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MrModerate

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Pretty much everywhere
Home country: USA
Current location: Perth, Australia
Member since: Wed Dec 10, 2003, 06:12 PM
Number of posts: 8,466

Journal Archives

I’m wrestling with the term ‘bigot’ in relation to Richard Dawkins’ now infamous remark about Islam

I agree with just about everybody that Dawkins' remark was a wrong thing to say, and that he provided no thoughtful context for his disdain.

Wikipedia (attribution uncertain) defines Bigotry as the state of mind of a bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats other people with hatred, contempt, or intolerance on the basis of a person's ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics.

This seems to characterize Dawkins' remark pretty damningly, but here's the rub: many atheists such as myself (and many others in this group, unless I've got it entirely wrong) consider religion to be unambiguously bad, regarding it as a set (many sets) of rather silly and often destructive fantasies to be tolerated only because we unbelievers have no right to interfere with it.

From our point of view, religion has richly earned our disdain because it is based on untruths that must be accepted as true — reality be damned — for religion to exist at all. And that the accepting of those untruths does people harm.

So here’s my question: if I say the following things, and if they are objectively true, am I a 'bigot' for maintaining my disdain? Or am I a simple truth-teller?

• Catholicism is inherently bad because of its treatment of women and LGBT persons
• Islam is inherently bad because it demands abjection from its adherents
• Judaism is inherently bad because it indulges in horrible rituals of genital mutilation
• Scientology is inherently bad because it is a con game designed primarily to fleece the faithful

Curiously, even though I am eligible to serve on juries . . .

I haven't been tapped to be on one for months. I don't think I've been banned or anything (no hidden posts, f'rinstance).

I read a posting about the time that jury notices stopped regarding the mechanism — apparently it's not triggered when a member first hits the home page, but triggered later by the member moving around the forums (the logic was that DU didn't want to hit members the instant they got to the site, because doing so might tend to dampen discussion).

So I'm wondering if the new method has somehow auto-eliminated me from selection to juries due to some unknown, unique habit I have when I visit DU.

Any recommendations on how I could track down an answer?

Yes but . . .

The 'Licans have been rolling out nasty for a couple of years already. In doing so, they are already finding themselves on very mucky, smelly ground. I mean, once you've called the president an illegal alien who's devoted to the overthrow of the very government he heads, how much further can you go?

Which is not to say that the wingnutariat won't try to go even more negative. However, the country's sick of them already. Upping the crazy is likely to cost them votes more than it wins them. And it's likely to also cost them downticket votes, in that the whole Republican party is being tarred with the zealot brush (which is sadly, not untrue). Just about any Dem can run on a platform of "My opponent is a crackpot, and should never be given influence over issues that matter to sane people."

It will come down to three things, I predict: 1) The Obama campaign's ability to get the issues (including those raised by the OP) out to the people; 2) the robustness of the GOTV effort (where Dems appear to be leading at present); and the degree to which votes can be fairly cast and counted.

This last is the 'Licans' ace in the hole. If they can't win on merits, they'll win on stealing the vote and we all know it. We need to not do what Gore did, which was to make the contest close enough to steal.

And concentrate on local/state races!!! Obama needs a Congress he can work with. If Tea Party Congressmen get shown the door, the survivors will be more tractable. And citizens in the 50 states need legislatures *not* devoted to shoving a broken bottle up the workingman's ass.
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