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And here’s a brief intro to left antisemitism.

Discussion (72)¬

  1. M27Holts says:

    Is eating bacon sarnies and campaigning to stop kosher animal bleeding and circumcision anti Semitic???

  2. Laripu says:

    Exactly right.

    Other conspiracy stuff I’ve read is that Jews want to both make all white people into homosexuals, and/or cause whites and non-whites to have children together in order to degrade the white race.

    This kind of crap is promulgated by US white supremacists, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find it on the other side of the pond. Given how information travels nowadays.

    They also like to cherry-pick the worst parts of the Talmud, a document that secular Jews are largely unfamiliar with. (But the chasidic black coat guys know in detail.)

  3. Laripu says:

    M27Holts, why would you lump together your freedom to eat bacon with someone else’s freedom to practise their religion?

    Farm raising and killing intelligent and sensitive swine for bacon must be more immoral than circumcision and kosher rules. I demand that you become vegetarian. 😉

  4. jean-françois gauthier says:

    @Laripu: well, the circumcised usually lives to oink the tale.

  5. Laripu says:

    BTW, my favourite J&M conspiracy theory cartoon was the one in which Moses refused to relinquish the remote, because “I need it to control the television.” 😀

  6. Luxi Turna says:

    Uhh… I don’t get it. What did the far left say that was antisemitic?

  7. hackneymartian says:

    > I don’t get it. What did the far left say that was antisemitic?

    This is a reference to UK politics. It’s a long story but here’s a sample:

  8. 1HappyHeathen says:

    I find it too often and far too easy for some to claim that anti-theists and atheists are anti-Semitic…. and consider us to be bigots.

  9. Deimos says:

    The old anti-semitism allegations were a lot easier to make before Israel got established but now its quite obvious to
    any intelligent observer that Judasim has as many conflicting groups as Islam or Christianity. The idea of “the Jews” controlling everything is a non starter as there is no “the Jews”, instead there are as many versions of Judaism as there are Jews.
    Mormons on the other hand are obviously taking over the world.

  10. 1HappyHeathen says:

    @Deimos, don’t let the christers slide away scott free…. look into Dominion theology (also known as dominionism) there are many dominionists already elected to high offices here in the USA….. lets hope it doesn’t become another exported item. read some of Frank Schaefer’s works or watch “let me be Frank”

  11. M27Holts says:

    I had a Lamb curry tonight. It was very tasty. I’m not being a vegetarian, I have evolved to be omnivorous so i’m going to be omnivorous. But i’m not omnipotent nor omniscient…

  12. Alex Gee says:

    Anti-Semitism in the UK largely hides behind hatred of Israel! The mask slips when you realise that First: All of the anti-semites bile is directed at Israel and none at all against far worse murderous and despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Zimbabwe, etc. Second: Their hatred is directed against the Israeli people, not its government or particular government policies!

  13. Son of Glenner says:

    M27 Holts: You could keep on evolving and become vegetarian, or even (shock! horror!) vegan.

    Or just remain palaeolithic.

    Either way, you still won’t be omnipotent or omniscient.

  14. Laripu says:

    Luxi, I wouldn’t say that “the far left” are antisemitic.
    I would say that there are some people on the far left that hate Jews. In many sufficiently large randomly chosen groups, there will be some people that hate Jews. This has been my experience, learned well before my teens at the end of a fist.

    While it is true that for non-empty sets
    All x Px implies Exists x Px
    it is not the case that
    Exists x Px implies All x Px
    (symbols didn’t display)
    the latter being the basic racist argument. So I’m sure that many in the far left are perfectly lovely people.

    On the other, hatred of innocent Jewish people can be found even among the nominally intelligent.

  15. Laripu says:

    M27Holts, you evolved you eat meat, not specifically nitrite-cured bacon. Evolution also gave you and others brains for choice. While we are almost universally atheist in this group, others right to follow they religion is roughly on the order of your right to eat the cured flesh of factory raised and slaughtered pigs. I think religion is stupid, and I like bacon, and I don’t care whether boys are circumcised. Mostly I don’t want sanctimonious people to tell me what to do. (Not talking about you here. 🙂 )

  16. Son of Glenner says:

    Laripu: I don’t find your “set” symbols helpful. Can the same thing not be expressed in simple language? IE: “Because some far-leftists are anti-semitic, that does not mean that all far-leftists are anti-semitic.” (Which I agree with.)

    Re circumcision, why do you not think that a boy has a right not to be mutilated for no good reason? (Come in Darwin H!)

  17. M27Holts says:

    Clearly this argument is cyclical on this site. At 18 a boy or a girl can have any body modifications their minds can devise (limited by what is physically possible with modern surgery). I would definately have sued my parents if they had had me circumcised….as for veganism , well , I am not giving up eating pork pie , bacon or stinking blue cheeses for anybody..and you cant drink beer that has animal finings etc so its a complete non starter for me…I used to work with a vegan and her breath stank like a dogs arsehole and she was always on the pat and mick….not a good advert…

  18. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Re the far left and anti-Jewish hatred. It’s certainly not true that all or even most on the left hate Jews. But many of them are willing to give cover to those that do.
    Corbyn, in particular, never met a terrorist he didn’t like and an awful lot of them define themselves by hatred of Jews (Hamas, Hizbollah, and–of yes the IRA too, because Catholics and Jews have a somewhat checkered history too…cough cough Irish “neutrality” against Nazis…cough cough).
    Corbyn’s defence of “We have to talk to our enemies” is fine and noble…until you realize that he won’t talk to Israelis in the same way. So Noam, bless him, can blow it out his ass.
    This is all completely consistent with thinking that Israel violates human rights on a daily basis (which it does) and is surrounded by enemies who do the same (also true) and actively want them dead (which is obviously true).
    Why anyone feels comfortable or well-informed enough to take sides in all that is lost on me. It certainly doesn’t show in the way they talk about it.

  19. Jim Baerg says:

    Alex Gee: While the hatred of Israel is likely partly antisemitism, I think this is also a major contributing factor “The most criticised societies in the world will be the least criminal societies”.

  20. Son of Glenner says:

    Apology: In my previous post re circumcision, when I wrote “a boy has a right not to be mutilated …” I should of course have written “a boy or girl has a right not to be mutilated …”. I forgot about FGM; I know Jews do not traditionally cut little girls, but many other surviving cultures practice ritual cutting of girls and/or boys.

  21. Donn says:

    Like Laripu I don’t find the evidence, on casual reading anyway, but it isn’t for me a statistical question, rather a semantic one – “there are some people on the far left that hate Jews”, like any population, but they don’t in any way represent the “left” because no one cares what they think, among the left anyway.

    If it were some widely read leftist writer, or even a politician but one that they all like to have their pictures taken with, then that would be something to point at.

    As it is, what we may conclude is the leftist politics doesn’t cure or innoculate against anti-semitism, which should not be a surprise, particularly if we don’t require that leftist politics be deeply felt, genuine or authentic.

  22. M27Holts says:

    If a population of people claim to have a covenant with a god and are literally that gods chosen people. Doesnt that engender a bit of emnity from those people who aren’t “chosen” and thus are considered sub-human??? its all to do with that pesky religion as usual…

  23. Laripu says:

    M27Holts, has anyone personally told you they were god’s chosen lately? Or is that only something you’ve read? I’ve read it too, but no one I’ve ever met claimed that, or asked for any consideration because of it. Also, I’ve had Christians of various flavours tell me to my face that my disbelief meant that I’d go to hell. I’d say that’s worse than a book saying I’m chosen. (Chosen for either inferno or Auschwitz, apparently.)

    I’m an atheist of Jewish heritage. I’m married to an agnostic of Catholic heritage, from Germany. She and I joke that I’m indeed chosen, because I usually get good parking spots, and when I shop at a grocery, something I intend to buy is usually on a BOGO sale (buy one, get one free).

    So the powers that be don’t have the clout they used to have, I guess. Still, my wife likes to say that she’ll ride my coattails to heaven. 😉

    Among ultra-Orthodox Jews there’s a much greater problem than circumcision, which is that their children (especially boys) receive little secular education. I don’t miss my prepuce one bit. But I’m very glad my parents were secular, and my father a freethinker, and that they emphasized education. I’d be forlorn without that.

  24. DocAtheist says:

    I’d like to address the issue of circumcision, since it seems to come up anytime antisemitism is mentioned, as though accusing Jews of mutilating male infants makes any and all other antisemitic speech acceptable.

    As a physician, I only wish I could impart to you the surgical aspects of the procedure in the way that makes good biological sense. I’ve tried that on other blogs, though, and I might as well have been talking to a brick wall. In short, I’ll just say that circumcising an 8 day old infant, as Jewish law requires (unless the infant is unwell or otherwise at particular health risk) leaves essentially no scar or functional nerve damage. Try that on an adult, and the result is somewhat different because the actual nerves are matured. Some adults medically require the procedure, nonetheless, and they seem to do fine.

    Circumcision does reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Strikingly, this applies not only to the circumcised but to his sexual partners. Again, it makes logical sense based on anatomy and pathology, but explaining it on blogs won’t convince those who have made their minds up.

    Circumcision does reduce the risk of penile cancer, which might be related to that reduced risk of STDs.

    And, finally, anyone who compares circumcision to female genital mutilation (not you, Laripu, you didn’t compare them) needs to learn some intimate anatomy. FGM is equivalent to cutting off the penis, slicing up the scrotum, then sewing the scrotal bits of skin to each other in a knot of some sort. So, please don’t do this. Just saying.

  25. Laripu says:

    DocAtheist, thank you for that information. If you had a son would you have him circumcised at a young age?

    I just want to say that not even one person writing in any J&M thread has been in the slightest antisemitic. (Just for the record. I know you didn’t accuse anyone here.)

    If they had been, I’d be gone.

    This seems to be a nice atheist space.

  26. Stephan Brun says:

    So Jesus is right for once. That cheque I promised him is in the mail.

  27. DocAtheist says:

    Laripu, yes, I would absolutely have any newborn son of mine circumcised.

    And, yes, I am here for the same good community and Author’s wit.

    This particular cartoon had me ever more grateful to Author. Though he made no mention of circumcision, here, a commentor did, resulting in some very good responses. I just thought a touch of the medical science background might also be nice.

  28. Son of Glenner says:

    DocAtheist: I don’t doubt the truth of your remarks about the medical science re circumcision (and FGM), but they don’t address the principle of imposing unnecessary irreversible injury on a defenceless child. Are the benefits you claim, re STD transmission and penile cancer, strong enough to consider the operation necessary, in the same way that infant vaccination can be justified?

    Coincidentally, I have just seen a report on another site that, in Italy, a two-year old boy has recently died as a consequence of a botched circumcision performed by a non-medical Muslim operator, and that similar deaths occur from time to time. (There was no suggestion that circumcision by a competent medically trained person can kill.)

  29. DocAtheist, oh how I hate to revisit the circumcision debate. I am so sick of speaking to closed minds on this subject, especially medically trained closed minds. I have resented my circumcision since I learned about it at around the age of seven. For all the men who are happy they were circumcised, I’m happy for them. But I am one man, and I have talked to many many others, who are anything but happy.
    Most men, and I suspect many doctors, are ignorant of the anatomy of the foreskin and have never heard of a frenulum or a ridged band. There is a very strong rebuttal to every argument you presented in favor of infant circumcision. Should I thank the doctors for slightly reducing my risk of catching a disease I was at very little risk (and now zero risk) of catching by mutilating (Yes, that’s how I see it) my genitals? As for there being no comparison to FGM, are you aware of the wide range of variation in that practice, all the way from a tiny pin prick (a ceremonial practice with zero consequences called “sunat”) on the clitoral hood to the complete removal of the clitoris as you describe. Are you aware that every justification of infant male circumcision – tradition, disease risk reduction, cleanliness, reduction of promiscuity – is echoed by the supporters of FGM? Are you aware that ANY unnecessary cutting of an infant girl, including sunat, is illegal in America.
    Lastly, you speak with all the authority of a medical professional. People believe you. So any ignorance you may have on this subject spreads and supports a barbaric practice rooted in religious nonsense.. I hope you will take the time to look at some of the arguments against infant male circumcision, and some of the research that refutes your contention that it helps prevent disease. The best argument, in my opinion, is the human rights issue that Son of Glenner brought up. Any medical justification of infant circumcision, of either sex, pales to insignificance compared to the principle of bodily integrity that all men and women should be entitled to.

  30. M27Holts says:

    No parent has the right to remove parts of their childrens anatomy without good reason to (clinical advice for a problem diagnosed by a clinical professional). I definately think that any civilised democracy needs fo ban Male circumcision to bring it into line with FGM or crass sexism is being allowed on unknowing male minors! Again and again laripu refutes that he was the victim of child abuse. He had a fairly important part of his penis removed without his consent! How is that not abuse? On the subject of the covenant, I am simply making reference to the old testament (pentateuch) where claims of being chosen by god are made…I care not for ancient books. But I do care that babies can be mutilated, with pretence of non existant benefits and parents/guardians cannot be prosecuted due to cultural religious sensibilities.

  31. hotrats says:

    Quite apart from all those baby boys who die from botched circumcisions – leading one to the uncomfortable conclusion that Jehovah prefers dead Jewish babies to live uncircumcised ones – in the case of Judaism, circumcision represents forced religious conversion, which is illegal for adults under the UNDHR.

    The argument from hygiene is a piece of misdirection. Circumcision has never been done for purely hygienic reasons. The incidence of STDs and cancer correlate much more closely to the quality of intimate personal hygiene than to circumcision; compared to teaching small boys to wash under the foreskin, circumcision is like treating dandruff with decapitation.

    The Jewish sage Maimonides, in his ‘Guide for the Perplexed’, makes clear that the purpose of circumcision is to weaken the organ, reduce sensitivity, and lower the sex drive. The current vogue for circumcision in the western world started in the USA in the 1950s, with the aim of reducing masturbation, then seen as an intractable problem (needless to say, it didn’t work).

    In the immortal words of Christopher Hitchens, who can hold a newborn baby, marvel at its perfection and innocence, and call for a sharp stone to correct the work of the Lord, who mischievously gifted it with more libido than is needed for reproduction?

  32. Laripu says:

    Hotrats, I can vouch for the fact that make circumcision doesn’t lower sex drive or reduce promiscuity. Maimonides may have thought that, but people back then also thought a lot of other stupid stuff.

    I was 16 in 1973, and it was a lot if fu-fu-fu-fun, I can attest. Then AIDS forced serial monogamy on anyone with a brain. But it was a great 10 years right to the end of 1983, when AIDS started to enter the straight community.

  33. Laripu, I also agree that circumcision doesn’t lower the sex drive. What it quite possibly does lower is the enjoyment thereof, which was a big part of the intention. I have always enjoyed sex, even loved sex, but I have no way of assessing what it could have been with a complete penis. Maimonides stated that once a woman had experienced a complete penis she would never go back to a reduced one, hence the need for reduction. Sex is sinful, eh. Dr. Kellogg, of cereal fame, recommended that it be done as painfully as possible, so that the boy would always associate pain with his penis, and thus refrain from masturbation.
    I find it hard to believe that the thickening of the skin of the glans, and the removal of the most enervated part of the male body, has no affect on enjoyment. But who’s to say, eh. Not me.
    All I know is that it pisses me off that this was done to me, and it really pisses me off when a doctor throws his authority into the discussion like he actually knows something. After all, doctors in the recent past claimed that masturbation, our only truly healthy, clean and safe sex, was responsible for everything from curvature of the spine to vision problems to epilepsy. Of course that was back then. No doctor would try to justify circumcision on those grounds today. Other grounds must be found. And if they look hard enough they find some.
    Let’s look at the campaign in Africa to circumcise young men because it helps slow the spread of AIDS. Young men don’t like wearing a condom. Now the young man has been told that his chance of getting AIDS is reduced, so why wear a condom. Does this sound like a good idea to you?
    Those studies that DocAtheist was so impressed with were done by incredibly biased “scientists” with an agenda to promote circumcision. And most doctors bought it. Makes me wanna scream.

  34. Donn says:

    I don’t care what you guys say, my penis is the greatest and all the more glorious for lack of a foreskin.

  35. Happy for you, Donn. Less is more, eh.

    As I said before, I’m happy for those who like the fact that they were circumcised. And I’m told by many in my family that they are the well adjusted and that I’m the neurotic. I’ve had a lot of fun with my cock in the past and have truly enjoyed sex. I’ve been told by many women…okay, by a few women… two women have told me that I have a beautiful cock and I’m happy to accept their subjective assessment.
    That doesn’t mean I am happy with being mutilated as an infant. And it certainly doesn’t mean that I think infants should be subjected to the same alteration. It’s not about me anymore.

    When I rant on this subject it isn’t to make people who are happy having been circumcised to feel less happy. Rock on, buddy. But please recognize that it’s a bad thing to do to a baby, even if you are okay with the result yourself.

  36. Laripu, thanks for that link. Hard to argue with Professor Emeritus Brian J. Morris, given his personal statement, background and experience. He is obviously a devout circumcision advocate and I have nothing to say in rebuttal that isn’t tainted by some connection to “anti-circumcision groups”, all of whose arguments can be dismissed out of hand because they aren’t, you know, doctors. Well, most aren’t.

