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Armoured Skeptic

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The human.
The avatar.
Someone is wrong on
The Internet
Icon internet.svg
Log in:
Voice of the voiceful
Men's rights
Icon antifeminism test2.svg
Lest women catch up
Bros before hoes
Regardless of the organization they have infiltrated, everything regarding female representation is always wrong, no matter what. Every complaint, when met with a fix, is simply just flipped into a complaint about the fix. When trying to appease a feminist, one will find himself/herself in a no-win scenario where everything is problematic because... feelings. If it FEELS wrong to a feminist it is wrong. This is the logic we're up against. There is literally no winning, there is no appeasing, there is only the victim and the oppressor. Is this the world we want to live in?
—Armoured Skeptic, definitely not overgeneralizing feminists as crazy from a small sample size[1]

Gregory Fluhrer,[2] better known as Armoured Skeptic[note 1] (also Sir Skeptalot or AJ[note 2]), is an atheist YouTuber who debunks religious fundamentalists, conspiracy theorists, anti-atheism arguments, and feminists. Most skeptics like the first three; somewhat fewer like the latter. In general, his channel has (d)evolved from atheist content to skeptic content to antifeminist/anti-"SJW" content.

Life

Armoured Skeptic's life, according to Armoured Skeptic:[3][1]

As a child, AS was a member of a Messianic Jewish cult. Armoured Skeptic describes the members as very nice people, but extremely deluded. After watching videos from thunderf00t, TheAmazingAtheist, and CultOfDusty, he questioned his beliefs and ended up becoming an atheist.

The first atheist group that AS joined was an "Atheism+" group which promoted societal equality.[1] For questioning their ideas, said group doxxed him and told his boss that he was a rapist, which nearly got him fired. Exact words: "I personally was called a rape apologist because I denied there was a rape culture and I was called a rapist because I denied that consensual drunk sex was in any way a form of rape."[1] As a result, he considers Atheism+ to be almost a cult and created the Armoured Skeptic channel to combat Atheism+, but says that he has ultimately gone towards a more generally anti-bullshit channel.

YouTube career

As of January 2016, his four YouTube channels had (combined) over 210,000 subscribers[note 3] and 10.1 million views.[4][5] This is pretty impressive, given that his channel is about two years old; compare e.g. Ray Comfort, who has 36 million views over 10 years.

The atheist community appears to have reacted positively to AS, with several endorsements.[6][7][8] He is listed as one of the Richard Dawkins Foundation's "Secular Stars",[9] along with Sam Harris, Hemant Mehta, and The Atheist Experience.

Anti-religion

AS's main body of work consists of rebuttals to creationist, Christian arguments videos by his character (a guy in a modern suit and a knight helmet).

Notable videos:

Anti-bullshit

AS also does some generally anti-bullshit videos:

General problems

AS does not post any sources on his videos, which would be quite useful for proving that he's right or wrong on scientific issues. While he does sometimes highlight sections of webpages or videos that he thinks help prove this point, this is vastly less useful than the relevant links. In this way, he all too often relies on snark and assertion to make his points.

Armoured Skeptic has been criticised for his overinflated ego and tendency to act as if he is an expert on topics of which he is demonstrably ignorant. Even his friend Sargon of Akkad has said he has become egotistical and lazy, and does not read enough and learn enough before making his videos.[11][12] A notable example is when he made a video about free speech in Canada.[13] He made numerous factual errors which made it obvious that he was either deliberately lying or had done barely any research. A pair of videos by YouTuber Logicked highlighted the factual inaccuracies,[14][15][16][17][18][19] as well as potential plagiarism,[20] in Armoured Skeptic's video. Possibly his most egregious error was when he said "C-16Wikipedia's W.svg is a Bill that prohibits people from misgendering or using the wrong pronouns when addressing people who identify as trans."[21] The Bill said nothing about misgendering at all, but was instead about adding gender identity to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act. In essence, it makes it illegal to deny services, employment or accomodation to individuals based on their gender identity. Armoured Skeptic was apparently too lazy to actually read the Bill before commenting on it, even though it was only about two pages long (including the French half).[21]

Politics

AS heavily opposes "identity politics" in atheism, which here largely means Atheism+ and feminism.[22] For example, he writes:[1]

