Home » Intelligent Design » Flash! Stu Pivar is unsuing PZ Myers

Flash! Stu Pivar is unsuing PZ Myers

I just heard from a source I think reliable that Stuart Pivar has dropped his lawsuit against PZ Myers. ‘Bout time, too. I stand by my comment of earlier today:

Incidentally, I do not expect PZ to lose his pajamas to the Pivar writ.

Defamation suits generally require a demonstration of harm. PZ verbally assaults people more or less on a daily basis, and who can really claim to have been harmed thereby other than himself?

Had he thought of choosing his targets more carefully and aiming more accurately, he might run risks that are not foreseen in the present case.

Let the Internet police itself.

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28 Responses to Flash! Stu Pivar is unsuing PZ Myers

  1. Goodness, I hope PZ is never stopped from what he does best. I can’t think of anyone who does a better job of portraying the poster child for the hardened, unforgiving, anti-theist, militant atheist stereotype.

    Shoot, I send people to his blog just to take a gander at what we’re dealing with. Puts a fire under their feet to help put a stop to the anti-ID nonsense.

    I’m still shocked to no end that more atheists don’t tell him to put a sock in it.

  2. I’m still shocked to no end that more atheists don’t tell him to put a sock in it.

    Some atheists have done so, but it’s his blog, it’s a free country, so what can you do?

    It’s kind of like moderate Christians trying to muzzle the outspoken Pat Robertson or William Donohoe. Can’t be done, nor should it.

  3. Forthekids-

    I hope PZ never stops, too. He has little patience for people like Pivar who don’t understand the scientific method, and he comes down pretty harshly.

    Atheism is on the rise in the US, and it’s easier than ever for people to publicly claim their lack of faith. That’s in part due to the strident atheism of PZ (and Dawkins, and Harris, and others). So I don’t think that PZ is providing the negative example that you seem to think he is.

  4. idahogie said:
    “I hope PZ never stops, too.”

    Yeah PZ has done a great job of bringing attention to ID. I don’t think there’d be an “Expelled” movie if it wasn’t for PZ’s contributions. How ironic – he’s doing his part to ensure atheism will be a tough sell.

  5. “So I don’t think that PZ is providing the negative example that you seem to think he is.”

    No? Here is a man who preaches consistantly that religious “nut cakes” are intolerant and fanatical, yet his blog is one of the best examples I’ve found for intolerance.

    I would think that anyone who has a certain degree of moral fiber would not agree with the way he and his choir boys carry on about their opponents in this debate.

    He may make it easier for *some* atheists to feel more at ease about sharing their beliefs, but I think for others his behavior might be embarrasing.

    Personally, I’m ALL FOR atheists and all those who hold to a particular religious or philosophical belief feeling at ease when they carry on dialogue about their faith. If people can talk about their beliefs and accept one another while at the same time kindly explaining their reasons for what they believe, everyone wins to a degree. At least that way we can manage our disagreements and hope for peace among people and nations.

    But the way PZ goes about getting people to come out of the closet is to preach complete intolerance for those who disagree with him.

    One should practice what they preach.

    We all make mistakes, but his seem to be consistent in this regard.

  6. What’s intolerant about PZ? It seems you want to make up your own definitions.

    He has no problem with anybody who wants to go to church. He thinks it’s silly, but that’s just his opinion, which he willingly posts for anybody to read, if they choose to. That’s not intolerance. Intolerance would be advocating that the faithful not be allowed to pray in school, for example.

    I also notice how you not-so-slyly suggest that atheism is equivalent to a “belief” or “faith.” Again, making up your own definitions. “Atheism” means “not theism” or “not faithful.” If atheism is a faith, then not collecting stamps is a hobby.

  7. Better example would be: Atheism is a faith like non-denomination is a denomination.

  8. No, Agnosticism is a faith like a non-denomination is a domination. Atheism not a lack of belief that God exists, but a belief that God doesn’t exist. It is a belief with no, and really no possible, empirical evidence to support it. It is a faith, believed in dogmatically and intolerantly by its most vocal followers.