    Of course there are lots of doctors who oppose infant male circumcision. I’ve even spoken to one or two of them. Doctors I talked to in China, where circumcision is rare except in the Muslim population, are baffled by the scare tactics brought up by doctors like Dr. Morris. Leaving men intact doesn’t cause problems, so why not do it?

    But for me, not being a medical doctor, it seems the only argument I am left with is that cutting off a part of my dick was a decision that the owner of the dick should have had some say in. Nobody has the right to tell me I shouldn’t resent that it was done to me. Fuck ’em all. Do it to any adult without his consent and you go straight to jail. But it’s apparently fine do do whatever you think best with a baby.

    And I hereby duck out of this discussion one more time. Sorry I got dragged in again.

  37. Son of Glenner says:

    While I note that Laripu, Darwin H and others, have contributed personal comments on circumcision, DocAtheist has not answered my queries re benefits of circumcision. So, I shall put my questions to him again.

    STDs: What are the statistics showing the effects of circumcision on infection rates? IE percentage infection rates of specified STDs in circumcised men and a control group of uncircumcised men. Also, similar statistics for sexual partners (he mentions that infection rates are lower for the partners of the circumcised).

    Penile cancer: Again, numbers please? How common is penile cancer in the first place, ie in the uncircumcised? And what is the percentage reduction of this cancer in the circumcised?

    If the original studies, on which DocAtheist’s remarks are based, do not give such data, how are their conclusions arrived at?

    If the statistical differences are large, DocAtheist has a case. If the differences are negligible, or marginal, their importance as a justification for circumcision declines or disappears.

    As I understand it, USA physicians are mostly in favour of routine infant circumcision, European physicians are mostly against it. I wonder why the difference? BTW, I do not regard this debate as particularly about Jews or jewish customs and traditions. Circumcision is common in many Muslim societies, (although not required by Islam) and Muslims by far outnumber Jews. And in the USA, it is common among the general population. And some Jews, even in the state of Israel, are opposed to circumcision for non-medical reasons (presumably they are like Laripu, secular rather than orthodox).

  38. Son of Glenner says:

    Getting away from the circumcision debate, and back to anti-semitism:

    Even to a casual observer, Jewish people are over-represented in many areas of talent, in particular music and other arts, and in business and politics, at least in societies where they are not persecuted. Anti-semites will of course say that this is because of jewish conspiracies; I think that has already been well demolished in this thread by Deimos (“The idea of “the Jews” controlling everything is a non starter as there is no “the Jews”, instead there are as many versions of Judaism as there are Jews.”) Instead, it is hard to deny that Jews are, overall, a pretty talented bunch! (Of course, there must also be some Jewish idiots, but proportionally fewer!)

    In school contexts, outstanding pupils (the “swots”!) often become targets for bullies, motivated by jealousy. So it should not surprise us that a spectacularly successful identifiable group such as Jews become the targets of society’s underachievers.

  39. HelenaHandbasket says:

    The economist Thomas Sowell was once asked what the Jews could do to reduce the hatred against them. I’ve never heard a better answer than his single word reply: “Fail”.
    As to the “chosen people” question. I taught in an orthodox Jewish faith school for four years, and was married to a Jew for nearly twenty. I can promise you that a number of Jewish people quite unironically think of and talk of themselves as being “the chosen people”. So, are there aresholes in the Jewish community? The unsurprising answre is “Of course there are.”

  40. Walter says:

    RE: Helen A Handbasket —Yes, you call yourself the “chosen people” and it’s going to come back at you. But it’s in the Hebrew scriptures. Yahuwahu told them to enslave some of the population and kill the rest and got mad at them for being insufficiently genocidal, according to the story.

  41. There are a couple of things to consider when it comes to Jews being over represented in many achievement categories. Unlike the American culture where the most admired is the illiterate peripatetic ranch worker, the cowboy, a culture that disparages book larnin’, the Jewish culture admires and promotes education and learning. “My son, the doctor” is a Jewish cliche.

    During most of European history, when wealth was based on the ownership of land, Jews were forbidden to own real estate. At the same time, Christians were forbidden from engaging in lending money and charging interest on it. This forced the Jews to become merchants, money lenders, and eventually bankers. When the basis of wealth changed from land ownership to capitalistic enterprises, the Jews were in position to prosper at last.

