More Social Justice Science

Social justice ideologues continue their efforts to undermine science. From the Washington Post:

Academics and scholars must be mindful about using research done by only straight, white men, according to two scientists who argued that it oppresses diverse voices and bolsters the status of already privileged and established white male scholars.

Geographers Carrie Mott and Daniel Cockayne argued in a recent paper that doing so also perpetuates what they call “white heteromasculinism,” which they defined as a “system of oppression” that benefits only those who are “white, male, able-bodied, economically privileged, heterosexual, and cisgendered.” (Cisgendered describes people whose gender identity matches their birth sex.)

[…]

In their 22-page paper, “Citation matters: mobilizing the politics of citation toward a practice of ‘conscientious engagement,'” they explained that their work was motivated by “shared feelings of discomfort, frustration, and anger” over actions of fellow scholars and publication practices.

So what to do?

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Posted in academia, Science, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Skepticism Needed

Given the popularity of fake hate crimes, I think skepticism should be the default position when it comes to such reports being used to advance someone’s socio-political agenda. A good example of this is The Friendly Atheist blog, where activist Hemant Mehta has previously made it clear that he thinks atheist journalists should be looking for stories that put religion in a bad light. A couple of days ago, he helped to popularize a supposed hate crime where someone threw a rock through atheist Anthony Erb’s car window. Someone wrote “God is good” on the rock, meaning we must have an example of some religious person victimizing someone else merely for being an atheist.
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Of course, Mehta and his fans lapped up the whole story without the tiniest shred of skepticism. Confirmation bias works that way. But it would seem to me that there good reasons to be skeptical.

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Posted in Fake Hate, New Atheism, skepticism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 33 Comments

Atheism and Infanticide

Over a decade ago, I stumbled upon a guiding principle that has yet to fail me.  The principle is this:  When you encounter someone advocating for infanticide, chances are extremely high that the advocate also happens to be an atheist.  Now, this is not to say that all atheists advocate for killing newborns.  But, if you pay attention with the help of some google magic, you’ll find those who do advocate for killing newborns usually end up being atheists.

So I was not surprised at all to see atheist activist Jerry Coyne come out and advocate for infanticide.  Of course, he doesn’t want to call it infanticide.  He prefers to phrase it as “newborn euthanasia.”  Here is his basic argument:

The question of whether one should be able to euthanize newborns who have horrible conditions or deformities, or are doomed to a life that cannot by any reasonable light afford happiness, has sparked heated debate.  Philosopher Peter Singer has argued that euthanasia is the merciful action in such cases, and I agree with him. If you are allowed to abort a fetus that has a severe genetic defect, microcephaly, spina bifida, or so on, then why aren’t you able to euthanize that same fetus just after it’s born?  I see no substantive difference that would make the former act moral and the latter immoral. After all, newborn babies aren’t aware of death, aren’t nearly as sentient as an older child or adult, and have no rational faculties to make judgments (and if there’s severe mental disability, would never develop such faculties). It makes little sense to keep alive a suffering child who is doomed to die or suffer life in a vegetative or horribly painful state. After all, doctors and parents face no legal penalty for simply withdrawing care from such newborns, like turning off a respirator, but Singer suggests that we should be allowed, with the parents’ and doctors’ consent, to painlessly end their life with an injection. I agree.

[….]

The reason we don’t allow euthanasia of newborns is because humans are seen as special, and I think this comes from religion—in particular, the view that humans, unlike animals, are endowed with a soul. It’s the same mindset that, in many places, won’t allow abortion of fetuses that have severe deformities. When religion vanishes, as it will, so will much of the opposition to both adult and newborn euthanasia.

[….]

My view, then, aligns with Singer’s: a child falling in any of the classes above should be considered as a subject for euthanasia, and it should be legal if the doctors and parents concur. As for the “slippery slope” argument—that this will lead to Nazi-like eugenics—well, this hasn’t come to pass in places where assisted suicide or euthanasia of adults is legal. Since the newborn can’t decide, it’s up to the parents, with advice (and maybe consent) of the doctors.

Coyne fails to come to grips with the slippery slope he is advocating.

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Posted in atheism, Morality, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 35 Comments

When Propagandists Promote Critical Thinking

Over at the Friendly Atheist blog, Hemant Mehta has a blog entitled “Lawrence Krauss Talks About How To Become a Better Critical Thinker.”  It amuses me that a propagandist like Mehta would try to promote critical thinking.  It’s like a social justice activist posturing as a defender of free speech.

Mehta quotes Krauss:

… we should never take anything on faith. That’s really the mantra of science, if you want, that faith is the enemy of science. We often talk about a loss of faith in the world today; you don’t lose anything by losing faith. What you gain is reality.

