants in society was resisted by some on the grounds of it being a “categorical boundary violation” (although perhaps not in these exact words). But somehow, society survived.

  469. #470 Brian Macker
    January 5, 2008

    Colugo,

    “I am going to assume that everyone commenting on these threads is opposed to, and would support a legal ban on, the creation of a human-chimpanzee hybrid.”

    I’m not everyone but I certainly would.

    “A viable creature (the kind that David Barash has mused about), not an experimental culture or embryo.”

    I don’t know if I would use the word viable. But for arguments sake let’s pretend.

    “But on what grounds?”

    1) You wouldn’t be able to use someone else’s genes without their permission. That genetic material doesn’t belong to you. So that covers one case.

    2) Libertarian thinkers have considered the subject of how parental duty arises. One theory is that the child does not ask to be brought into the world and therefore when the parent makes the choice to bring the child into the world a duty arises for the parent to care for the child.

    This duty arises naturally in the same way as if a person sets a chain of events into motion they are responsible for the consequences in other cases. A duty may arise to save someone for instance if you were the person who put them in peril. You can’t for instance kick someone out of your car in the middle of the desert and leave them to die if you are the one who brought them there.

    Likewise one cannot have a baby and then just let it starve to death.

    So once you brought this human/chimp hybrid into being then you and anyone else involved would have a duty to it. Now sense it is obviously not going to be able to function fully as a human or in the wild as a chimp that means a duty for life. This duty would not only fall on the genetic parent but any doctor, financier of the project, and any institutions involved. The ape child could go after any and all of them for damages. I hope they have very deep pockets.

    Since there is a very real chance that those responsible will not have the financial resources, or may suffer setbacks in their own lives that prevent them from providing for this human chimp hybrid then society can rightly require comprehensive insurance. Should no credible source of insurance agree then there is reasonable cause to disallow the activity.

    This argues for a least at a minimum some sort of legal restrictions on hybridizing humans and chimps.

    4) We already outlaw cruelty to both animals and humans. From a reasonable person test it is clear that existing as a human chimp hybrid could potentially be a terribly cruel fate. We do not have to be certain that an outcome will always endanger someone in order to outlaw it. The risk need only be credible. Clearly in this case there is enough of a danger of cruelty that we can ban the activity no matter how we classify the resulting offspring. It doesn’t matter if it is an animal or a human.

  470. #471 windy
    January 5, 2008

    And also, I can’t help but think, we equate sex with reproduction and there is, lurking in our minds, the fear that sex with animals will ultimately degrade us and slip us from our number one spot. Sure, we know that it can’t lead to offspring–but what if it does?!!

    Yep, this was apparently one of the main reasons, along with religion, that bestiality was severely punished in the Middle Ages (and the animal usually killed along with the human)

  471. #472 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    windy: “But it hasn’t always been agreed that women or people of all races belong in this fundamental category!”

    True. But I think we need not worry about the human-nonhuman animal divide having the same fallibility. Unless, as RamblinDude mentions, we create the intermediates ourselves.

    I think RamblinDude is right; the primal horror of that particular distinction breaking down is a big part of the intense objection to human-animal hybrids shared by even many of the most philosophically utilitarian and culturally libertarian. But most wouldn’t want to admit that because it seems too moralistic or “yuck factor”-based.

    windy: “there is no way to ascertain how much a hybrid would suffer without creating the hybrid.”

    Yes, but in utilitarian terms we could simply euthanize such an organism during its prenatal development, upon birth, or later should we detect suffering or even the likely probability of future suffering. No harm, no foul. Singer himself does not have an a priori objection to genetic engineering to produce more altruistic human beings, even though some of the same kinds of risks present themselves.

  472. #473 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    I want to clarify that the “just euthanize the hybrid if it appears to be suffering” is not Singer’s argument about experimental fetuses, as far as I know; I was just applying generic utilitarian logic. In addition, while Singer has not a priori objected to such genetic manipulation to produce more altruistic people, he has not explicitly endorsed it either (to my knowledge).

    Peter Singer, 2002:

    “Within the present century, we are likely to learn how to change the genes of future generations to make human nature flow in the direction we want it to flow. That knowledge will bring an awesome responsibility, a responsibility that some think should never be exercised: the responsibility of deciding to improve human nature. … Should we try to enhance the capacities of humans to care about others?”