  9. From Webster’s Dictionary:

    Intolerant – unwilling to tolerate others’ beliefs, etc.

    Tolerate – 1. to allow 2. to respect others’ beliefs, practices, etc. without sharing them 3. to put up with

  10. Forthekids -

    You’ve proved my point. You see, one only needs to meet one or more of the possibilities to satisfy any definition. It’s absurd to say that to be tolerant, you have to fit definitions 1, 2, and 3. PZ meets two of the three; therefore, he is tolerant.

    Thanks.

  11. Idahogie,

    There are those without God and without strong belief in unbelief, you are correct. But then we don’t hear much from those folks, just like we don’t hear too much from those with little interest or passion in what they profess to believe, or, for that matter, we don’t hear too much from those who don’t really believe in anything.

    So what do we say of those who strongly assert their unbelief? Can we say that they believe that there is no God?

    Anyway if you’re talking about someone simply without God and little conviction in anything … that person’s not very interesting … bring on the hard core atheist … he’s much more interesting.

  12. To what extent does “allow” or “put up with” go? Does only physical violence mean that one does not allow or put up with something? Does spewing venom and vitriole, hatred and derision at other viewpoints qualify as allowing them or putting up with them? If one were to never actually do anything to physically hurt (insert minority group) but every time they tried to express an opinion, you mocked them and called them (insert appropriate slur), would that be “tolerant”? I think not.

  13. So, to be intolerant does he only have to disagree with one aspect of tolerance? Also, it was asked in which way PZ is intolerant- not to show he has tolerance- for which Forthekids pointed out definition (2) of tolerate.

    Also, atheism is a lack of belief in God. But, to have a lack of belief you must have some definition of God. So, you really don’t lack belief in God, so much as you disagree with your definition of God. I might agree that ideally atheism is not a faith- but practically it is a faith individuals subscribe to that typically rests on philosophical grounds- usually materialism.

    And Smidlee, I don’t know if you are being sarcastic or not, but there are non-denominational christians- it has become a denomination of people who don’t adhere to guidelines of other denominations.

  14. PZ qualifies as a hard-core atheist, for sure, Rude. However, saying that he believes that there is no God is to use a very general form of the word “belief.” You could also say that he believes that there are no invisible fairies dancing on his lawn. To equate a statement like that to a religious faith is to render the word useless.

    There is a huge difference in the following statements:

    a) I believe there is a God

    b) I don’t believe there is a god

    The first is faith. The second is merely common sense.

  15. You simply can’t be serious…maybe this way helps a little:

    a) I believe there is a God
    b) I believe there is no God

    I have horrible difficulty in understanding how atheists do not consider their belief a faith stance.

    Either way (a or b) we cannot be SURE that what we believe is accurate. In the end, after considering the mountains of evidence for either position, we take it on *faith*.

  16. Better example would be: Atheism is a faith like non-denomination is a denomination.

    The moment an atheist posits an unproven explanation as to the source of life/good/evil/matter/whatever, he expresses a faith.

    Until that moment, however, he does not have a faith. He is simply a “non-thinker”.

    And that would be different than a thinker.

  17. “The moment an atheist posits an unproven explanation as to the source of life/good/evil/matter/whatever, he expresses a faith.”

    Maybe we have different ideas about what it means to “posit” something. If “posit” means “to accept as absolutely true,” then you might have a point. I don’t think that’s very common among nonbelievers, though.

  18. It always astonishes me the way a pure, hard-core atheist will argue fervently that they have “no faith”. It’s as if they believe there really are absolute truths in their universe were all “truths” must be relative.

  19. Forthekids,

    I have horrible difficulty in understanding how atheists do not consider their belief a faith stance.

    That’s because you are thinking logically and they are not. Your commitment is to truth but theirs is to what they want to be true.

    This:

    There is a huge difference in the following statements:

    a) I believe there is a God

    b) I don’t believe there is a god

    is a ploy, a rhetorical device, sophistry.