It’s obvious that Krauss embraces faith to uphold his self-perception as a critical thinker.  For he is a man who does not practice what he preaches.

For example, Krauss relies on faith to embrace the New Atheist talking point that religion, on balance, is evil.  I exposed his hypocrisy back in March 2016:

Wright then goes on to make a good point – the reason the New Atheists are into proselytism is because they think religion is evil and cites the subtitle of Hitchen’s book, “How Religion Poisons Everything.” At this point, Krauss agrees, but adds the qualifier “on balance” multiple times. After repeatedly insisting that religion is bad “on balance,” Wright finally asks Krauss, ” Have you done the inventory?” Has Krauss made the effort to score religion in terms of its good and bad effects? Krauss’ reply is classic:

“No, it’s not important enough to do that. I have more important things to do.”

This man thinks he understands critical thinking, but he doesn’t.  Which is not surprising given that he is more of an activist than a scientist.  Critical thinking is incompatible with activism.

Activist Mehta quotes some more from Krauss:

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Posted in atheism, Hypocrisy, New Atheism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

Determinism and Social Justice

Jerry Coyne is once again peddling  free will denialism.  Coyne writes:

As I always say, it’s easier to convince a diehard creationist of the truth of evolution than to convince a diehard atheist of the fact that our behaviors are determined, and that we can’t make alternative choices at a given moment.

Yet there are some enlightened folk who not only accept determinism but deny that a version of “free will” can be confected that preserves our notion of that term while accepting determinism. There are some enlightened folk who realize that accepting behavioral determinism mandates a severe reform of the criminal justice system, including adopting the view that criminals, like malfunctioning machines, need to be treated rather than punished.

One of those enlightened people is neurobiologist and author Robert Sapolsky, a professor at Stanford.

Great.  The same enlightened crowd that gave us postmodernism and the social justice movement now wants to mandate a severe reform of the criminal justice system.  What could possibly go wrong?

Before we go to the extreme of adding even more radical changes to our culture, why can’t the enlightened crowd pause, take a breath, and address some basic questions.

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Posted in free will, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 15 Comments

What Can You Do With a Social Justice Degree?

Miami University offers a Social Justice Degree.  Given the cost of attendance is about $30,000 a year, what will $120,000 get you in terms of career potential?  According to the school:

Several options exist for the Social Justice Studies major. Students in this program usually seek employment in government or business and some continue their studies in graduate school. Students in this major often assume careers as (or in) the following: activists, community organizers, public policy analysts, conflict resolution specialists, human relations workers, NGO workers, human rights groups, political campaigners, workers in environmental organizations, alternative media, human rights groups, political campaigns, religious organizations, international agencies, mediators, rights advocates, journalists, lobbyists, and community organizers.

Whoa.  You give the school 120 thousand dollars and in return you get a degree that allows you to choose a career as an activist.  Or, if you don’t like that, a community organizer (which must be a hot career given the university lists it twice). Or, you can work in “alternative media.”  I suppose that’s writing for a blog.  Those career choices don’t exactly dispel the notion that a social justice education is actually social justice indoctrination.

Anyway, when you consider all those career choices, a couple of things stand out.  Most of the “careers” depend on securing other people’s money either through donations or taxation.  Secondly, none of them pay very well.  Perhaps this helps to explain why social justice activists are always so angry and resentful.  And always interested in acquiring power to redistribute money their way.

Posted in academia, Social Justice | Tagged , | 5 Comments

How Academia Became a Breeding Ground for Extremism

It has only been a few months since I started to focus on secular social justice radicalism and we have already seen many examples that simply cannot be defended or justified by those who value reason and critical thinking. Whether it is the professor who celebrated the arrest and death of college student Otto Warmbier,  the faculty who helped instigate a witch hunt against evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein,  the professor who insists universities should stop hiring white males, the professor who bullied students by telling them college campuses are not free speech areas, the dean who maliciously smeared a faculty member for objecting to social justice training,  the professor who angrily tries to justify the censorship of someone who published a journal article that supposedly violated the tenets to social justice,  the college administrators who drove a student to commit suicide with their politically correct accusations, the sociologist who advocates for violence,or the various universities, like Middlebury College, McMaster University, and Berkeley, that shut down free speech by creating an environment that allows their radicalized students to engage in angry, even violent protests, all such activity is bizarre and unfitting for those who value reason and fairness.

Clearly, this is a widespread problem, as the small sampling above is a fraction of the cases that only happened to break into the wider public arena. What’s more, we’re looking at “rank and file” faculty who are not popular from universities all across the United States. We can expect many more examples once Fall Semester starts up. So how is it that the university system is undergoing an incremental transformation where ideology replaces objectivity and emotion-based thinking replaces critical thinking?

