indi wrote

Dehumanizing fascists may not make you a bigot specifically, but dehumanizing anybody is not something we should be tolerating, let alone encouraging. Dehumanization is like torture: it doesn't matter how bad the person you're doing it to is, you're still the bad guy for doing it.


Reply to by !deleted1759

indi wrote

I'm a huge fan of time travel stories, so I can't get enough of Connie Willis's books: Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, and so on.


indi wrote

I joined to learn more about these things precisely because I'm very aware that my understanding of them has been tainted by poor representation by most sources.

I would probably have failed such a questionnaire. And probably still would.

The end result would have been that it would have kept out someone genuinely interested in these ideas (and still actively learning about them, drinking in all the discussions here about them - and as a fair exchange, offering my own knowledge and expertise on the things I know well, like programming). Meanwhile someone whose goal was to troll would probably manage to answer them all - possibly with the help of a cheat sheet posted by trolls elsewhere.

In summary: A good tool to help trolls... not so much the community. But maybe that's the goal?


Reply to comment by indi in What's coming in C++20, so far by indi

indi OP wrote

Sure those things are good, and arguably more generally useful than a standard graphics API... but the whole point of the TS system is that things can be developed independently of each other, in parallel. Work on the Graphics TS was being done by SG13 completely independently of Networking in SG4 and any other study group like SG6 (Numerics) or SG16 (Unicode).

In fact, the Graphics API was basically finished, and running - with demos and even supporting tooling. And it's not like the human interface experts from SG13 will migrate over to Networking or Coroutines now that SG13 is shut down. So nothing has really been gained by cancelling Graphics... just a lot of time wasted.

What really killed Graphics was SG15, and the new focus on developing a standard package/dependency management system. One can hope that if that actually happens, the standard can be modularized, which would make it much easier to add bigger things to the standard. At that point, Graphics can probably be revived.


Reply to comment by indi in by !deleted6930

indi wrote

your picture of christian history is pretty generalised....

Oh yes, I freely admit I was speaking in very hand-wavey terms, and focusing particularly on the major American denominations and ideas of what Christianity broadly "looks like" to the average English-speaker. I wasn't really trying to make a point about the nature of Christianity or Christendom, I was just trying to get at the idea of "affiliation".

The idea of "affiliating" with a church or religious group is very much a Western, and mostly American, idea, probably going back to all the inter-denominational strife and endless "schism-ing" in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. I'm constantly amazed at how well most Christians can identify their particular branch of Christianity (reminds me of that famous Emo Phillips joke); that's not something adherents of most other faiths can do. (I wasn't even a Christian, but I knew to say I was "Anglican" to some people and "Pentecostal" to others to avoid headaches.) While some strains of Zen Buddhism do have "official" hierarchies, that stuff is only of interest to the most devout - mostly the people intending to become part of the hierarchy themselves; most adherents would look at you confused if you asked them how to "join" their religion, and probably answer with something vague like: "You just sorta... do it."

I don't deny Zen Buddhism is a religion; it undoubtedly is. I just don't agree that the concept of "affiliation" makes as much sense with it as it does for most forms of Christianity.

For sure there are plenty of Christian denominations that don't really fit the standard mould, but are just as much Christian.

As for baptism, it's not usually something that's required to join, but it's often part of the process - especially if you're not coming from another Christian tradition. And if there's not a literal baptism with water and all, a lot of traditions have the notion of a "metaphorical" baptism - baptism by the Holy Spirit (such as with Pentecostals) - or they talk about being "born again", or "accepting Jesus into your heart" or whatever. There isn't always a literal, physical joining ritual, but there's almost always the idea that you need to "do something" to really join the congregation, and there's a some kind of delineation between people who are "in" and people who aren't, whether taken seriously or not.

I have to describe these things in very hand-wavey terms, because there are so many different forms, and many churches will happily welcome new members right off the street (if only to grow their numbers, or in the hope of fully converting them later) and don't really take the literal word of what's in their theology all that seriously (for example, allowing communion to the unbaptized). Covering all the various practices in anything but the vaguest terms would be too much. Much easier to just generalize what the biggest denominations (Catholics, Pentecostals, etc.) do, and hand-wave away the less common variations.