The leaders [of Atheism+] gave voices to only a select few bloggers and celebrities. These bloggers would express opinions about what kind of problems exist in society and when commenters would ask questions about specifics or disagree with a single point in a blog, the commenters would get banned, bashed, berated, attacked, doxed, publicly shamed or called a rapist. It wouldn't matter if one were to agree with the over-all point of the blog, if one disagreed or questioned one small part than that person was basically Hitler to the rest of the community. Atheism+ was supposed to bring the atheist community together, but instead it ripped it in two. The worst part is that many of the famous atheists, Steve Shives, Matt Dillahunty, Aron Ra and many others who helped me come out of religion and taught me to use logic and reason to come to my decisions had all thrown out basic logic and reason and embraced a feminist mindset. Be skeptical, unless it's about feminism, be logical, unless it's about feminism, be reasonable, unless it's about feminism, debate ideas you disagree with, unless it's feminism. Someone disagree with you? Call them an MRA, misogynist, rapist or a terrible human being that is on the wrong side of history.

Feminism

AS claims that feminism is invading the atheist community and dividing Hollywood (and popular culture).[1] He wonders how skeptics fail to apply that skepticism to feminism.[1] That said, he says he doesn't mind feminism and wants evidence to support what feminism is saying.[1] Perhaps the gender wage gap is insufficient (which he thinks it is).

Yes, fuck, Jesus, women as a whole make less then men as a whole. Everyone knows this. The part that continues to fly over your head is that less women are in STEM fields... Women aren't allowed to join STEM you say? NO! They're actively encouraged to join, but somehow there are less women then men. Maybe... and bear with me... maybe they CHOSE not to join. Maybe women are flocking to gender studies and other useless degrees instead of getting into technology and engineering. Women are the reason the wage-gap exists, not the patriarchy. The point is, the fact that the gap exists does not mean something needs to be done about it. That's a non-sequitur and you know it. Feminism is about empowering women to choose. You're witnessing the result of their choice. Let[']s say we DO decide to fix this issue. Why not start at the ground up? Let's ensure there are as many women in sewage jobs as men, let[']s make sure there are as many women in mining jobs as men, let[']s ensure there are as many women driving big-rig trucks as men... then when the foundation is laid we will get more women into CEO positions.
—Armoured Skeptic, comment on youtube video "Is the Gender Pay Gap Real?" by vlogbrothers

His reply video to one of Steve Shives' (where Shives argues that "Atheism and feminism are complementary to one another") is titled "Feminism is My God Now" and argues, in part, that "the only people I hear en masse perpetuating the concept that women are not equal to men are third wave feminists".[23] PZ Myers heavily criticized this video.[24] In Armoured Skeptic's response video to Shives,[25] he argued against his criticism; the anti-feminists and MRAs had a roaring time in his comment section. He claims that Shives didn't properly criticize his work,[25] which is justifiable as Shives neglected to address and debunk his points properly in his criticism.[24] But considering Shives didn't even respond to him, this straw man is too obvious. In a tweet he said "[he was called by Shives] misogynist and anti-feminist for disagreeing with a feminist".[25] Shives' accusation of anti-feminism, at least, was also justifiable as Armoured Skeptic played the same arguments as many anti-feminists: a prime example being his claim that the gender pay gap should be questioned.[23]

Armoured Skeptic believes that Anita Sarkeesian is a "mouthpiece" for "extreme left nonsense," and that Christina Hoff Sommers is a second wave feminist trying to "reconcile third wave feminists with reality."[26]

AS is dating fellow YouTube antifeminist Shoe0nHead and they collaborate often. He's also close friends with Sargon of Akkad.

Gamergate

AS calls himself "neutral" towards Gamergate, though he believes the movement genuinely started as a response to gaming ethics (which ruffles feathers on just about every side) and buys the entire lie of sex in exchange for reviews. He believes Joss Whedon left twitter because of feminist critics harassing him on Twitter,[27] although Whedon himself claims otherwise.[28] Finally, he worries about excessive "social activism" in gaming, believing that games should not dabble in politics of any kind.[29]

Thoughts on RationalWiki

Decidedly negative, questions its name:[30][31][32]

You should never use Rational Wiki as a source for anything... ever...[33]
Congratulations, RationalWiki. [....] This website is not in the least bit biased. Certainly not what you'd expect from a website that considers itself "Rational".[34]

Admittedly, at the time, RationalWiki's entry on him only mentioned him as a Gamergater and conspiracist.[35] Since then he's fallen much more off the deep end, his entry has been expanded into an entire article.