I think a huge causal factor behind the erosion of the universities is as follows:

American universities have leaned left for a long time. That is not a serious problem; as long as there are some people with a different political perspective in every field and every department, we can assume that eventually, someone will challenge claims that reflect ideology more than evidence.

But things began changing in the 1990s as the Greatest Generation (which had a fair number of Republicans) retired and were replaced by the Baby Boom generation (which did not). As the graph below shows, in the 15 years between 1995 and 2010 the academy went from leaning left to being almost entirely on the left. (The 12% in the red line for 2014 is mostly made up of professors in schools of engineering and other professional schools; the percent conservative for the major humanities and social science departments is closer to 5%. For more data on these trends and the rising imbalance, see Gross & Simmons, 2007; Inbar & Lammers, 2012; see latest study, Langbert et al. 2016, here; see many older links here). (emphasis added)

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words:

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Posted in academia, activism, post-modernism, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

University of Delaware Professor Insists Otto Warmbier Got What He Deserved

I’m sure most of you have heard of the terrible tragedy concerning Otto Warmbier.  He was a college student from the  University of Virginia who visited North Korea in January 2016.   He was arrested and sentenced to 15 years hard labor after being accused of stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel.  Then, two months after his sentence,  he suffered a neurological injury and went into a coma. He was returned to his family last week and died shortly thereafter.

It turns out there is an social science professor from the University of Delaware who celebrated his death as getting “exactly what he deserved” because he represented an example of “white privilege”:

A University of Delaware professor claimed Wednesday that Otto Warmbier was typical of “rich, white, clueless males” and “got exactly what he deserved” at the hands of the North Koreans.

Katherine Dettwyler, an anthropology professor at UDel, expressed her feelings on the death of Warmbier in the comments section of an article published by National Review, as well as on her personal Facebook page.

Given the toxic nature of social justice ideology, I would not be surprised if this professor’s disgusting views are not unique to her.

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Posted in academia, Hate, Social Justice | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

More on University Indoctrination

In case you missed it in the comments, TFBW provided a video with new footage of Evergreen State president and faculty working hard to implement a Climate of Indoctrination:

When a university prioritizes indoctrination and groupthink, it ceases to function as a true university.  When it values “believing” over critical thinking, it ceases to function as a true university.  I would agree with the speaker that this postmodernist expression of social justice is indeed cultlike.

The sad thing is that there are many, many more colleges and universities which are and will be following in Evergreen State’s footsteps given the manner in which social justice activism has infiltrated the faculty and administration.  And this represents a true threat to science.  Since so much of science is done in a university setting, how long can it truly thrive in a climate of indoctrination?  How long can it thrive when its questions, methods, and results must be at home on their canoe?

Yet, the primary question to ask is, “how did we get to this point?”  What went wrong?

Posted in academia, activism, post-modernism, Science, Social Justice | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Are Postmodernism and Nazism Closely Related?

As more people in today’s postmodernist, social justice movement embrace violence as a valid means of political expression (and change), the similarities between this movement and Nazism are becoming more striking.  So I found it quite interesting when I stumbled upon this article yesterday, where Mark Musser highlights the ironic fact a program at Evergreen State University is using a book whose author who was an apologist for a Nazi philosopher.  Musser writes:

One of the mainstay courses at the recently newsworthy Evergreen State College is an all-year course entitled “The Human Condition.” This 36-credit course has its inspiration from a book of the same name written by Hannah Arendt (1906-75). Arendt was an assimilated German Jewess student in the Weimar Republic before the rise of National Socialism. In the 1930s she was forced to move around Europe before finally leaving for America in 1941 as World War II initially exploded in Germany’s favor. Considered one of the most important social theorists of the 20th century, much of Arendt’s worldview was absorbed from German existentialism that was presaged by Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), but essentially rooted in the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), and Karl Jaspers (1883-1969).

[….]

Heidegger himself was an actual Nazi who never repented of his fascist activities during the 1930s. In fact, Heidegger positioned himself to become the interpreter of Nietzsche for National Socialist consumption that continued until late in the war. More telling, Heidegger was a vehement anti-Semite.

The point about Heidegger was also raised by philosopher Stephen Hicks:

Heidegger is notorious for the obscurity of his prose and for his actions and inactions on behalf of the National Socialists during the 1930s, and he is unquestionably the leading twentieth-century philosopher for the postmodernists. Derrida and Foucault identify themselves as followers of Heidegger.[1] Rorty cites Heidegger as one of the three major influences on his thinking, the other two being Dewey and Wittgenstein.[2]

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Posted in fascism, post-modernism, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments