Atheists Make Bomb Threat Against Atheist Conference

Okay, I can’t say for sure it was an atheist who made the bomb threat, but it’s probably safe to say its primarily the atheist population who care about, let alone even know of, something called “Mythcon.”   That is, the big controversy around Mythcon is a controversy within the atheist community.

Just more evidence that that world would be a much, much better place without religion.



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13 Responses to Atheists Make Bomb Threat Against Atheist Conference

  1. Dhay says:

    > Meanwhile, probably won’t harm the con, they just changed the dinner break to this hour, while dozens of police and fire teams search the evacuated building for bombs.

    I rather think the Police are going to search for the alleged bomb(s) <before it’s due to go off, not afterwards or during; so it’s worth looking afterwards to assess what was the moderated discussion most likely targeted. Indeed, allowing for the time it takes to evacuate and search a building, bomber incompetence or timer faults, plus a safety margin, I would look well after the Dinner Break for the discussion (and discussion participants) specifically targeted for bombing or (more likely) for disruption.

    This is the current Dinner Break time and the schedule around it; there’s no page previously archived on WayBack so I cannot tell whether this rather late-looking Break is at the original time or not:

    2:55-3:55 PM – Are social commentary outlets displacing the influence of mainstream media?
    4:00-5:00 PM – What is the impact of intersectionality?
    5:00-6:00 PM – Dinner Break (see nearby dining options) The Jason Seed Stringtet will be performing during the dinner break on the Pabst Stage. The band is made up of Chicago and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra members.
    6:00-7:05 PM – How can we navigate the issues impacting transgender people today?
    7:15-9 PM – Where do social justice, the secular community and identity politics meet?
    9 PM – End of Discussions.

    The penultimate discussion is between Theryn Meyer, Blaire White and Angel Bonilla, moderated by Brittany Simon.
    That last discussion is between Richard Carrier and Sargon of Akkad, moderated by Mario Quadracci.

    Take your pick. Or perhaps someone hates MythCon itself enough to make next year’s security and insurance prohibitively expensive. It’ll harm next year’s MythCon.


    > The Conference has otherwise succeeded in doing what no other has: bringing liberals and conservatives together to talk and listen to each other. The only way science has shown changes minds.

    Carrier might well be correct that bringing liberals and conservatives together to talk and listen to each other changes minds (there’s an implied ‘sometimes’ there, I think, else that becomes a very dodgy claim indeed.)

    It’s a very small step indeed though, these few hours of sitting listening to armchair talking heads – tiny when compared with the theologian Miroslav Volf’s much, much more radical recommendation for conflict resolution that each faction should step right into the other’s worldview, culture, practices etc to experience that worldview (etc), the people and community fully from the inside, from within. (Then you step back into your own worldview, culture, practices and community with a possibly changed mind, but in any event now better able to understand the other faction.) MythCon’s is a small but positive step, and credit is due the organisers for making the attempt to lead others on that small step.

    Carrier’s last sentence is very badly worded: does Carrier assert that ‘science’ has shown that “bringing liberals and conservatives together to talk and listen to each other” will (sometimes) change minds, but ‘science’ has shown that no other method whatsoever will (or perhaps even none whatsoever can, even in principle) do so, so “only” this one particular method works (or can work, even in principle work); or does Carrier assert that ‘science’ has researched N different ways in which liberal and conservative minds might be changed, but N-1 of them failed to change minds at all, or succeeded but by less than some threshold for discounting as effective, or were not reproduced and confirmed in follow-up experiments, or were so but the effect was much less or sometimes reversed; or does Carrier assert that ‘science’ has only ever researched just this one particular method of changing minds, namely “bringing liberals and conservatives together to talk and listen to each other”?