Reply to comment by indi in by !deleted6930

indi wrote

Yes, that's why they're so fresh in my mind (Nazis being in the news these days; Satanists, not so much). But they do believe in a literal Satan, and venerate him.

I know there are other groups that literally worship Satan, but my knowledge is mostly just about Canada and the UK, so I can't think of any more off the top of my head.


Reply to comment by indi in by !deleted6930

indi wrote

I've always thought the term "organized" is pretty useless. It was coined in a Christian context - and particularly an American Christian context, which was all about a slew of different Christian denominations coexisting - and Christianity is by and large all about organizations and official hierarchies and whatnot. With most Christian denominations, one actually has to take some active measure to join the congregation - usually being baptized. And there is almost always an official dogma, with a sanctioned leader or group of leaders to specify it and make ruling on applications of it, and functionaries at various levels with various powers to teach and enforce it. Generally speaking, if you're a Christian, you have a clear and explicit dogma you're supposed to believe in - supplied by your sect - and any deviation from that dogma is heresy. (This has become less true in modern times, as a lot of people have become "unaffiliated Christians"... still Christians, still believing at least basically the same dogma as many/most churches... just refusing to be beholden to any Earthly religious leadership, preferring a direct line to God instead.)

But those ideas don't really apply to most other religions. You're slamming into the limits of the term here, with Buddhism. Most forms of Buddhism are not particularly rigidly defined, and variation in the dogma is not only tolerated, sometimes it's encouraged. Zen in particular is all about eschewing dogma and finding your own path. Most forms are also quite comfortable coexisting with other beliefs, within limits, which is why you get crossovers with Shinto, and things like the Triple Religion. (All this is especially true for the more modern schools of Buddhism.)

If someone is practising zazen, I'd say that's pretty much practising some form of Zen Buddhism (possibly the Japanese form, whose name I cannot recall at the moment). Picking and choosing what works is the whole point of it. If sitting straight-backed in a full-lotus with your hands in a mudra doesn't work for you, but stretching out on a couch with your arms behind your head does, then the latter is not "wrong". Similarly, if the sound of a waterfall doesn't relax you and help you clear your mind, but some melodic death metal in the background does, then go ahead and put on the Amon Amarth. Rejecting authority and finding your own way is really the whole point of Zen Buddhism.

If someone rejects the label, that's fine; labels can still apply even if refused. It makes no sense in any case to talk about "organized Zen Buddhism" or being "affiliated" with Zen Buddhism. (I think the term "(un)affiliated" is also pretty useless outside of a mostly American Christian context.)


Reply to comment by indi in by !deleted6930

indi wrote

While it's true that the most popular flavours of modern-day Satanism just think of Satan metaphorically, there are a lot of very real, non-atheistic, Satan-worshipping religions, like The Order of the Nine Angels.


Reply to by !deleted6930

indi wrote

Born atheist; never disinformed.

But I was raised in a very Christian society. I had to say prayers every day in school, had to go to multiple Bible study classes a week (my parents were atheists too, but they couldn't not send me, or there would have been hell to pay, pun intended - worth it, though: I even learned how to study the various Bibles with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew concordances), and was harangued about religious stuff at just about every opportunity (for example, when I started playing music with my friends, the music teacher at school pulled us aside to warn us of the dangers of Satan in pop music, and even gave us a book on backmasking - also parents of friends often arranged sleepovers with pretty transparent intentions of taking me to Church Sunday morning). None of it stuck. I don't look back on it with anger or outrage. Their intentions were good; everyone thought they were "saving" me.

So: atheist, but I could quote chapter and verse at ya like the goddamn Pope if I wanted to.


indi wrote

This "spiritual bypassing" phenomenon sounds like just another way religious people are pressured to put themselves above "worldly" problems, accept suffering and misery, and focus instead on their spiritual well-being for the hereafter. Another very pernicious example of that in Christianity is forgiveness: Too many people are forced to accept horrible situations because it's seen as "Christ-like" to forgive transgressors - one tragically frequent example is rape victims pressured to forgive the people who raped them.

Not being religious, I can't offer any personal suggestions on how to improve things. Religious people have to figure out a way to balance their spiritual concerns and their "worldly" concerns. Theological pressures to downplay or ignore real-world suffering need to be identified, and rooted out.

