Archive for the ‘accommodationalism’ Category

Speak up. Stand up. Be counted. And never be silenced.

November 16, 2011

We cannot roll over in the face of attempts to limit our voice. These attempts range from political parties silencing their opposition’s vote, to police forces denying the right to peaceably assemble, to overprivileged groups telling underprivileged ones not to rock the boat.

Fuck. That. Noise.

If we think silencing dissent is the way to run a ship of state, than this boat is on the rocks. If we are going to sail, we better get some movement. Rock all you damn well please.

We cannot allow political parties to limit the voices of those who disagree with them; that way leads to governments who jail or execute those who disagree with them.

We cannot allow the denial of the rights of protesters, because protest is how we get nonviolent change. If you want the other kind of change, deny those rights as much as you like.

We cannot allow the overprivileged to silence the underprivileged, because the underprivileged are the ones who aren’t sheltered to the point of the ridiculous. We need to know about the experiences of others, and not just for their sake:

If we don’t see how our societies screw people over, we won’t be fighting to make it better, we won’t be expecting the revolution when it happens, and worst of all, we might fight on the wrong side.

The Arrogance of Not Arguing

July 15, 2011

There is a common meme in the theistic communities in this country: it is arrogant to assert a lack of belief in god, the internal contradictions of theistic hypotheses, or the simple lack of a need for such a hypothesis. And there is a common meme among atheists and agnostics: there is no point to debate. Nobody changes their mind because of evidence. You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.

I disagree. Emphatically. It is certainly not arrogant to point out a lack of evidence, but it is arrogant to assume that other people can’t see that there is a lack. How much more arrogant can you get than thinking that other people can’t see the issue with the First Cause Argument? What is more arrogant than thinking that you and your friends happen to be special enough or intelligent enough or educated enough to see through various theodicies, and then expect that their faults won’t bother anyone else?

I’m going to point out something that tends to get papered over: accommodationism isn’t just insulting to the Gnu Atheists; It is insulting to believers, on a profound level. Oh sure, accommodationism will call out Gnus for being jerks (because of honest engagement with ideas)- but then it will ask for us to understand that even if something isn’t true, maybe those weak minded saps over there need that mental crutch, we don’t, of course, but no need to make others miserable with difficult thoughts and logical discussion, and we should understand that all it will result in is stripped internal gears and headaches. Bull and shite.

If a belief is true, those who believe in it have nothing to fear from it being subjected to a free marketplace of ideas. No argument, no logical or empirical process will show a true belief to be false. And if a belief is false, how can you -without arrogance- claim it is better for others to believe it?

(Edited for spelling: Thank you, Jerry Coyne.)