    A funny thing about utilitarianism is that it can take one places that even its advocates may not expect.

  473. #474 PZ Myers
    January 5, 2008

    I am going to assume that everyone commenting on these threads is opposed to, and would support a legal ban on, the creation of a human-chimpanzee hybrid.

    Bad assumption. I would love to see the experiment done, but have two reservations.

    It has to be done right. I expect that the fetus would not come to term, which is boring, unless there is a thorough analysis to determine the developmental difficulties that led to the abortion.

    In case it does come to term, it has to be recognized as an individual with all rights, and it must have a family committed to raising it as a full member. No institutionalizing it and in essence discarding it.

    Those are hard criteria to meet. We don’t currently have the technology to monitor a mammalian pregnancy with the kind of detail it would need, and it would take a lot of courage and commitment from the prospective parents.

  474. #475 Brian Macker
    January 5, 2008

    “I further note that categorical boundary violations inherently breach the social contract in principle, regardless of their functional impact on society.”

    Social contract? I didn’t sign any social contract. I always found sociology to be pretty weak at backing up it’s theories. Now if you started talking about social conventions or law or something real then I might be able to identify what you are talking about. None of those need to be categorical and in fact making them categorical can lead to problems.

    A categorical ban on suicide comes to mind. Why do you need that. I think suicide should be legal but I also think that it’s reasonable to have procedures in place that ensure that the activity doesn’t harm others. People have a real concern for others and an activity like suicide has many side issues that cannot be covered by a categorical ban, or categorical legalization.

    Committing suicide in certain ways should be banned. For instance, it should be illegal to commit suicide by going down to the local park and drowning your self in the lake. There is a likelihood that a bystander make happen along, be concerned for you and unnecessarily risk their life to save you. There is also the issue of people having differing sensibilities about such matters. Some people just cannot handle being submitted to watching someone die. It can cause them real lasting problems from as minor as bad memories and loss of sleep to more serious issues.

    Even if one were to have a whole bunch of police their in the public place supervising your suicide it would be hard for a passerby to tell if it were voluntary or not. So such activities should never be done places generally open to the public.

    For opposite reasons, to insure murder doesn’t occur, any assisted suicide would need to be public in other ways. An entire protocol would need to be devised for ensuring that the individual who was making the decision was doing so freely, was competent to make the decision, was not being unduly influenced, was not doing so for insurance monies, and so forth.

  475. #476 Robin Levett
    January 5, 2008

    @Brian Macker (#466):

    The anti side often points out quite valid mistakes and failures to follow standard scientific protocols on the part of the authorities that were appealed to. There have been very serious concerns raised about failures in the areas of keeping data secret, failing to control for variables, having conflicts of interest, splicing data together incorrectly, claiming data sources are independent when they are not, etc. I’ve checked out many of these claims and they turned out to be true. The authorities in question have committed these mistakes and failed to follow reasonable protocol.

    Not to sidetrack the thread but – are we supposed to accept the truth of this claim on your authority?

  476. #477 windy
    January 5, 2008

    True. But I think we need not worry about the human-nonhuman animal divide having the same fallibility.

    No, and allowing human-animal sex is unlikely to bring down the barrier either.

    Yes, but in utilitarian terms we could simply euthanize such an organism during its prenatal development, upon birth, or later should we detect suffering or even the likely probability of future suffering. No harm, no foul.

    Firstly, your assumption that everyone arguing for decriminalizing bestiality must be coming from a purely utilitarian viewpoint is an annoying strawman. But let’s leave that for now.

    Since we don’t create severely handicapped HUMANS at will or cheerfully euthanize them upon birth should there be “likely future suffering”, why would these be automatically OK in case of a human-chimp hybrid? You seem to be automatically assuming that such a being should be classed as an animal, when it would be morally “safer” to class it as a human since we don’t know what it’s mental capabilities would be.

    I doubt that scientists or utilitarians would assume that creating a chimp-gorilla hybrid as a fun experiment would be morally nonproblematic. Would you object to creating such a hybrid, since it doesn’t violate the human-animal boundary?

  477. #478 Jamie
    January 5, 2008

    A human-chimpanzee hybrid? What’s the point? It would cause no mean amount of trouble, and what good would it do?

  478. #479 Brian Macker
    January 5, 2008

    “IMO, this gets to the real issue of this thread: we don’t want such a commingling of the species, with anything that affects us as deeply as sex, because there is a deep seated, evolved compulsion to keep our gene pool secure, and our place on the planet dominate.”