I'm not Christian, but I'd say that if you looked at the social and personal injustices around you and asked "what would Jesus do", and your answer is anything but "get angry and get busy fixing things", you're not talking about the same Jesus I read about in the Bible.


Reply to comment by indi in [POLICY] Alterations to the ToS by changesnow

indi wrote

My issue with the ToS is that it makes it hyper-easy for people to get banned for stating opinions on some religions, but not others.

I agree with that assessment, sorta... but not for the reasons you probably think.

The way I read the ToS, and the way I've read the culture of Raddle so far, vigorous criticism of anything is tolerated... provided that criticism is legitimate criticism, and not just ignorant spouting off (and, of course, provided it's expressed in an appropriate way, and in an appropriate forum, and so on). This is a very far-left forum, but I've seen vibrant debates on a number of leftist ideologies, ranging from anarchism to veganism (couldn't think of a leftist ideology that begins with "z"). This is not a forum where everyone sits around in a big circle-jerk talking only rainbows and happiness about the left and leftist ideologies. You can argue difficult topics, and you can even argue the ToS. To claim that Raddle is a dictatorship that represses dissent is frankly asinine.

But it's important to understand that while there is a certain level of intolerance for dumbassery - for "criticism" that is uninformed or poorly argued - there is a strong bias against dumbassery toward certain topics: no-one is likely to object if you make a braindead shitpost dumping on Identity Europa... but if you make a braindead shitpost dumping on Black Lives Matter, you may get some blowback. I don't see anything wrong with that. Raddle is a left-leaning forum, and it wears that fact on its sleeve. It's not like you can sensibly claim that you're surprised that there's a far-left bias here.

So what you say is correct. Sorta. You can make rational, informed criticisms of any religion on Raddle. But you can't get away with posting random opinions of some religions. It's not so much that it's "easy" to get banned as it is that it is easier to get banned when writing about certain religions.

And I would argue that's a good thing.

Because, as I pointed out, some religions are under greater threat than others. "Christianophobia" doesn't exist; "islamophobia" and "antisemitism" very much do. (And that, by the way, is an objective truth, which I can easily back up with facts such as hate crime statistics.) So it makes perfect sense for a forum that wants to be grounded in reality and empathy - ie, not a right-wing forum - to be more concerned with protecting the religions under threat than the ones that aren't. I mean... how does that not make sense?

Thus, Raddle will tolerate intelligent, informed, and cogent criticisms of Islam and Judaism and Christianity... but it will not tolerate ignorant, incoherent, or intolerant statements or beliefs about Islam or Judaism, while it won't care all that much about ignorant, incoherent, or intolerant statements or beliefs about Christianity.

So yes, if you're just going to spout off half-baked opinions, it is easier to get banned if those opinions are about Islam or Judaism, than if they're about Christianity. And considering the realities we're dealing with, I think that makes perfect sense. Islam and Judaism are actively targeted by bigots. Christianity is not.

There's another reason why it's true that some religions are safer to spout off about than others, and that's simply due to the fact that since this is an English-language forum (predominantly), statistically most people who contribute here won't be very well-informed about Islam or Judaism... but will be very well-informed about Christianity. So if someone spouts off about Christianity, their rambling is more likely to be accurate - or at least based in reality. Meanwhile, if someone spouts off about Islam or Judaism, odds are they're just plain wrong. More likely than not, everything they learned about Islam or Judaism comes from second-hand sources... which are very likely to be heavily biased, if not completely ignorant.

So I do agree that the ToS makes it easier to write about some religions than others. But I think the takeaway from that shouldn't be: "Therefore, Raddle is wrong." I think it should be: "Therefore, I should be more careful when I write about certain religions."

I think you and I can agree that I haven't broken any part of the ToS yet.

That's the second thing you assume we both agree on that we don't.

Let me repeat the definition of islamophobia I gave before. Islamophobic statements and beliefs are those that are:

  1. not informed
  2. not based on actual beliefs or practices; and
  3. not intended as constructive criticism to encourage believers to improve things (as opposed to merely intended to encourage/justify hurting/destroying).