    There is also something very powerful in the combination of historic persecution and very strong tribal identification. If you have to be good and work very hard to survive, and have the help of a group that favors nepotism and mutual support, it’s not surprising that your achievements rise above the norm.

    Are the Jews really overachievers? Apparently.

    Search Results
    Featured snippet from the web
    Image result for percentage of jewish nobel prize winners
    As of 2017, Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 902 individuals, of whom 203 or 22.5% were Jews, although the total Jewish population comprises less than 0.2% of the world’s population. This means the percentage of Jewish Nobel laureates is at least 112.5 times or 11,250% above average.

  42. M27Holts says:

    Isn’t the insistence of the round-heads that they are sexually superior due to their skin-headed buddy a manifestation of the Stockholm syndrome or can it have a name of its own?

  43. jb says:

    The over-representation of Jews in intellectually demanding fields could possibly, perhaps, maybe, conceivably, be related to the fact that on average they (Ashkenazi Jews anyway) score 10 to 15 points higher than non-Jewish European whites on IQ tests. (Getting back under my rock now…).

  44. Laripu says:

    Jews are overrepresented in all kinds of achievement that involve language skills and literacy. The reasons are as follows:

    1) following the destruction of the second temple and diaspora, in order to preserve the culture, they adopted a bias for literacy,
    2) centuries of discrimination that left money lending as one of the only viable professions, thereby rewarding numeracy,
    3) centuries of itinerant trading, which rewarded language ability, because of the need to know multiple languages,
    4) centuries of persecution that selectively killed off stupid people at a slightly greater rate than smarter people, and most importantly
    5) genetic selection in conjunction with all the above. (I wanted to say natural selection but there’s nothing natural about 2000 years of repression.)

    In effect, Christians persecution and genetic selection made Ashkenazi Jews what they are. Two thousand years and multiple sources of pressure for numeracy, literacy, and language. A tiny, tiny rise in average IQ year upon year for two thousand years.

    More importantly to me, this persecution made me what I am. My father was married with two daughters before WWII. His entire family was killed by Nazis while he was out if town buying leather for his cobbler shop. After the war, he met my mother; and my brother and I were the result. So I owe my life to … Hitler. Hey, thanks Nazis! 😉

  45. Laripu says:

    … and “chosen” stuff is obviously dumb crap no matter who says it.
    … and achievement is entirely unrelated to penises (unless you’re a porn actor)
    … and I’m bored of this discussion.

  46. M27Holts says:

    The sad fact is, that even on a site such as this the pernicious effects of religion are defended by people who should know better. Shame on anyone of any social group who thinks they can justify hacking bits off babies by complere fabricated clinical bollocks….No you aint bored, you should be ashamed…

  47. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Langauge and literacy also correlate closely with IQ.
    But, open up a book on phsycis and turn to the back. Boy, there sure are a lot of “Einsteins” and “Feynmans” in there. LBs point about IQ and the Ashkenazi Jews being, on average 1SD over the normal population is a solid one, but I wonder if people appreciate the implications? (I know a lot don’t otherwise they would give houseroom to that prize goof Nassim Taleb, who has just added “IQ” to the long list of things he doesn’t understand).
    But–for those who are not numerophobes, the point about the average in the population being higher is that this implies a fatter tail at the sharp end of that bell curve. That means more geniuses (those Einsteins and Feynmans just mentioned). It’s not that all jews are smart, its just that their population produces more than it’s share of the really smart.
    If you want a crude explanation of how this works the essence is the breeders equation which is rarely taught in schools or even universities these days (because the implications are rather terminal to a lot of ideological positions, I’d imagine)
    Most traits can be quantized and normed, and validated against other measures. IQ is one of the most robust of these (although its not the only predictor of success).
    The fact that a lot of humans dont like this, says more about them than it does about reality. But if you really want confirmation that IQ is a really important and well-validated trait, the fact that Stephen Jay Gould devoted an entire book to desperately trying to debunk it should be all the proof that any educated person needs. He’s an even bigger goofball than Taleb.

