(Don’t) Listen and Believe

There’s been a lot of blogging recently on the Redford/Stollznow agreement taking a look at those that perpetuated the allegations against Radford and their sudden silence over the apparent fact of Stollznow retracting those same allegations.

There’s a really good piece by David Osario I want to focus on a bit here and his take on those skeptics that have either refused to retract/apologize or claim they were unaware that a settlement had been reached.

This part, I believe, sums what I think about these so-called skeptics perfectly:

People who have replaced doubt, inquiry and presumption of innocence with an ideology don’t get to be skeptics — that’d be an oxymoron.

I laughed out loud when I read that sentence because I, too, have made similar comments about skepticisim and ideology for a while now; In fact, as recently as this week.

There’s nothing wrong with having beliefs of any kind whether they are political or social, but as I’ve mentioned in other posts, when those beliefs run up against incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, then its time to change or accept that you’re not a skeptic, simply an ideologue.

Whenever we read about allegations of any sort of misconduct by anyone, before we rush to the keyboard, there needs to be a moment of pause. For instance, does the person making the allegation have an axe to grind? Have there been any other allegations against this person in the past that might lead anyone to believe that this one may be true?

For some reason, unkown to me, there’s always a rush to judgement when it comes to allegations made of well known skeptics/atheists. Proof be damned. The allegation has been made, and especially if it’s a woman, she must be believed.

Vjack has an excellent think-piece on this today. For me, the critical sentence here echos what David said in his blog:

“Listen and believe” asks us to discard skepticism, critical thinking, and freethought.

So true.


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