Now, I don't know how informed your statement about Islam being the "strongest" oppressor of women is. I suspect: not very. But I've already explained how it can't be based on actual beliefs or practices (because beliefs/practices of which sect of Islam? which beliefs/practices? only the ones of fundamentalists?). And how exactly could it be considered "constructive"? If I were Joe Muslim in a Western country, what the hell am I supposed to do on being told that my religion is "the strongest oppressor"? How is that helping me? Seems to me it only helps the bigots who want an excuse to hate on Islam.

I'm not saying you deserve to be banned. Quite the opposite, I think this should be a teaching moment to point out the underlying islamophobia in a claim like "Islam is the worst whatever (oppressor of women, enemy of freedom, etc.)", which usually passes as perfectly reasonable in mainstream dialogue. This should be the moment where you stop and reflect on what you've previously let pass unexamined. I'm not calling for a banning; I'm merely pointing out that, as is so common with other socially-prevalent, systemically-supported prejudices like racism: you may be it, and not realize.

Whenever you're talking about something that you don't like, you should be really careful to check what you're about to say, in order to suss out any prejudices in it. Dumping it out onto the forum unfiltered is asking us - the community of Raddle - to do that checking for you... and that's not fair. If we're going to be forced to deal with your unfiltered prejudices - to hear them, pick them out, dissect them, explain them, and then debunk them - then I'd say we have every right to make you pay for forcing us to do that work you should have done yourself. And if the forum decides a ban is fair payment, well, then there it is.


Reply to comment by indi in [POLICY] Alterations to the ToS by changesnow

indi wrote

I'm not going to comment on the moderation standards on Raddle, because I don't really follow the drama. All I can say with confidence is that the rules (the ToS, etc.) are sound. Whether the application of those rules is also sound, somebody else with more knowledge of these forums will have to address that. (The example you gave is not evidence of mod impropriety by any stretch of the imagination. First, I have no idea of the context of that post or its response; for all I know, this could only be one part of a wider, cross-forum campaign by "gonnagetbanned" to argue for "white genocide". Second, there are signs of shenanigans - of posts being edited or deleted after the fact, such as TheLegendaryBirdMonster quoting a sentence that doesn't exist... did it exist in the OP before it was edited?)

I can only offer you my personal experience:

Despite your assumption, I do not agree that it is "way too easy to be banned for criticism of religion". I am not only an atheist, I am an atheist activist. I routinely criticize religion, and while I haven't posted any of my own stuff on Raddle (it would feel weirdly self-promotional to do so), I'm pretty sure I've posted other people's stuff and made comments critical of religion (pretty sure, but I haven't exactly kept records on exactly what I've done on Raddle, so I couldn't swear on what I've done here). I've never even had a warning, let alone a ban. I've never observed any "excessive force" by mods, either.

I don't believe merely saying "fuck Islam" should warrant a ban... but I don't know the context in which "fuck Islam" was stated that earned a ban. And context always matters.

What appears to be the issue is that you think you are making cogent, rational criticisms of Islam, but the mods are telling you that you are not. So the million-upvote question here is: Are you making cogent, rational criticisms of Islam?

Let investigate....

There is no religion with stronger oppression of women TODAY than in Islam. However, by saying this, which is objectively true and can be easily backed by facts....

"Objectively true and easily backed by facts"? Are you sure you know what the words "objective" and "facts" mean? How does one "objectively" measure oppression? What SI unit does one use to quantify oppression? (I propose, taking inspiration from the candela, to call the SI unit of endured oppression the "Mandela". To measure of inflicted oppression, defined as "Mandela¯¹", it can be the "Strijdom".)

Okay, just because something is objective doesn't necessarily mean it's quantifiable. So what is the qualitative difference between types of oppression? If one group treats women like goddesses right up until the moment they violate one of the social rules, then they rape, torture, and murder them brutally... is that objectively worse than a group that treats women like second-class citizens and servants but otherwise ignores them over a full and productive lifetime?

What I'm getting at here is that the words "objective" and "facts" aren't just salt and pepper you can sprinkle onto any claim to make it more palatable. You have chosen to use those words because you hope they will pass unchallenged, and provide cover for the underlying claim. But if the underlying claim really were objective and factual, then you wouldn't need to assert it as so. You could just point me to the objective data that proves the fact.

