Another person learns about the far right’s lack of ethics and use of deception to promote its hate-fueled, anti-science efforts to drive America backwards.
Until just a few minutes ago I’d never heard of the organization—the IEET, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies—where this article appeared, but their stated purpose sounds sane enough. They define themselves as “technoprogressives” and I didn’t see anything that immediately set off any moonbattery alarms, but I’m sure if I missed something one of you will let me know shortly.
I’d also never heard of Eric Klien, but the moment the author mentioned Pamela Geller’s name I knew that whatever was coming next would be highly unpleasant for him.
The article is interesting, if predictable in it’s outcome: normal, sane person encounters wingnuts, red flags go up, person has temerity to call out Geller and gets thrown out of organization, shitstorm ensues and person realizes just how morally bankrupt the far right is. It’s worth reading in its entirety. The whole thing starts off innocently enough (as usual):
…Okay, first: what is the Lifeboat Foundation? It is supposed to be a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study of existential threats to humanity (threats that could lead to destruction of the human race, or all life on the planet). It consists mainly of a very large number of invited members (sometimes called Advisors and sometimes Board Members) who are organized into groups known as Advisory Boards, which are dedicated to specific subjects like threats from artificial intelligence, from nanotechnology, from falling asteroids, and so on.
Sounds like a good idea? Well of course! I thought so too, when I was asked to become one of their advisory board members a couple of years ago. Serving alongside Nobel laureates! Heady stuff.
But last year something strange happened. The person who runs the Foundation, Eric Klien, decided to add a new Advisor who was a little controversial. Some would describe her as an “extremist political blogger.”
Her name is Pamela Geller, and to give you a general idea of what she stands for, she and her organization (called “Stop Islamization of America”) has just been classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “Hate Group.” The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is, for those who don’t know, pretty much the gold standard for monitoring and classifying hate groups. […]
At this point the author visits Geller’s blog and gets a first-hand taste of her rabid rantings. He pulls out close to a dozen quotes “gathered from just the front page of one section of her blog”. (Emphasis mine.)
He then calls out Geller and gets the boot, at which point some additional online sleuthing turns up new info about Klien (which is quickly removed):
It turns out that Klien has written—on Pamela Geller’s blog—that he is on a crusade against what he calls “The Religion of Science,” and that he formed the Lifeboat Foundation with the intention of deceiving its members about his true purpose:
I have developed Lifeboat Foundation with a Trojan Horse meme that tries to wrap our goals in the Religion of Science memes. For example our mission statement begins with “The Lifeboat Foundation is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements.”
[NOTE: The article quoted above was available on Geller’s Atlas Shrugs blog until yesterday, when Klien had it removed.]
[UPDATE: Here is a link to a cached version of the article. Google says this shows the page as it appeared on Jan 27, 2011 20:56:38 GMT.]
A few paragraphs later, the author begins to fully appreciate the vicious depravity of the people he’d gotten in bed with:
What does he suggest as an idea for “what to do about it”? He sets up the tone of the rest of the article by starting with a quote.
A quote from … Adolph Hitler.
“It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.” - Adolph Hitler.
So, let me see if I have got this straight. Eric Klien tells us (in the rest of that article) that scientists belong to a religion that they are not even aware of belonging to, and this religion believes that all scientific advancement is good under all circumstances, and that members of this religion must do whatever it takes to quiet people mentioning any dangers that might be caused by science.
And his position is that this religion must be destroyed. And he puts in a quote from Adolph Hitler about fighting against people of faith.
This is beginning to get very scary.
Klien concludes the aforementioned article with these words:
By wrapping our meme with a Religion of Science coating, I hope to develop enough resources that we can make sure that unlike every civilization so far, we can have at least SOME people survive this dangerous religion.
In other words, if you kill the other guy in the lifeboat, then at least SOME people survive…?
More at the IEET website…
As I mentioned, there’s more good stuff at the source, but I don’t want to borrow more than what’s fair for commentary.