  48. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Langauge and literacy also correlate closely with IQ.
    But, open up a book on phsycis and turn to the back. Boy, there sure are a lot of “Einsteins” and “Feynmans” in there. JBs point about IQ and the Ashkenazi Jews being, on average 1SD over the normal population is a solid one, but I wonder if people appreciate the implications? (I know a lot don’t otherwise they would give houseroom to that prize goof Nassim Taleb, who has just added “IQ” to the long list of things he doesn’t understand).
    But–for those who are not numerophobes, the point about the average in the population being higher is that this implies a fatter tail at the sharp end of that bell curve. That means more geniuses (those Einsteins and Feynmans just mentioned). It’s not that all jews are smart, its just that their population produces more than it’s share of the really smart.
    If you want a crude explanation of how this works the essence is the breeders equation which is rarely taught in schools or even universities these days (because the implications are rather terminal to a lot of ideological positions, I’d imagine)
    Most traits can be quantized and normed, and validated against other measures. IQ is one of the most robust of these (although its not the only predictor of success).
    The fact that a lot of humans dont like this, says more about them than it does about reality. But if you really want confirmation that IQ is a really important and well-validated trait, the fact that Stephen Jay Gould devoted an entire book to desperately trying to debunk it should be all the proof that any educated person needs. He’s an even bigger goofball than Taleb.

  49. M27Holts says:

    Does high IQ demonstrate a persons ability to think critically and demonstrate a love of the truth? High IQ sapiens are just as susceptible to confirmation bias as anybody else, or am I mistaken. And does high IQ inoculate against stupidity? The cleverest mathematician I know , burnt his house down when he left his chip pan on an electric hob with the power switched on when he exited his house go to the pub during a power cut….

  50. Laripu says:

    Wow, M27… a sample size of 1… then it MUST be true!

  51. Laripu says:

    See this UN document.

    Sections 7.5.1 to 7.5.3 give data that is not “complete fabricated clinical bollocks” as M27Holts emotionally asserts.

    Whatever else is true, I think we can safely say that if done at all it ought to be done in a controlled clinical setting by medical professionals, and not by religious types. Also, unless medically necessary, it should not be done on adults at all.

  52. HelenaHandbasket says:

    We all used to think that circumcision was a legitimate protection against various diseases. I attended learned WHO talks on it a decade or so ago. The data have been re-assessed, however, and only a diminishing (and mostly religious) section of the scientific community now think that its ever a good idea to remove healthy tissue. Alice Dreger does a good job of taking apart the arguments here

  53. HelenaHandbasket says:

    There is, of course, one perfectly legitimate reason to have your son circumcised. If you fear that his penis will be used a trophy by some old testament warlord to trap into dying while trying to prove his fealty and worthiness to marry your daughter–then I think its acceptable to deny him this form of “scalp”.
    (1 Samuel 18: 20)
    “Saul replied, “Say to David, ‘The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.’” Saul’s plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines.”

    Anything else? I suggest we keep our hands off children’s genitals? Radical, I know…

  54. M27Holts says:

    Of course my anecdote was meant to bring a bit of levity into the fairly heavy debate. It is in fact, a true set of events. My friend still laughs at his crass stupidity…whether it proves a correlation between being a doctor of mathematics and a propensity to burn your own house down is highly debateable indeed…but no infants were mutilated as a consequence of his blatant disregard of the danger of chip pans….

  55. M27Holts says:

    And…if you reach 18 and you feel that you would be better off without your foreskin, Then you should be able to go private and get the circumcision you crave. Why Laripu claims that adult circumcision should be banned is a strange proposition. If people can have their genitals reformed to the gender they desire, then surely they can choose a curcumcised knob if they so wish…

  56. M27Holts says:

    And Alice Dreger…yes I think that covers all the bases. I do like Alice…and she writes excellent books…

  57. Son of Glenner says:

    “Curcumcised” knob?

    Would that be a penis the size of of a cucumber?

  58. M27Holts says:

    Aha. I was distracted by the football as I was typing. And SOG have you been peeping through my bedroom curtains…

  59. Son of Glenner says:

    Author: I’m really looking forward to a change of topic tomorrow. I think, between us all, we’ve said all there is to say about anti-semitism, Jews and Judaism, and circumcision.

  60. Donn says:

    … and then some.

  61. M27Holts says:

    Well regarding the Manchester victoria stabbing by an islamic nutter. I think that the security forces are trying to play down the link with islam. This may be an attempt to try and remove the performance terrorism aspect. If these acts of violence can be detached from the religion it may be that further attacks might be prevented as the oxygen of media coverage is removed. Just a thought…

  62. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Son of Glenner. Sez you. I have lots more to say about it, such as the way we give a pass to male circumcision but not female circumcision…although that’s changing. It used to be a red line for ethicists, and a reductio ad absurdum for moral relativists. So keen are moral relativists to cleave to their relativism that, let the record show, in 2019, there are people arguing that objecting to mutilating little girls is racist.
    Now I’ve got that off my chest, here’s a much more reasonable philosopher (Brian Earp) on the topic
    (He’s ahppy to chat with anyone who doesnt share SoGs fatigue and could talk about genital mutilation all day)

  63. M27Holts says:

    Isnt “moral relatavist” a synonym for “complete fuck wit” ?