There is no objective way to compare oppression. That's just nonsense. Even if you could objectively compare the rules for women in two different belief systems item-by-item, that doesn't say anything to the actual experience of the women. A belief system may have shockingly (to Western eyes) oppressive rules, but those rules may simply not be enforced, so the women themselves live quite freely. On the other hand, a belief system may have comparatively mild rules, or no "official" rules at all, but the women in that society may be subject to constant harassment, belittlement, and vicious abuse with threats of sexual violence if they dare step out of line (sound familiar?).

But there's an even bigger problem here, and that is that there is no such thing as "Islam".

Speaking from my experience as an activist who is always on the lookout of islamophobes trying to infiltrate our groups and take advantage of our platforms and legitimacy, one of the clearest red flags is when someone talks about "Islam" as if it is a single, monolithic thing. That's a pretty sure sign they haven't really done the legwork, and don't really care to. When you say "Islam" is oppressive, do you mean Sunni Islam? Shia? Sufi? Or do you mean Ismaili, Hanafi, Salafi, or Wahhabi Islam? Or do you mean all of them? It's one thing to use "Islam" as a shorthand when you're just making vague and inconsequential statements about all or most branches of Islam, or just the most popular branches... but you're trying to make a specific accusation. Have you really checked every single branch to see how women fare? I doubt that.

But maybe you'll claim you don't need to actually bother to, yanno, actually check the easily backed facts you claim are objectively true, because oppression of women is baked right into the core of the theology that all branches of Islam share. Except... that's not actually true. It turns out people have done analyses on both the Quran and the Christian Bible... and surprise, surprise, the latter is more violent and misogynistic. And there are more Christians, too. So... "objectively"... that would imply that Christianity is more oppressive. Clearly that entire line of thinking is complete bullshit.

That's because another red flag is when someone tries to pass off stuff from extremist or fundamentalist sects of Islam as "Islam" in general. There's no doubt that extremist and fundamentalist variants of Islam are horrifically misogynistic... but the same is true for extremist and fundamentalist variants of any religion. "A wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband." Pretty disgusting quote, eh? That's from the official statement of Southern Baptist Convention, and it was repeated and endorsed by Mike Huckabee - who was almost a presidential candidate - so that's not even from some underground cult, it's from a pretty mainstream branch of Christianity. And yet, no one would say that "Christians" - generally speaking - believe that. Because that would clearly be bullshit. And yet, here you are, passing off the ideology of extremist and fundamentalist Muslim groups as something intrinsic to "Islam".

(As an aside, yet another red flag is when someone makes claims about Islam that they assert are so obviously true you don't actually need evidence provided for them. That's a pretty sure sign that there never was any evidence to begin with.)

It's one thing to claim that Islam, in general, is misogynistic... that's pretty low-hanging fruit, given all the stuff in the scriptures, and there's plenty of statistical data to back up the claim that misogyny is widespread among contemporary believers. It's quite another to make the claim that Islam is more misogynistic than other religions, or all religions, because pretty much all religions are misogynistic, and there is no sensible way to compare the "level of misogyny" between religions. By all means, argue that Islam is incompatible with general lefty goals - just as Christianity and Judaism are; that's a perfectly legitimate case to make (assuming you make it rationally, and on the basis of reality (and note: just because it's a legitimate case to make, doesn't mean it's right, or that people won't argue against it)). But arguing that Islam is "worse" than Christianity or Judaism... that's stepping into irrational - and, hence, bigoted - territory.

So the claim that Islam (or any religion) more "strongly" oppresses women than any other religion is neither objective nor factual. It is an opinion. It is not a particularly well-informed opinion, nor a coherent one, but it is an opinion you are free to have... though not necessarily free to express anywhere you please, such as on Raddle. Please don't try to pass it off as "objectively true".


indi wrote

Alright, if you really want constructive feedback, I'll see what I can muster.

Critiquing religion is welcome, so long as the critique focusses on the institution itself rather than its members, and no generalizations are made on the beliefs or practices that any religion professes.

So you want to allow criticism of the "institutions"... but you don't want to allow criticism of the beliefs or practices? Frankly, that sounds ridiculous. It sounds like you want to insulate religion itself and everyone who practises it from criticism. The only thing left that people can criticize are the actual churches and organizations, and only on the basis of things they do that aren't part of the religion's beliefs or practices.