    If there’s ‘science’ or science which does show that “The only way science has shown changes minds [is] bringing liberals and conservatives together to talk and listen to each other” – substitute any opposed groups there – and shows it in any of the alternative ways covered in my last paragraph (or perhaps shows it in some other way which I did not cover) we really ought to be told about this science, the name of the paper or (hopefully) papers, and the web-links too. Then we can judge whether Carrier is or isn’t guilty of dogmatic pig-ignorance. Carrier seems to have resorted to mere assertion, which is not ‘science’ or science, nor is it a valid epistemology.

    IF it exists, I’d like to see, assess and apply that science of changing minds, it’s obviously very important research. Everyone should know about it.

    “Science says…” says Carrier – actually Carrier says “science shows…”, but it comes to the same thing – so he’s listened to (or watched) … what? Or perhaps he’s telling a big (white?) lie, perhaps he never watched or listened to science like he claimed.

    Carrier then continues, “Extremists don’t listen to science …”

    I don’t know whether extremists do or don’t listen to science – Carrier should provide the scientific research supporting his claim that they don’t, though I would confidently hazard that, like “The only way science has shown changes minds [is] bringing liberals and conservatives together to talk and listen to each other”, there isn’t any. I also don’t know whether extremists do or do not bullshit about what science categorically, er, shows.

  2. stcordova says:

    Dopey me, did the conference already happen? Are there youtube videos of the talk. It was great to “attend” the last Mythcon and see Sargon just by watching a youtube.

  3. TFBW says:

    The Conference has otherwise succeeded in doing what no other has: bringing liberals and conservatives together to talk and listen to each other.

    I wonder who “conservatives” referred to.

    I’m not aware of any conference recordings available online yet, but Sargon just put up a quick video in which he says he was disappointed with his discussion with Carrier, because Carrier doesn’t define “social justice” in the way that SJWs do — he just thinks of it in terms of “charity” and whatnot. As such Sargon came prepared to argue against a position that Carrier simply does not take (and, apparently, of which he is generally ignorant). Consequently, the discussion was a bit of a wash.

  4. Dhay says:

    H/t PZ Myers, who links to Twitter announcements by Travis Pangburn, ‘Pangburn Philosophy’s’ ‘big name’ armchair discussion organiser: “Sam Harris and Majid Nawaz refusing to go on stage? Wow.” “Whoops. There go Jordan Peterson and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.”

    My tenuous reason to put this response in this thread is that these four have put a metaphorical bomb under Pangburn and his shows. Looking down Pangburn’s Twitter posts the Antipodean Tour was a financial disaster, it bombed, it nearly broke Pangburn; although many debts have been paid off, he says, there’s some speaker fees outstanding — I think we can easily guess four of them.

    But all is not lost, he’s still got Richard Dawkins and Carolyn Porco talking together in October, and in November the massive line-up of “Glenn Loury, Douglas Murray, Shadi Hamid, Eric Weinstein, Bret Weinstein, Claire Berlinski, Kate Roiphe, Coleman Hughes, Sarah Haider, Bari Weiss, Kmele Foster, Thomas Chatterton William”s, Mehrsa Baradaran & more!” — the “& more” being the gap left by the dropping out of those four (of five) headline names, which gap Pangburn’s “& more” presumably promises to fill.


    He could try for Michael Shermer, who was at the Montreal event. That Pangburn is already sucking up to Shermer is clear from Pangburn’s “Spot on” reply to a recent Tweet of Shermer’s, namely:

    Pro-lifers upset I questioned their claim that the sanctity of life is their sole motive (I suggested controlling women was another). More: If you’re really pro-life you must oppose death penalty. Reply: fetuses are innocent murderers are guilty. Rebut: US has executed innocents

    I am astonished to find that Shermer, who has postured for decades as a paragon of Science and Reason should Tweet something so packed with false assertions. Whatever happened to science and reason … and evidence.

    Which Pangburn thought “Spot on”. I’d say neither is an intellectual.

  5. unclesporkums says:

    Now, this type of disingenuous posturing is par for the course

  6. Kevin says:

    “(I suggested controlling women was another)”

    So pro life women want to control women?