    Well the real issue was actually whether the criticisms of Myers daughter were valid or not. I didn’t see anyone here express any fears that planet of the apes was going to happen. Nor did I see any posts on trying to keep the gene pool clean.

    “It may get dressed up as morality or religious dogma or whatever, but in the end, it is a primal fear and self centered agenda with very materialistic origins.”

    Huh? Many of the people arguing against bestiality are atheists. I gave a long post on why it was immoral and not once did I express concerns with animals evolving faster due to bestiality, nor any fear that I might loose my TV.

    “We are the dominate species, having “dominion over the fish of the sea… and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” and we want to keep it that way.”

    There is no danger our dominion over the animals is going to change anytime soon from any source. The most danger coming from disease and certainly not domesticated animals.

    “We don’t want to lose that dominance by elevating “lower life forms” to the status of sexual partners. UNACCEPTABLE!”

    Why would it cause us to lose dominance in the sense you are talking about. Certainly if you are a female and you are letting your dog fuck you it may put you lower in the hen pecking order in the dogs eyes. It may also make the dog feel dominant over other humans.

    In general it isn’t going to raise the animals dominance in any political, intellectual or physical sense. Unless you think fucking dogs makes them smarter. It may however make a dog less easy to control which any responsible and thinking person would understand is a bad thing. Animals do need to be controlled in human society. They are not competent to make human level decisions.

    “And that is the reason this is such an especially hot topic for the religious crowd, because religion has been telling us for millennia that we are damned special and that the universe was created just for us.”

    This isn’t a particularly hot topic for the religious crowd actually.

  479. #480 Brian Macker
    January 5, 2008

    “Not to sidetrack the thread but – are we supposed to accept the truth of this claim on your authority?”

    No, go find out for yourself. I’m certainly not stopping you.

  480. #481 Keith Douglas
    January 5, 2008

    Azkyroth: In a (small-l) libertarian society, the government permits by default, forbids as an addition; in an authoritarian society the reverse is true. (These are of course ideal types, but never mind.) I suspect this is at work with FtK. Either that or she doesn’t understand what “condone” means.

    Kseniya: We pay attention to them because (I for one, at least) we don’t want theocrats taking over the US (or any other countries), and because the truth matters.

    Brownian, OM: You can call it that when you convince at least one other person of its truth.

  481. #482 RamblinDude
    January 5, 2008

    Actually, a human chimp hybrid might have some distinct advantages. I mean, just how smart are we humans, anyways? Go ahead, see for yourself, I dare you.

  482. #483 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    PZ Myers: “I would love to see the experiment done, but have two reservations.

    It has to be done right. I expect that the fetus would not come to term, which is boring, unless there is a thorough analysis to determine the developmental difficulties that led to the abortion.”

    To be fair, if conducted correctly it would be an incredibly scientifically informative experiment (or more realistically, series of experiments). Even if the fetus never came to term, analysis of the failure could yield new insight into cellular interactions, neural tube and neural crest formation, and other major developmental phenomena, including disorders – and hence be applicable to the amelioration of human suffering. And if such an organism survived its birth and lived for a number of years, its anatomy, physiology, and behavior would be greatly informative about human evolution and neuropsychology, to name just a couple of topics.

    Despite the useful scientific knowledge that such an experiment would provide, I would never support its legality under any conditions on ethical grounds alone. Cell culture and early stage embryo chimeras are acceptable, but this would be quite a different thing.

  483. #484 Brian Macker
    January 5, 2008

    RamblinDude,

    As a kid I used to love looking at my Roger Conant guide to reptiles and amphibians of north america or some such title. The painted turtle of north america has four different morphs that live in different areas. The southern painted has a nice stripe down it’s back, the western turtle has a very cool pattern on it’s stomach. I dreamed of one day owning different morphs and crossing them to make an even prettier animal.

    Well it turns out that in most cases when you cross them you end up with something that is less beautiful than either morph. Generally the colors muddy and such. In fact, some reptile enthusiasts consider it unethical to cross different morphs and species. Not me, but they get quite worked up about it.

    They do however make a good case in that most of these kinds of crosses don’t result in something that is better. So in the case of human chimp hybrids you’d probably have to do a hell of a lot of crossing before you’d come up with anything superior to either chimps or humans. It’s likely to be inferior to both.

