One year ago this month, Richard Carrier posted some thoughts on How To Do Wrong Right with respect to sexual harassment conduct policies, in which he argued for three fundamental points:
You don’t have to be terrified of a policy violation of yours being reported, provided it is of a nature that you can apologize for and commit to not repeating.
You can admit to a mistake, make the necessary corrections and commitments, and be forgiven. The sky doesn’t have to fall.
You can also report a conduct violation without being attacked for it or victim-blamed or gaslighted, and you can see it resolved well rather than become a stressful disaster in your life.
It would be nice if we lived in a possible world where policy violations were met with a cautious and proportional (rather than credulous and viral) response, but we do not now live in that world. In large part, this is because of a paranoid subculture of witch-hunting and CHUD-kicking which we may, for the sake of brevity and convenience, refer to as Atheism Plus.
Ever since the rise of atheism plus outrage culture, you can admit to a mistake, make the necessary corrections, and still confidently expect the sky to fall. Several of Dr. Carrier’s correspondents have been making this same point in different ways.
On Facebook, for example:
Richard, many people warned you that the monster of Atheism+ would turn on you at the slightest provocation. Not only did you not listen to the many, many warnings, you still defend the nonsense identity politics, victimization hierarchy, and mob shaming on the basis of uncorroborated and/or anonymous personal reputation attacks. You encouraged the mob to swarm not only against high profile atheists, but against people offering differing opinion in the comments section of Free Thought Blogs, the Gawker of atheist blogs.
Everyone knew this would happen, Richard. You could see it from space. You were hanging out with a vile lynch mob, and now they’ve come for you. Learn from it. EVERYONE deserves due process, not just you.
I think you are a good guy, and I’m sorry that you have been demonized. I hope that through this that your perspective has been broadened about those of us who oppose the people who have done this to you.
On Twitter as well:
@RichardCCarrier your guilt or innocence doesn't matter your will be lynched by Atheism+ either way
— Merrak (@merrak01) June 22, 2016
You helped make this bed @RichardCCarrier
— Buck Mulligan (@ThatBuckGuy) June 23, 2016
@RichardCCarrier How's your own medicine taste, buddy?
— Steven Holiday (@likesunnydays) June 26, 2016
@RichardCCarrier Hoisted by your own petard!
— Jacob Wunder (@jacob54311) June 24, 2016
@RichardCCarrier Thats what you get for venturing into the sjw snake-pit
stop it already
talk religion and leave the outrage to the pros
— Steve Censors (@SteveCensors) June 24, 2016
The essence of rationalism lies in the ability to update one’s prior beliefs based on new evidence. Now that the callout culture warriors have finally ousted Richard Carrier, will he at last renounce his earlier efforts at dividing the freethought movement into Atheism Plus and Atheism Less? Or will he continue doing right wrong?