Disagreeing With Santi
This blog post will be something different, as it’s a direct response to a series of posts made on another blog that I frequently read and comment on Prometheus Unbound.
Now let me first say that I am typically a big fan of this blog. It is usually very thoughtful and presents images and videos that provide context for articulate posts. However, recently (as of the writing of this blog post) there have been a number of posts regarding two subjects, the Tea Party Movement and the Ground Zero Mosque in ways that I take issue with (Just follow the link provided above and read / watch that and the previous few posts for context).
Now I myself have attended two Tea Party rallies. I have signed the Contract for America, and am (as can probably be guessed from my posts) a secular libertarian. I’m not keen on the whole God inspired morality thing (I tend to think it’s a fill in for when people support a view based on emotions and want to legitimize them with a socially acceptable justification). However, I recognize that that there are… well “Jesus Freaks” on both sides of many different political debates. Some say homosexuality is wrong because God disapproves, others say we must accept gays and grant them equality because of God’s universal love. Both are bad arguments and usually they’re really just fronts for people putting forth their own emotional reactions, and claiming that God agrees with them.
So of course, it’s always going to be easy to pick on the religiously inspired masses. Michael Moore thinks the US should be socialistic because his Catholic faith demands it (video evidence). Also the Tea Party can’t really be described as being mostly Neo Con or Libertarian. Most of the people involved don’t really understand the difference. It’s easy to pick on the masses because the average person is (sadly) largely uninformed. However Santi has found that rather than engage the intellectual underpinnings of the Tea Party movement, he would prefer to attack them as being weak-minded sheeple. The fact that he seems to give this a racial tinge at times is disturbing for wholly other reasons, but I’ll let that go.
It’s easy to pick off low hanging fruit. Ask me to find idiots of any ideology or faith and it won’t be hard. And Santi is even very clear on the dangers of group labeling when he deals with the Ground Zero Mosque. He points out the importance of judging each individual as just that, an individual. It’s sad to see people subjectively apply the same principles in an attempt to make reality conform to their world views. We all do it, sadly. Groups and labels simplify things. Stereotyping clarifies. We need simplified heuristics, because without assumptions we’d never be able to make any decisions. The best we can hope to do is to attempt to be objective, and that means being honest with ourselves about when we hold a prejudice.
Entry filed under: 1.