  64. M27Holts says:

    Handbasket. You have to pay to get the full article. Are you taking a cut?

  65. Son of Glenner says:

    HelenaHandbasket: I was under the impression that no reasonable person could consider FGM acceptable, whereas plenty of otherwise reasonable persons actively support male circumcision (eg DocAtheist) or consider it acceptable (eg Laripu). As DocAtheist made very clear, the worst type of FGM is quite horrendous (and frequently fatal to the victim) and it is hard to understand why even traditional tribal societies think it not only acceptable, but positively essential.

  66. Son of Glenner says:

    M27Holts: “taking a cut” – Terrible pun, in very bad taste!

  67. M27Holts says:

    I have emailed my last Four MPs on the subject of making all circumcision illegal. (The last two are female). In every case they have stated that FGM is illegal but no plans to make it illegal to circumcise males. They had no real argument against the obvious sex descrimination that the government is persisting in upholding for fear of cultural relativistic objections. BASTARDS!

  68. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Son of Glenner. I was under that impression too. And then I started hanging out with anthropologists and learned that there is no end to the moral inanities that a eprson can mouth in the spirit if relativism.
    M27. Keep trying. I have to confess that I didn’t see the equivalence at first. It took Alice Dreger saying “What justification is there for cutting off healthy tissue?” in a medical context for me to go, “Wait a minute, I’m being totally inconsistent here.” It came as a shock to realize that I could be as dumb as a post–but there it is. I hadn’t done it to anyone (or allowed it to be done) but thats moral luck, not moral backbone. Judaism can change. It has changed before and it can change again.

  69. M27Holts says:

    I am just seeing the Trump wall speech. A man of such unbelievable stupidity is POTUS. The great wall of Mexico, the head lunatic is in charge of the asylum…impeachment is the only way the USA can get rid of the shredded wheat haired lunatic…

  70. banks says:

    @Luxi Turna beneath the cartoon you’ll find author’s link to a brief intro to left antisemitism.

    Basically, objection to the persecution of Palestinians by Israel => antisemitism!

  71. Charlie says:

    It’s pretty funny how this comic, as much as I enjoy it, pokes fun about the tendency of some people to claim Islamophobia a bit too liberally. You’ve got comics up with ‘Islamophobia!’ as a punch line mocking people who don’t love the burka or who criticise repressive teachings. Yet here we are with the ‘left antisemitism’ trope, apparently being used seriously.

    Let’s take a look though.. The claims started going around the mainstream (read: centre-right) press in response to enthusiasm for Corbyn as a leader who was offering something other than watered-down Toryism. The claims focused on his personal attending of a Passover event with a Jewish group called Jewdas, who oppose the policies of Israel. Conveniently for the right, the ‘definition’ of anti-semitism includes criticism of Israel. There’s a wide gulf between criticising a state for its policies and out of pure bigotry. There’s no other country that someone could get branded a racist for being in opposition to for political reasons. Pretty much since then, the right have smeared Labour in the press. There was even an inquiry into antisemitism within Labour which found nothing concerning.

    So we have a leader being criticised for not following the assumptions about what countries we’re supposed to take the side of. As for ‘terrorists’, to an extent it depends on which side of the conflict someone’s on as to whether they’re labelled a terrorist or a ‘freedom fighter’. Now, I’m not defending the sort of brutal attacks we’ve seen in recent years for a second, because they’re horrific. But ‘legitimate’ militaries blow stuff up and kill innocent people too and are framed as brave heroes because they’re ‘ours’, and we’re expected/assumed to agree with whatever position our state takes in wars regardless of the situation and called a traitor or terrorist-sympathiser if we criticise our own country’s positions. So this claim originated from having sympathy with Palestinians under Israel, but also Corbyn’s history of opposing UK troops fighting in Ireland.

    I know this post was long but I really wanted to inject some perspective into these comments and point out that these accusations are no more valid than the many frivolous claims of Islamophobia you criticise yourself.


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