By that "logic", it would be legitimate to criticize (for example), a Catholic church corporation that allowed sexual abuse to happen... but not the priests who actually stood by and let it happen, and who probably used their religion's practices and beliefs to cover it up (for example, by threatening excommunication to victims). It would also not be possible to criticize the congregations who support the abusers and the cover-up because they choose to defend the religion rather than the victims. It would also not be possible to criticize a religious organization that includes sexual abuse as a part of its "rites" (as many have done). (Also, the vast majority of religions don't really have "institutions"; that's a very Christian-centric view of religion. Mosques, for example, are not like Christian churches; they're not organized entities with a leadership (imams are not like priests with their officially-sanctioned authority - anyone who leads the prayer is an imam) and hierarchy that you "join", they're more like community centres you just go to.)

I cannot see any sense in saying that a religion's beliefs or practices should not be open to criticism. It is specifically the beliefs and practices of religion that have caused so much harm throughout the ages. Pretty much every revolution in history has been as much against a powerful religion as against a powerful aristocracy. And the status quo and systems of oppression are always justified with religious arguments. Losing the power to criticize religion would be devastating to revolutionary thought.

I also don't see any sense in saying that adherents shouldn't be open to criticism. If we can criticize people for holding stupid and evil secular beliefs, like "race realism", then why shouldn't we be able to criticize people for holding stupid and evil religious beliefs? Why should stuff be insulated from criticism merely for being religious?

Add Christianophobia....


Here's why.

First, let's be clear on the definitions of "islamophobia" and "antisemitism". Both refer specifically to irrational criticism; criticism that cannot be justified by reason, and is just based on ignorance, lies, or inspired only by hatred or disgust. They do not include legitimately justified criticism, regardless of whether you agree with it or not.

For example, making a feminist critique of the sexism implicit in Islam (or widely apparent in surveys of believers) is not islamophobia, assuming the criticism is based on what's actually in the religion, and that the intention of the criticism is to encourage Islam to fix the problems. You can disagree about whether the critique is right - you could, for example, try to make the argument that Islam was far more enlightened about feminism than any other religion at the time of its founding - but the critique is nevertheless informed and constructive, so it is not islamophobic. Meanwhile, saying that Muslims want to invade "our countries" and rape "our" women and treat them as faceless objects yadda yadda... that's just fucking ridiculous, and not at all based in what most (or likely any) Muslims actually believe. That would be islamophobic.

So basically: "Islamophobia" and "antisemitism" refer to statements and beliefs that are:

  1. not informed
  2. not based on actual beliefs or practices; and
  3. not intended as constructive criticism to encourage believers to improve things (as opposed to merely intended to encourage/justify hurting/destroying).

There is no way anyone whose head isn't so far up their ass they can lick the backs of the teeth can doubt that "islamophobia" and "antisemitism" are a serious problem in the world right now; the statistics are showing dramatic increases in both pretty much everywhere.

So what about "christianphobia"?

Is there any evidence of widespread anti-Christian rhetoric that isn't informed, based on the beliefs/practices, or intended to encourage reform? I don't see any. I see plenty of criticism of Christianity, but all of it seems very well-informed, directly inspired by Christian beliefs/practices, and all about reforming the religion. Calling out the widespread bigotry against LGBT people by Christians in the US is not "christianophobia"... because the objective facts of opinion surveys and their own actions show they totally fucking deserve it.

Is there any evidence of calls for violence against Christians... or actual violence against Christians? Of course there are isolated incidents, but is this something that's happening on a large scale? No, it really isn't. We have the data, and Muslims and Jews are facing real violence, on top of plenty of rhetoric encouraging it. It just isn't happening to Christians. The paranoid delusions of right-wing media about a "Christian apocalypse" just don't stand up in reality.

Now, I'm sure at this point you're going to say: "But Indi, there is widespread persecution - and even violent persecution - against Christianity! Just look at Pakistan!" Yes, true, but there is a very important difference. Anywhere in the world there is persecution of Christianity, it is never... just... persecution of Christianity. Anywhere Christianity is being persecuted, all beliefs that are not the dominant religion are being persecuted. In Pakistan, for example, they're just as intolerant of Hindus, Sufis, and atheists. It's never "persecution of Christians". It's always "persecution of all religious minorities... including Christians". So there's no reason to single Christianity out.