    What they’re actually trying to get people to accept is that there is a real semantic difference between the statements:
    a) “I believe there is no god”, and
    b) “I don’t believe there is a god”.

    They say that their position is the one at b). That is, they don’t have a belief. They have a non-belief. That’s the important distinction for their purposes, which are political.

    If they can convince people that they don’t have a belief but a non-belief then they have a better chance of successfully arguing that their belief (non-belief) system does not amount to a faith or religion. That way the promotion of materialist atheism in schools can’t be considered non-Constitutional because it doesn’t amount to a promotion of religion. See?

    The trouble for them is that their game has already failed as far as US law is concerned. See here.

  20. Janice,

    I see what you’re saying, but I really think that a great many of them *truly believe* that their stance is not based on faith. I’m not so sure it’s a “ploy”. I think that due to such a drastic difference in worldviews, both sides perceive dishonesty coming from the opposition because our view seems so clear to us, but theirs unfathomable.

    So many of them *truly* believe that we are the ones carrying out the “ploys” that will subject their children and themselves to something that they believe to be dishonest hogwash and a detriment to society.

    Neither view will ever succeed in completely extinguishing the other, so it just seems to me that the only solution to these issues is to work together peacefully with one another striving to find further answers without laboriously nipping at each others throats on a continuous basis.

    But, how would one actually work toward achieving that goal? After observing the tennis match for several years now, I’m completely clueless at this point.

    I must admit that I’ve gotten to the point of such frustration in trying to communicate my perspective with materialists in regard to these issues, that I’ve lost my cool several times. Even the best intentions often turn sour in this debate.

  21. Forthekids,

    I really think that a great many of them *truly believe* that their stance is not based on faith.

    Sure. But they tend to be the unthinking followers rather than the thinking, plotting, scheming activist types. The latter group are not making such a big deal over the meaning of words for no reason. For an example of their hair-splitting sophistry see this infidels.org page.

    I presume that you accept the premise of this statement, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Ps 53:1)

    If you are going to engage with such people it might help you to maintain your equanimity if you study this article (it’s not very long) on the different kinds of fool that the Bible mentions; simple (or naive) fools, self-confident fools, committed fools, shameless fools and scornful fools.

  22. Janice

    Q: Does God exist?

    1) yes
    2) no
    3) don’t know

    Are you really saying that answer 3 is not substantially different from 1 or 2 or that no one can honestly, with no agenda, choose 3?

  23. DaveScot,

    Of course not.

  24. DaveScot,

    I would have chosen 3), quite honestly, with no agenda, for maybe a year or two way back in the 1970s. That’s because I really didn’t know. Prior to that time I’d been sure that I knew that he didn’t exist but then something happened to make me wonder. My indecision lasted so long because nothing prodded me to think that finding out whether he existed or not was important.

    Then, as far as I know, he prodded me himself. After that prodding I really wanted to know. Finally knowing took about six months. If you really don’t know at least consider the possibility that the reason you don’t know is that, deep down, you’d rather not know. Free will and all that. But if you really do want to know then you will. That’s mercy, and grace.

  25. Reed Orak — Maybe we have different ideas about what it means to “posit” something.“

    The first meaning of “Posit”: Posit \POZ-it\, transitive verb: 1. To assume as real or conceded.

    If “posit” means “to accept as absolutely true,” then you might have a point.

    We should enshrine Reed’s post as the first in what what will soon be a flood of claims by (ex) Darwinists and (ex) materialists positing our views.

  26. Janice said:

    I presume that you accept the premise of this statement, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Ps 53:1)

    and

    If you really don’t know at least consider the possibility that the reason you don’t know is that, deep down, you’d rather not know.

    You should take care to forgive any atheists if they get a bit testy next time you try either of those arguments on them. It gets a little tiresome to be told by well-meaning Christians that they don’t believe in God only because they are either fools or cowards, or both.

    The truth is, many atheists struggle long and hard with their beliefs before they come to terms with their lack of a belief in a God. I had always had my doubts, but it was still a big step, and one that took many months of internal debate, before I was ready to accept that I did not believe.