    Likely it would perform worse than chimps on that test you showed, and worse than humans on the ones where humans perform better than chimps.

  484. #485 RamblinDude
    January 5, 2008

    I’m guessing you’re probably right. Things are rarely simple.

  485. #486 Azkyroth
    January 5, 2008

    Some commenters here typically argue by ridiculing the opponent to gain the approval of the observing audience. While an insult does not necessarily constitute an Ad Hominem fallacy, there are other fallacies that apply to insults, such as Appeal To Emotion, Appeal To Authority, Poisoning The Wells, Ad Baculum, Irrelevance, and Ridicule.

    And, yes, a fallacy does invalidate an argument.

    An insult does not automatically qualify an argument as any of those. You should know this.

  486. #487 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    Brian Macker: “Social contract? I didn’t sign any social contract.”

    You didn’t have to; it existed long before you did. Often honored in the breach, much of it is unwritten, even unarticulated. Yet it exists, replicated by horizontal and multigeneral transmission, sustained by the very biocultural niche it helps construct and renew.

    windy: “Since we don’t create severely handicapped HUMANS at will or cheerfully euthanize them upon birth should there be “likely future suffering”"

    Why would a human-chimp hybrid necessarily be handicapped? Isn’t that a tad speciesist (I kid), but more to the point, confusing difference (uniqueness in this case) with handicap?

    Human variants have already been deliberately created in order to serve a biomedical or social purpose. For example, selectively aborting fetuses with the survivor to serve as bone marrow donors to their siblings. A deaf couple sought to use reproductive technology to ensure a congenitally deaf child (“designer disability”); when rebuffed they used a congenitally deaf sperm donor. Some reproductive technologies increase the risks of birth defects, either due to the procedures themselves or because hereditary defects were the reason why the parents would not have conceived without assistance. According to some authorities humans and chimps ought to be placed in the same genus, so by that reasoning we are really just creating a novel variant of human, or if you prefer, a kind of chimp. (But I find that to be dubious, no matter the genetic similarity.)

    I almost sound like I am advocating such an experiment. My point is, if one accepts the decriminalization of human-animal sex since it presents no issue of categorical violation of either the humanity-animal divide or the very definition of human sexuality (or that such a violation is unimportant), there is little reason to object, except on ameliorable logistic grounds, to human-chimpanzee hybridization.

    I would not be opposed on principle to the creation of a gorilla-chimp hybrid, although I would like there to be certain humane and technical provisions in place.

  487. #488 Azkyroth
    January 5, 2008

    Carlie (445): Thanks for your rational reply. You are talking about the Ad Hominem fallacy, but there are several other fallacies caused by insulting the opponent. For example, some replies to my #405 eagerly insulted me (to make my point, I suppose).

    To show that you had no point, the way I read it. And you mean “restrained” not “rational.”

    One pompously demanded definitions of well-known words like ‘slander’ – a sure sign of side-tracking a debate (remember ‘condone’).

    You used the terms “slander” and “innuendo” in a sentence such that their implicit meanings in your sentence were contrary to their understood meanings in normal discourse (particularly as regards their relationship to each other). In other words, when you use words like you’ve heard them on TV in a general kind of situation, but never looked them up, you can expect to be called on it.

    Another demanded detailed proof – another sign of moving the debate to a different level.

    Here’s a hint: the level of debate at which evidence is required for claims to be accepted as true is the one at which all “serious scientists”, and all rational, and most intelligent, people operate. If you’re not comfortable operating at that level, then you can either keep silent and be thought a fool or not act like you’ve been wronged when, by opening your mouth, you remove all doubt.

    FFS, are you seriously contending that it is somehow unfair for people to demand that you back up your completely unevidenced assertions? Perhaps “idiot” is too kind.

    Still another has no idea what a ‘concern troll’ is (hint: it involves a FAKED concern).

    Poor sod just has too much faith in humanity to believe that a person capable of turning on a computer could sincerely be so ridiculously hung up on the most superficial aspects of the language used in a debate, I guess.

    So far, nobody has addressed my list of problems that insults create for the Pharyngula community.

    Here’s a hint: no one is going to address your “list of problems that insults create for the Pharyngula community” until you provide some evidence that they actually do create problems anywhere outside of your laughably prejudiced little mind.