By contrast, islamophobia and antisemitism is happening in places where pretty much every other religion is allowed to exist unmolested - even goddamn Scientology. The targeting of Muslims/Islam and Jews/Judaism is an alarming anomaly in otherwise tolerant societies. Thus they deserve explicit mention.

So there you go - a detailed criticism explaining why these additions are either not sensible, or not warranted. Banning all effective criticism of religious beliefs and believers is excessive, unjustifiable, and stands counter to every kind of progressive revolutionary value.

And "christianophobia" just isn't a thing.


Reply to comment by indi in Are there boundaries in satire? by surreal

indi wrote

I think that's too simplistic. I can't see anything wrong - for example - with someone in a marginalized or oppressed group calling out something incredibly stupid and/or destructive that that group is doing, either to themselves or another group.

Yes, "punching down" is generally wrong, but that doesn't mean the only thing that is right is "punching up". Context matters, including what's being satirized, why, who's doing the satirizing, what the broader social context is, and so on.


indi wrote

“[W]e’re going to figure out who did this and we’re going to take them down … provided someone pays us a fair market rate to do so.”

“Easy, chief,” I said. “Any rate the market offers is, by definition, fair.”

He laughed. “That’s why you’re the best I got, Lisowski.”

I died. XD


indi wrote

I love that the worst insult they could come up with for Canada is basically "poutine sucks".

Actually, now that I think about it, them's fightin' words! Grab your hockey and lacrosse sticks everyone, and let's take those hosers down! I mean, you know, if they're okay with it....


indi wrote

There are actually several places in the world where a vegan diet is more expensive than a non-vegan diet.

For example, there are a lot of places like islands and mountain areas where farmland is extremely limited. So you grow what you can where you can, and you use animals like goats and sheep to help out with clearing plots, eating all the stuff the humans can't eat (like the parts of the crops that aren't edible like stalks and roots), and of course provide fertilizer. And then you eat the goats. And of course, throughout all of this, you're getting milk, eggs, and other by-products from the animals as well. That's how they survive, because the crops alone aren't enough.

Also, islands and coastal areas generally depend heavily on fish, again because of the shortage of farmland.

And then there are people like the Inuit in the north, where growing food is basically impossible, so they rely very heavily on meat and other animal by-products. Shipping food in is extremely expensive, and storage in any way but freezing is problematic. Meat freezes very well; veggies and fruits, not so much. And given their environmental conditions, they really need the extra fat in their diet, which is really hard to get from a vegan diet.

And of course, as others have noted, there are people in urban areas. It's not exactly a rare situation in cities that healthy produce is difficult to find and expensive... but factory-farmed meats are dirt cheap. Vegan options are frequently overpriced, if not just for the sake of ripping people off, then for technical reasons like the difficulty of preservation. Even where I am, pound-for-pound, it would be way cheaper to get most of the calories I need to survive from meat or other animal products than from vegan options. A poor person living in the city may simply not be able to afford going vegan.

I sympathize with the ethical stance of a vegan diet, but calling these people "psychopaths" - and even worse, "not normal" - is the height of first-world elitism.


Reply to comment by indi in by !deleted1759

indi wrote

Ditto. My dad and I turn on the 24/7 cable news and just let it run in the background most every day, and we try to watch a different one each day. Never tried RT, CNBC, PBS, or CBS, but I make that up with a bunch of Canadian channels: CBC, CTV, GlobalNews, (formerly CHCH, too).

As Canadians, we find Fox hilarious. The blatant bias compared to, like, literally everything else out there is impossible to miss. My dad used to love Glenn Beck and his insane chalkboard. Another thing we comment on frequently is that virtually every single ad on the American channels is for some sort of medication.

I generally don't consider any of those to be sources I trust for news - I have online alternatives (like Raddle!) that I prefer. But it's very interesting not only to see how Americans see themselves, but also how they report on Canadian stories. And of course, the way Canadian mainstream media reports news is almost always... interesting.

Also, while I listen to easily a dozen lefty or technically-neutral-but-commited-to-reality-and-thus-leftish-by-default podcasts, I do deliberately include at least one very much right-wing podcast. But I'm not going to name it because I don't want to give it air. It's specialized in any case, so if you're in those circles you almost certainly know of it already, and if you're not you won't miss it.