    In any case, I don’t really understand the “deep in your heart, you don’t want to know” argument. First, it presumes that you know an awful lot about a person’s innermost thoughts and feelings.

    Second, why would I *not* want to know. If I was certain that the choice was between an eternity in paradise or an eternity of unimaginable torture in the fires of hell, then why would my subconscious want to block that knowledge just for the odd bit of sinning I could squeeze in between now and the time I die. If true, the stakes are simply too high for anyone to take that risk.

  27. Second, why would I *not* want to know. If I was certain that the choice was between an eternity in paradise or an eternity of unimaginable torture in the fires of hell, then why would my subconscious want to block that knowledge just for the odd bit of sinning I could squeeze in between now and the time I die. If true, the stakes are simply too high for anyone to take that risk.

    Who knows – maybe many never give it all that much thought one way or the other (and I’m sure some theists are guilty of this as well.) Maybe they’re spiteful and want no part of heaven regardless of whether or not they think God may be real – and before you answer, have a good look at the various arguments of whether God is ‘worthy’ of worship. Maybe they don’t think hell is terrible, maybe they have deeper psychological issues, maybe a lot of things. People aren’t so simple that they can be explained one way or the other.

    That said – my experience is that when someone decides to start describing themselves as an atheist, it has more to do with desire than belief. If someone has strong doubts but hopes that God is real in spite of it all, they typically don’t start calling or considering themselves atheist – rarely even agnostic. If they don’t care or actively don’t want God to be real, that’s more often than not when the atheist mantle gets picked up.

    Actually, I think that’s the heart of the argument. There are many theists and atheists who harbor doubts about their respective positions. But in the end, it comes down to other factors for both sides – everything from hope, faith, and desire to politics, social aims, and idealism. I have yet to meet an atheist who honestly seemed to desire to believe in God – instead they give lip service to wanting to believe in (and then they go on to describe some kind of strange Cosmic Santa Claus, or that fresh gem, the FSM).

  28. tyke,

    I was not addressing you, or any other atheist, so there’s no need for you to be offended, either for your own sake or for anyone else’s. Neither did I declare that I know the secrets of any other person’s heart. I find my own heart mysterious and misleading enough.

    Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?” Therefore it’s reasonable to ask someone to at least consider the possibility that they don’t know because they don’t want to know.

    Why would you *not* want to know? Not knowing you at all, I have no idea. On the other hand, given your argument concerning a possible eternity in heaven versus a possible eternity in hell, you should know that it’s a fact that human beings discount future benefits or costs (particularly if the benefits or costs are far in the future) for the sake of present pleasures. There’s medical research on this but it’s Friday night, I’m tired, and I think that if you really want to know you’ll chase it up for yourself.

    This discounting is why you see only a few people jogging early in the morning rather than great masses of them. It’s the (metaphorical) heart again. Which to choose? Getting up early and jogging for a mile for the sake of keeping your arteries unblocked so that you don’t die of a heart attack 20 years from now? Or snoozing comfortably, now, in your nice warm bed for that extra half-hour or so?

    So I don’t know why you, or anyone else, would *not* want to know. I’m not even sure any more why I didn’t want to know. It was such a long time ago.

    I suspect that I was one of the simple, or naive, fools. I believed what I was taught at school about how everything living evolved from nothing that was living and, also, I was disappointed by the lack of interest in his young charges that was shown by the minister of the church I was then attending. I didn’t know enough back then to know that all human beings are sinners, even the guy in the frock who was running the show, so I rejected the whole kit and caboodle. I can remember thinking that if that’s what Christians are like then I didn’t want any part of them. The sub-text, of course, is that I thought myself better than that lot of hypocrites. Then I had to struggle with how to tell my mother that I wasn’t going to church any more because I didn’t believe in God. It took a few months before I screwed up the courage for that.

    Maybe your struggle was much more heroic than mine. Again, I have no idea. What I do know is that if you really, really want to know God He will make Himself known to you. He will see you from afar and will go out to meet you on the way.

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