August 17, 2016

Movement skeptics, or Skeptics™, get politicized over Jill Stein, try to deny it

In the controversy, largely manufactured, over Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein's stance on vaccines and autism, I have once again (as in far from the first time) had reason to be skeptical of so-called "movement skeptics," or Skeptics™, to the point of scorn in some cases.

Specifically, any amateur or professional movement skeptics, like Galen Broaddus, already blocked on Facebook, who dishes it out on Stein then lyingly says that Hillary Clinton's multi-decade connection to The Family/The Fellowship is only ephemeral. (Its non-ephemerality is shown in a variety of her political stances on socio-cultural issues.) Or, they try to pretend, contra the evidence, that Clinton's not an American imperialism warhawk, one part of an establishment that wants to foment war with Russia. Yet more here on Clinton and warhawkery. Paul Fidalgo's another willing to be skeptical, or beyond, about Stein, Trump, and, Johnson, but turn blind eyes toward Clinton.

This starts with folks like Michael Shermer, Brian Dunning and Penn and Teller conflating libertarian politics and skepticism. Then came Brian Dunning's wire fraud and worse, groupies who thought he was innocent even after his guilty plea.

Third, speaking of groupies, is the series of sexual harassment allegations in movement skepticism, followed by the series of apparent coverups.

And now this.

Movement skepticism membership is no more a guarantor of moral or intellectual superiority than is atheism. (I've long said that about atheism versus the general populace.) And, along the likes of the best of Stoicism, shouldn't r Skeptics™ be able to see beyond, and work beyond, fear-driven behavior? Because that's exactly what it's doing right now.

The funnier, and also more hypocritical side of all of this, is that Ive called on movement skeptics to take their focus outside their narrow bounds. But John Horgan, in his calling them out, probably recognizes, like me, that that's not happening, Massimo Pigliucci, a better skeptic than any died-in-the-wool Skeptics™, has been distancing himself from them more and more for several years.

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