  488. #489 Azkyroth
    January 5, 2008

    No. I want to see valid arguments presented for both sides of a debate, but fallacies invalidate arguments.

    Here’s a hint: the term “fallacy” does not mean “statement that is personally distasteful to the Pharyngula commenter known as June.” Please show where anyone has made a statement that is actually fallacious, rather than simply distasteful to you personally.

    Insults generate fallacies and sidetrack the debate.

    I’ve noticed they tend to have that effect on people who are obsessed with them in a fashion similar to the obsession of the religious right with buttseks. So far, the only sidetracking of the debate I’ve seen related to insults is your narcissistic, prejudicial trolling.

    I am arguing against insults, against sounding like juveniles who just learned the F word.

    And I’m against arguments that are analogous to deciding to vote for the Presidential candidate with the best hair, without any regard for said candidate’s policy positions or experience, especially when the people they’re coming from subsequently act as though they’ve been wronged by being called an idiot for acting like one.

  489. #490 Brian Macker
    January 5, 2008
    Brian Macker: “Social contract? I didn’t sign any social contract.”

    Colugo: You didn’t have to; it existed long before you did. Often honored in the breach, much of it is unwritten, even unarticulated.

    Honored in the breach? Isn’t that in modern times used to refer to a rule that almost nobody pays attention to, or more archaically, as Shakespeare wrote it, a bad custom that one should be honored to violate? So a social contract is, according to you, something next to nobody obeys or should obey, nobody writes about, and nobody even talks about.

    Sounds about right.

    How can anyone obey a rule no-one has ever even spoken about? Is that like you must eat grits if you come from the south?

  490. #491 Brian Macker
    January 5, 2008
    “Instead, FTK is banned, even though her comments (26, 35, 42, 46, 52, 58, 60, 64, and 67) are consistently polite, responsive, rational, logical, and free of obscenities.”

    Her posts are neither rational nor logical, as I’m pretty sure even my pet fish could tell me if they could talk.

    Bald assertion. I read them and Junes characterization is valid. Care to get specific? If not I’ll assume you were blowing hot air.

    Seems to me that she got banned for something outside the scope of this thread. Myers mentioned arguments of a kind that were not made on this thread.

    “Please show where anyone has made a statement that is actually fallacious, rather than simply distasteful to you personally.”

    I already gave you an example of one that was not only fallacious but specifically because of an insulting phrase.

  491. #492 windy
    January 5, 2008

    Why would a human-chimp hybrid necessarily be handicapped? Isn’t that a tad speciesist (I kid), but more to the point, confusing difference (uniqueness in this case) with handicap?

    Equivalent of a handicapped human. It is likely that it would end up in the “slot” of handicapped humans for lack of a better category, since it would likely be a non-competent adult.

    Human variants have already been deliberately created in order to serve a biomedical or social purpose. For example, selectively aborting fetuses with the survivor to serve as bone marrow donors to their siblings. A deaf couple sought to use reproductive technology to ensure a congenitally deaf child (“designer disability”); when rebuffed they used a congenitally deaf sperm donor. Some reproductive technologies increase the risks of birth defects, either due to the procedures themselves or because hereditary defects were the reason why the parents would not have conceived without assistance.

    I don’t find these cases morally unproblematic. I agree with the decision not to allow designer handicaps, but the right of individuals to have children trumps an increased risk of birth defects, otherwise we’d have to bar old mothers from having children.

    But if a person does agree with creating severely handicapped children by design, I think their case against human-chimp hybrids is weakened.

    My point is, if one accepts the decriminalization of human-animal sex since it presents no issue of categorical violation of either the humanity-animal divide or the very definition of human sexuality (or that such a violation is unimportant), there is little reason to object, except on ameliorable logistic grounds, to human-chimpanzee hybridization.

    And this is clearly a minority point. Most people think that one has fuck all to do with the other. I’m sure the people of Sweden (for example) would agree. And it’s your claim that the problems would be “ameliorable”, I don’t agree but I dont think either of us has special expertise in hominid neonatology?

    I would not be opposed on principle to the creation of a gorilla-chimp hybrid, although I would like there to be certain humane and technical provisions in place.

    Yes and this is my attitude to creating a human-chimp hybrid, although I expect that the provisions will probably never be satisfactory enough to OK the experiment, since the caveats in the human-chimp case are larger (sort of like PZ’s position but I think I’m even more skeptical). It’s hard to provide adequate care to a child that’s possibly several times stronger than a human child but not able to fully communicate with humans.

