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Stephen Elliott

Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2011,18:42   

Quote (Jim_Wynne @ Nov. 28 2011,18:17)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Nov. 28 2011,17:39)
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ Nov. 28 2011,10:11)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Nov. 28 2011,09:48)
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ Nov. 28 2011,09:38)
In reading through this thread and the other one regarding feminism, it occurs to me that there has never, to my knowledge, been a significant social movement that wasn't created and to some extent sustained by "radicals."  Large-scale social change happens because of noisy people who refuse to shut up, and who invariably offend some people who might be sympathetic in general.

The current complaint about PZ is typical and predictable.  It's helpful in such cases to look at the cumulative effects of the hyperbole (which is what the gelato man business is), rather than getting excited about individual instances.

Isn't that approaching an "end justifies the means" argument? Is it OK to vilify an individual for the greater good? It seems like a scapegoat/set-an-example thing to me and I am uncomfortable about that.

I made an observation regarding the historical role of radical thinkers/speakers in social change. Such observation doesn't imply endorsement of any particular method or action.  In the present case I don't think that anyone has been harmed, or will be harmed, by PZ calling a bigot a bigot.

Gelato guy a bigot? Seriously, I do not see it that way. In what way (assuming you mean him) is he a bigot?

And that's where the divide is, I guess. I say gelato man is a bigot because he hung out a sign saying that a certain class of people (meaning atheists, of course) weren't welcome in his Christian-owned business. If not bigotry, what is it? I don't think that a general well-meaning attitude gets anyone off the hook, and I agree with PZ when he complains that religion has gotten a free pass in this regard for far too long.

He hung that sign up as a reaction and took it down on his own volition. I can't equate that as bigotry.

It wasn't even a sign against atheists in general, just the ones he saw/heard mocking everything that he held as sacred.

Was he right? Hell no! That was something he worked out alone. How is he a bigot? IMO he is just a human who made a mistake, realised and tried to take corrective action.

  315 replies since Nov. 23 2011,18:52 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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