Even after being reached out to,[36] he considers it a one-sided relationship, more on him being mute rather than RationalWiki being unresponsive. On ask.fm, he gave the following reply:

Q: Have you seen rationalwiki and if so what are your thoughts on it?
A: Yeah, its a one-sided clusterfuck.[37]

In a video on 18 August 2017,[38] he again addressed RationalWiki. He was critical of Steve Shives who said that Armoured Skeptic cultivated a following "by making content that panders to racists, rape apologists, and misogynists." Shives then linked to Armoured Skeptic's page on RationalWiki. Armoured Skeptic correctly pointed out that his RationalWiki page (at least at the time of the video) did not describe him as a racist or suggest that he panders to racists. He says:

In fact, considering the nature and history of the site, I'm pretty impressed with how nice my page is. Even the criticisms about me are pretty reasonable. Ask June about her RationalWiki though. It is a shit show.[38]

Somewhat bizarrely, he goes on to mention that his page included his quote that RationalWiki should never be used as a source for anything. He says:

The most beautiful irony about this though is that my RationalWiki page has a quote from me. The last time I talked about RationalWiki I said "you should never use RationalWiki as a source for anything ever." [laughs] Ah, Steve, you should at least read these. You should at least read these things before you cite them.[38]

Armoured Skeptic's point seems to be either that he is arrogant enough to think he is the arbiter of reputable sources or he is stupid enough to think RationalWiki doesn't consider itself to be a reputable source.

See also

External links

Notes

  1. Note the "U"; he hails from Ontario, Canada.
  2. Not his real name; apparently a reference to his dog.
  3. This assumes that 100% of the subscribers were different people between the four channels, which is unlikely.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 http://armouredmedia.com/blog/identity-and-gender-politics-every-community
  2. http://armouredmedia.com/contact-us
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oKfWapjNCA&feature=youtu.be&t=24s
  4. https://www.youtube.com/user/armouredskeptic/about
  5. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf1iroepad-o5w2il-06Gjg/about
  6. http://atheistpapers.com/2015/03/04/the-armoured-skeptic-the-best-youtube-channel-yes/
  7. http://www.mysecretatheistblog.com/2014/08/canadian-youtuber-armoured-skeptic-is.html
  8. http://godlessmom.com/follow-friday-ethical-bob-the-armoured-skeptic-godswill-ministries/
  9. https://richarddawkins.net/community/secularstars/thearmouredskeptic/
  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaDeiBRifm8
  11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgTcNPmG3TQ
  12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_CL5wzkM-g
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVVDQnkqh8M
  14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd95T66YjSQ&t=7m39s
  15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd95T66YjSQ&t=14m20s
  16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd95T66YjSQ&t=17m20s
  17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd95T66YjSQ&t=48m44s
  18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfL5pTVlbIo&t=2m30s
  19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfL5pTVlbIo&t=42m20s
  20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfL5pTVlbIo&t=3m20s
  21. 21.0 21.1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd95T66YjSQ&t=30m25s
  22. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0E1MVwN0Fs
  23. 23.0 23.1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLMdXzy9gxA
  24. 24.0 24.1 http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2015/12/15/oh-crap-another-youtube-misogynist
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU-RT6kJpZI
  26. http://ask.fm/ArmouredSkeptic/answers/127979641691
  27. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOwPpYqAnOY
  28. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/joss-whedon-explains-why-he-793852
  29. He rarely talks about how social justice activism is involved in gaming, however.
  30. https://m.ask.fm/ArmouredSkeptic/answers/129874504795
  31. https://m.ask.fm/ArmouredSkeptic/answers/129872209243
  32. https://m.ask.fm/ArmouredSkeptic/answers/129874504795
  33. https://twitter.com/ArmouredSkeptic/status/598909079554269184
  34. https://youtu.be/JaNhi800KT8?t=566
  35. http://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=RationalWiki:Vlogroll&oldid=1508254#Controversial_secularists
  36. https://twitter.com/ZeroSerenity/status/634818401441964033
  37. https://m.ask.fm/ArmouredSkeptic/answers/133671909211
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 SJWs Try to Deplatform Me Armoured Skeptic (YouTube), Aug 18, 2017.