  492. #493 windy
    January 5, 2008

    PS: If you don’t accept mostly-consequentialist reasoning in determining whether bestiality should be punished, how would you object to the assertion that zoophiliacs should get the maximum sentence allowed by law (death or life inprisonment) precisely because it’s a category violation (or as it used to be known, “crime against nature”)?

  493. #494 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    And, yes, a fallacy does invalidate an argument.

    “yes”? Previously you said that an insult is a logical fallacy that invalidates a claim. But an insult is not a logical fallacy, and a claim is not an argument. “a fallacy does invalidate an argument” is true, but isn’t at all the same as what you said previously, and more importantly doesn’t support your position. I can toss out insults all day long and that will have no bearing on the validity of my arguments or of my claims.

  494. #495 Brian Macker
    January 5, 2008

    If you’re too fucking stupid to recognize the difference between admitting that there’s no good reason to outlaw something, and personally approving of that something, there’s no hope for you. – Azkyroth

    Here’s a perfect example of the straw man fallacy. The word condones does not mean approves. So she wasn’t arguing that anyone was personally approving bestiality. Since that wasn’t her argument the whole statement is inapplicable. You can’t deduce that there is “no hope for” or that she is “fucking stupid” from a misunderstanding of a word.

    Note to that even if there were an alternate meaning of the word condone that meant “to approve” this would still be a fallacy, the fallacy of equivocation. She meant another meaning of the word and not the one you’ve invented here.

    In fact it was laughable how many of the people who call other people idiots and stupid around here got the meaning of condone wrong.

  495. #496 Colugo
    January 5, 2008

    Who said that “category violations”/”crimes against nature” were the worst thing imaginable? I only advocated that they not be decriminalized. I tend to view bestiality as mainly a mental health issue anyway, with the role of criminal justice system to mandate treatment.

  496. #497 windy
    January 5, 2008

    Who said that “category violations”/”crimes against nature” were the worst thing imaginable? I only advocated that they not be decriminalized. I tend to view bestiality as mainly a mental health issue anyway, with the role of criminal justice system to mandate treatment.

    I am wondering why you think it must be a relatively mild offense, if you are not appealing to consequences? :)

  497. #498 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    While an insult does not necessarily constitute an Ad Hominem fallacy, there are other fallacies that apply to insults, such as Appeal To Emotion, Appeal To Authority, Poisoning The Wells, Ad Baculum, Irrelevance, and Ridicule.

    Not all ridicule or appeals to emotion are fallacious (nor are all appeals to authority). What we have here is a fallacy of affirmation of the consequent.

    Note that, if one offers ridicule in place of argument, there no other argument or claim that is invalidated; it is only the ridicule, as an argument, that is fallacious. Providing ridicule along with an argument does not invalidate the argument.

    As for Ad Baculum, that’s something like “I’m right because I’ll beat you up if you disagree”. The mere fact that someone will insult the bejesus out of you if you post something stupid does not constitute a fallacy.

    It should be pretty obvious to someone with a good grasp of logic what is fallacious and what is not; you won’t get it just by looking up a list of fallacies associated with insults.

  498. #499 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    No. I want to see valid arguments presented for both sides of a debate, but fallacies invalidate arguments. Insults generate fallacies and sidetrack the debate.

    You will lose this argument as long as you take this tack. Insults do not “generate fallacies”; they do not invalidate arguments; they have no logical force whatsoever, any more than farting in someone’s face does.

    I am arguing against insults, against sounding like juveniles who just learned the F word.

    No, it is juveniles and other immature thinkers who tend to get all worked up over such things.

  499. #500 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    Go ahead, see for yourself, I dare you.

    I get them all right except when the software occasionally blanks them in a fraction of a second (it might be a linux firefox-specific bug), too fast for me to see them all.

  500. #501 truth machine
    January 5, 2008

    Actually, after watching the video of Ayumu doing it, it may not be a bug — I can’t perceive all the numbers that s/he clearly can. But that’s a matter of visual processing, not memory. (Which isn’t to say that chimps may not have superior short term memory as well.)

  501. #502 Robin Levett
    January 5, 2008

    @truth machine (#500):

    I get them all right except when the software occasionally blanks them in a fraction of a second (it might be a linux firefox-specific bug), too fast for me to see them all.

