Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

On Threatening Judge Jones

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Look at this.

I suggest in no uncertain terms that threatening anyone or anything because of their political, religious, scientific, or any other belief is NOT acceptable behavior and should not be tolerated by anyone, especially on this blog. Origins, Darwinism, ID, etc. are all complex, highly scientific topics with implications beyond science that are contentious, at a minimum. But being contentious does not mean they should justify violence or threats of violence.

So anyone out there reading this blog: if you’re thinking of resorting to violence or even threatening violence against ID detractors, DON”T DO IT. Your actions will only result in hurting inocent people and taking the focus off of our intended target (the science of and theory behind Intelligent Design).

Carbon, First, don't be so hard on yourself. This is a blog, not 60 Minutes! Second, thanks for expressing your opinions. Without opinions this blog would be uninteresting. All should feel free to express their opinion here as long as they are respectful of the Comment Policy (see sidebar). We have a great moderator (DS) who would not have allowed your post through if it didn't have value to our readers/commenters regardless of particular perspectives. Third, keep posting here! We all stand to learn something from each other. Though we hope this blog accomplishes more, we can all be proud if the least we achieve is mutual understanding. dougmoran
Charlie, How right you are. A few hours after submitting that, I came back to my senses, I was, and still am highly embarrassed, to all who read this blog and the comments, I apologize, and humbly beg forgiveness, there was no good excuse... carbon14atom
Carbon, I know where you are coming from. It is hard not to be suspicious of motivations when so much time is spent in conflict - especially given the timing. It doesn't really matter what is behind the judge's going public, however. This is a good opportunity to wish a fellow human being well and to condemn the real or possible misbehaviour of others. Regardless of how one feels about the decision he handed down, there is no sane person who wants Jones or his family hurt or threatened. Some stories emit more heat than light but it does us no harm to stand up for goodness, even if we are being played a little bit. Charlie
Hi Dave, Given the situation you've described I wouldn't find it any of my business to act in any way. I think that there are a lot of factors that could mitigate in a council member's vote on an issue and that they can't all be predicted. If the issue concerned me I could address that specifically. In the zoning issue the question could be posed at the time of the election "given situation x- y-z how would you vote? Do you have any reason to vote in such and such a manner?" etc.. One could even ask the candidate publicly, as a matter of his platform, what his views are on strip-clubs and if those views would be consistent with his representation on council. Otherwise I think it is dangerous to make such predictions about how a person might behave. I am a Bible-believing Christian and I believe in an absolute source of morality, but I don't think that the issue of a person's adherence to a specific moral code should keep them necessarily from serving their community - unless his campaign makes such duplicitous claims. In this specific example, there are no laws being broken and the matter is highly personal. This will sound like I am wearing rose-coloured glasses, but I would hope that we would look more to the person's professional history and qualifications. My concerns with elected officials is "can you do the job and how will you represent us?" --- The hint I was dropping earlier with regards to "reputations and livelihood" had more to do with being sternberged, gonzalesed or davisoned. I can see a parallel in refusing to grant a qualified candidate a Ph.D, or a research position, or tenure, based upon personal beliefs and private behaviours. Charlie

While I agree that threats of violence are a terrible thing, I don't necessarily have a great deal of sympathy for Judge Jones. I hate to say it, but in the article linked to here, as I percieved it, Judge Jones seems to be trying to do something sneaky and snarky, it seems like (presumption here) he is feeling rather stung by the reaction to his opinion, like he expected greatness and allocades to be bestowed by the population in general and now he wonders where the ticker tape parades are. Further presumption, I think he is trying to set intelligent design up for another perceptual "fall". Not that he isn't concerned about the threats, but he isn't truly that worried. He's not coming out about them because other judges are (and from what I understand threats are a 'normal' or perhaps expected part of a career on the bench). He's getting ready to lay all this, and indeed, as many and as much of the worlds ills as he possibly can at the feet of intelligent design and the proponents of it.
I don't know why I am submitting this for posting, but I am. There is little if any logic in this comment, but it is hammering at me and I can't seem to let it go. Pehaps its a therapuetic thing...
anyway, ignore destroy and ridicule as you please, provided this passes moderation. this isn't a logic comment, and in light of that, perhaps I should rethink my comment on another post.....

I'm glad you made this post, Doug. Violence accomplishes nothing but pain and suffering, and we have quite enough of that in the world already. crandaddy
No need to threaten Judge Jones III. Just send him a copy of each DVD- "Unlocking the Mystery of Life" and "The Privileged Planet", along with a copy of “Traipsing Into Evolution”. Ask him to watch the videos and take the 3 hour ID challenge. That, along with the book, should be more than enough to show him the "error(s) of his ways". Threatening people is stupid. Showing them how stupid they are (were) is much more betta... Joseph
Charlie Town council members vote on zoning matters. Someone that frequents strip clubs might not find it objectionable to grant a business permit for a liquor store across the street from your high school. These kind of things come up all the time on town council agendas. Around where I live, for instance, we try to block businesses that sell cigarettes from operating anywhere near our public schools. DaveScot
That is a good question, Dave. I always feel that putting the choice and responsibility on the person is the right the move. The situation you outline, however, doesn't give me enough information to know if I would want to act at all. Does the man's activity impact on his ability to do his job or does it show he is not to be trusted in his position? If not I don't see any reason that it should be a factor. If he wants to keep a harmless secret that doesn't affect his performance that is his business. Don't we all have secrets somewhere in our lives, or even just in our thoughts, that could cause us social damage were people to find them out? On the other hand, if the man owes his position to the fact that he exposed his opponent's similar proclivities, or if his campaign centered on his not going to strip-clubs, then I think he is a hypocrite or has abused the public trust and should have the opportunity to come clean. He can then put the matter before the voters, or expect someone else to. Charlie


That does bring up a question I couldn't answer. Say you know something about a public servant that ruins your trust in them and you're certain it would ruin the public's as well. Say you find out a town council member in your small conservative town who everyone thinks is an upstanding citizen of the highest moral character spends his Saturday nights at a strip club in the next county. You don't really care to ruin his reputation but you don't want him making decisions that effect the town either. Is it okay to take him aside and say "I know what you do on Saturday nights and if you don't run for reelection I'll keep it under my hat." That seems like extortion, at a minimum it's a threat, but it would be the least damaging way of getting him out of office.

Perfect qualification to my point DaveScot. I was going in a different direction with my implication, but you are absolutely right. Charlie
Charlie I think there needs to be some qualification on "reputations and livelihood" when it comes to people in a position of public trust. If there's something about them that would compromise the public's trust the public has a right to know about it. DaveScot
Thanks for the alert, Doug. Let me second your admonition. It is mystifying to me that we live in a society where people believe that violence, or the threat of violence, is the proper solution to a political or philosophical disagreement. It is equally mystifying when that threatened or actual harm is aimed at reputations and livelihood. We can be a petty creature. Charlie
I hate to point it out, but anyone one who writes about anything controversial receives these things of things. It's really a given. Ben Z
Woo! A post I agree with 100%. I would hope that those on all sides keep violence and threats out of academic debates. Tiax

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