Thebastidge: Bad Ideas are fair game
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    Friday, November 13, 2009

    Bad Ideas are fair game

    More commentary on the Islam-is-evil meme:

    Roberta says again: "I prefer to judge people one at a time, harshly. The whole group thing, it leads to reservations and far, far worse."

    Judging people one at a time is fine. Judging ideas is also fine. When large numbers of people profess an idea, it is useful and worthwhile to generalize ideology to that group of people. As long as the predictive capability rises above zero, it's useful to take action based upon that generalization. As long as the action is not immoral, what's the problem?

    It's not discrimination to say that people who believe in phlogiston are idiots and shouldn't be trusted to play with fire (at least on my property). I'm not going to have a doctor practice on me whose medical experience consists of knowing the four humours, either. Nothing about the ideas people hold is inherently unchangeable. People are responsible for what they say and believe. Discriminating in law against people on the basis of unchangeable characteristics, is illegal and immoral. Criticizing people for their religious beliefs is just good practice. Pruning the tree of knowledge, as it were.


    Blogger OregonGuy said...

    but the maggots arise from dead flesh, no?

    It isn't wrong to posit a view that disagrees with your..or my...view but, shouldn't one be asked questions about those views? Unquestionably.

    But equating them to phlogiston is equivalent to branding the most modern minds as wrong when criticising the ideal. The best argument I've ever heard is that the Ideal is unattainable and therefore not worthy of thought.

    8:48 PM  
    Blogger Larry said...

    Sure, you're free to criticize my anti-Muslim stance. Or my Anti-Christian stance for that matter. Whoever is most convincing wins.

    Neither one of us wrong until we start cutting off heads.

    9:22 AM  
    Blogger OregonGuy said...

    (This was an oblique reference to the idea that the observations of Francisco Redi in 1668 were evidence of the origins of flies. An argument on par with that of phlogistons.)

    That is to say, I was agreeing with you, fully while attempting a little sarcastic finger-pointing at the smart, important elite.

    4:23 PM  

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