    I was having trouble getting beyond 5 or 6 right – but (using Firefox on XP at the moment) it always blanks in a fraction of a second – how long should it be allowing?

    @Brian Macker(#480):

    No, go find out for yourself. I’m certainly not stopping you.

    Of course you aren’t; you’re just throwing out general allegations that cannot be confirmed or refuted – other than on your authority, of course – because of lack of specificity.

    (#495):

    Here’s a perfect example of the straw man fallacy. The word condones does not mean approves. So she wasn’t arguing that anyone was personally approving bestiality. Since that wasn’t her argument the whole statement is inapplicable. You can’t deduce that there is “no hope for” or that she is “fucking stupid” from a misunderstanding of a word.

    Note to that even if there were an alternate meaning of the word condone that meant “to approve” this would still be a fallacy, the fallacy of equivocation. She meant another meaning of the word and not the one you’ve invented here.

    In fact it was laughable how many of the people who call other people idiots and stupid around here got the meaning of condone wrong.

    Come on; even FtK agrees that “condone” has two meanings – the one she claimed to be intending, and the popularly supposed one. Let’s take her very first post, #26; she said:

    Your daughter condones sex with animals as well as incestuous relationships. Sal and I pointed that out.

    One presumes that Ftk believes that both she and Scordova are saying the same thing about Skatje – using the same meaning of “condone”? Now Scordova’s original post implied (to be very generous) that Skatje would bring home a collared peccary as a prospective husband. What meaning of “condones bestiality” would you assign to that suggestion?

    Her behaviour on After the Bar Closes (the reference is above) makes it even clearer that she intended that the Pharyngulites assume that she meant “approves of or advocates bestiality”, while leaving herself the get-out of the dictionary meaning she then claimed to be using – but she then actually accuses Skatje of advocacy in a post at 12:08 on January 3rd:

    Skatje did not appear “reluctant” about condoning the act of people having relationships with their pets. She merely didn’t find it compelling *herself*. She made arguments *for* it.

    http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=47803263d9a2aca5;act=ST;f=14;t=5144;st=450

  502. #503 Azkyroth
    January 5, 2008

    Here’s a perfect example of the straw man fallacy. The word condones does not mean approves. So she wasn’t arguing that anyone was personally approving bestiality. Since that wasn’t her argument the whole statement is inapplicable. You can’t deduce that there is “no hope for” or that she is “fucking stupid” from a misunderstanding of a word.

    Note to that even if there were an alternate meaning of the word condone that meant “to approve” this would still be a fallacy, the fallacy of equivocation. She meant another meaning of the word and not the one you’ve invented here.

    In fact it was laughable how many of the people who call other people idiots and stupid around here got the meaning of condone wrong.

    Let me put it this way.

    You are defending FtK after she helped Sal Cordova attack Skatje. This probably annoys Skatje.

    She is 17, and thus a minor, a “child” in the legal sense.

    The first meaning of the term “molest” is “to bother, interfere with, or annoy.”

    By your logic here, there is nothing objectionable or dishonest about me referring to you as a “child molester.”

  503. #504 Carlie
    January 5, 2008

    I think Azkyroth just won the internets.

  504. #505 Anton Mates
    January 5, 2008

    I was having trouble getting beyond 5 or 6 right – but (using Firefox on XP at the moment) it always blanks in a fraction of a second – how long should it be allowing?

    Firefox on OS X, and it does the same thing for me. Looks like it blanks just as quickly for the chimp.

    I can get them all right most of the time, but not with anything like Ayumu’s speed. Of course, he’s been practicing since he’s a kid; makes me feel like my mom must have felt when she used to play Mario Brothers with me.

  505. #506 Brian Macker
    January 6, 2008

    Azkyroth,

    Do you always use the phrase “by your own logic” then repeat old jokes that in no way resemble anything discussed?

    Does it seem safe to hide behind a child’s skirt? Perhaps if she’s so tender she shouldn’t be on the internet posting on bestiality, or as you use the word defending bestiality. After all, according to you, anything on a subject that isn’t arguing against it must be for it. Even if it’s the simple truth about the meaning of the word condone.

    She’s probably annoyed at you for pointing out that she’s a minor. So by your logic, and not mine, that makes you a child molester. Now, I could say something nasty here but I’m not interested in winning the intertubes.