  7. unclesporkums says:

    LOL, the hypocrisy is so rich.

  8. TFBW says:

    The converse of that “death penalty” argument seems way more damning. If you’re pro-abortion, meaning you see no problem with killing the innocent, then why not the guilty (or at least possibly-guilty)? If you’re pro-abortion and anti-death-penalty, then evidently you think that only the most innocent of all should die.

  9. unclesporkums says:

    Good point. I’ve also noted that. It’s like the curtain of the mother’s stomach hides the emotional reaction to the murder of that innocent “clump of cells”. These dopes are also the same kind who refuse to eat meat for “moral reasons”. (It’s really because they see animals as cute Disney characters)

  10. Dhay says:

    TFBW > I’m not aware of any conference recordings available online yet, but Sargon just put up a quick video in which he says he was disappointed with his discussion with Carrier …

    Disappointed … disappointed … disappointed …disappointed … (and so on, it echoes endlessly and serves to iterate Richard Carrier’s sad disgrace.)


    In looking for a conference recording I came across an hour and a half of pre-conference (06 May 2018) “preview”. It was posted by ‘Mythicist Milwaukee’ so presumably it, the title and the description are all official:

    The description intrigued me: it’s “Richard Carrier joins us in studio. We will be previewing his upcoming discussion with Sargon at Mythcon. We will also discuss the dwindling interest in the atheist community and the refusal to innovate.”

    The title clarifies who has a dwindling interest in what: “Richard Carrier: Discussion w/ Sargon of Akkad at Mythcon, The Dwindling Atheist Community and More”.

    Yep, whatever you hear elsewhere about numbers of atheists increasing, the official line of ‘Mythicist Milwaukee’ is that the atheist community is dwindling.

    If anyone has the patience to sit through an hour and a half and report more detail on the dwindling, please respond below.

  11. Dhay says:

    “Disappointed … disappointing … disappointed …”

    Call me a cynic, but one way to deliberately avoid losing a public confrontation with someone well capable of being bruising — ask Thomas Smith, who debated Sargon of Akkad at last year’s event — one way is to evade confrontation. Which evasion seems to have happened.

    Ask yourself, how could Richard Carrier not have know what position he was being paid to represent and defend. Or that he was invited there to present contrasting views to his opponent.


    Do I detect Hegelian ideas (or should that be Hegelian Ideas) in MythCon’s aims: thesis, antithesis, synthesis.

  12. TFBW says:

    Another video in which Sargon discusses his not-debate with Carrier.

    The interesting take-away I got from this is that Carrier was one of the prime movers behind the original A+ push, and now he’s distancing himself from the results.

  13. Dhay says:

    H/T PZ Myers in his 25 June 2020 “Mythicist Milwaukee is back, and I can smell the stench all over the midwest” blog post.

    Seems 2018’s ‘MythCon’ became 2019’s ‘Minds IRL’, and has now become 16 August 2020’s ‘Better Discourse Milwaukee’ ** . It’s as controversial as ever — Michael’s OP refers to bomb threats in 2019 — so this year (as happened last year) the venue is being kept secret right up until the last moment (ticket holders will be informed on 10 July, I think there’s plenty of time for it to leak) and Security’s probably going to be very much in evidence.

    ( ** Which is immediately before the Democratic National Convention.)

    Myers is scathing; and his bottom line is:

    If I had a time machine, I’d go back 20 years to tell myself to avoid getting involved in this up-and-coming atheist movement. It’s just bad.


    Interesting: in the Speakers web page Peter Boghossian is described as “Peter Boghossian, PhD”; and there was me thinking he was a Doctor of Education; I guess PhD sounds more impressive.


    I spy the absence of Richard Carrier — in any capacity whatsoever. Checking Carrier’s events calendar I find his bookings for this whole year currently did/do not extend beyond 06 January 2020. Ah, the fruits of disgrace.

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