    I know you hate it but the fact is that on this comment thread nothing said by FTK was particularly offensive, in fact it was rather mild compared to the behavior condoned by Myers here on the part of other commenters.

    In fact the most nasty implications were put in her mouth by people like you. She says condone and you make it approves of.

    I’m not the kind of guy who circles the wagons around wrong thinking. If you say something that’s wrong I’m going to call you on it even if that makes someone in a different group look good. Many of the atheists here act offensively all the time and FTK didn’t write anything particularly offensive here that I read.

    If Myers doesn’t want his daughters writings to be used as a reflection on him and other atheists then he should take away her access. Sal’s attack is pretty damn predictable and there’s about six or seven of you here, including Myer’s who’d be all over any Christian kid who slipped up like this.

    I just went an read some of FTK’s comments on the other site and she said that she doesn’t like the joke Sal made. So there you go, she’s not defending his action. Does that make you feel all warm inside now. She thinks he was wrong to do it too.

    For a bunch of people so against concern trolls and whiners you sure are showing a lot of concern and whining. FTK believes atheists make bad parents based on the writings of one atheist kid. That’s stupid but Skatje wrote what she wrote.

    Don’t start pretending Skatje’s post doesn’t condone bestiality. It does. Live with it, and live with the fact that others are going to have differing opinions on the subject. Some people actually believe that bestiality is wrong. Something Skatje couldn’t bring herself to say. She was able to say that hurting the animal during a sexual encounter was bad, but not the actual sexual encounter itself.

  506. #507 Azkyroth
    January 6, 2008

    Do you always use the phrase “by your own logic” then repeat old jokes that in no way resemble anything discussed?

    Does it seem safe to hide behind a child’s skirt? Perhaps if she’s so tender she shouldn’t be on the internet posting on bestiality, or as you use the word defending bestiality. After all, according to you, anything on a subject that isn’t arguing against it must be for it. Even if it’s the simple truth about the meaning of the word condone.

    She’s probably annoyed at you for pointing out that she’s a minor. So by your logic, and not mine, that makes you a child molester. Now, I could say something nasty here but I’m not interested in winning the intertubes.

    It absolutely was relevant to the situation at hand. Like FtK, I made a statement about a person, using words that have an understood, implicit meaning (connotation) in addition to their actual definition (denotation). Each statement was factually true according to the technical definition of the words, but (I assume…) both false and slanderous according to the connotation of the words used. In FtK’s usage, it was perfectly obvious to any reasonably intelligent person that she intended to convey the connotation of the words used – to imply that Skatje actively approved of the practice of, not merely disapproved of the criminalizing of, bestiality – while leaving herself the “out” of pretending that she was only attempting to apply the technical definition. (Other statements of hers, as Robin Levett kindly pointed out, bely this intention, and based on your last paragraph of your response I infer that you do, at some level, acknowledge what she was actually attempting to communicate). So far as I can see, the only difference between her statement and mine was that hers was used in an attempt to buttress an argument she couldn’t win by reason, whereas mine was deployed as an illustration of the fallaciousness of your defense of her statements.

    By “by your own logic” I meant the following:

    Note to that even if there were an alternate meaning of the word condone that meant “to approve” this would still be a fallacy, the fallacy of equivocation. She meant another meaning of the word and not the one you’ve invented here.

    If this is true of FtK’s statement about Skatje, it is also true of mine about you. Either the connotation of the words used is irrelevant when the technical definition applies, or it isn’t. Which is it, Mr. Macker?

    (I note that for all your flailing and sputtering you did not engage this point in your response, and in fact seem to have utterly failed to grasp that I was making a rhetorical argument, not an actual contention).

  507. #508 windy
    January 6, 2008

    Some people actually believe that bestiality is wrong. Something Skatje couldn’t bring herself to say.

    Ie. she couldn’t bring herself to lie. This seems to be a very condescending way of describing someone who has different opinions than yourself.

    If I say that suicide shouldn’t be illegal, do I automatically condone suicide? In what sense? I don’t “disregard or overlook” suicide. I don’t “give tacit approval to” suicide except in some very limited situations. I don’t “forgive” suicide since I don’t think my forgiveness is relevant.

  508. #509 Azkyroth
    March 25, 2008

    ….yeah, that’s what I thought.

    Pretentious wanker.