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Kill ’em with kindness

May 25, 2007

I’m at work right now, and the last dose of caffeine is wearing off, so I’m trying not to fall asleep. For a five minute brain break I stopped to read some of Adam’s old blog entries – I’m trying to catch up the time I missed.
Now Adam is a fascinating person, and his brand of atheism reminds me a lot of Yin. While both have pet projects (Adam’s is gay rights while Yin’s is evolution), they’ve both been influenced by Dawkins and other leading loud-mouth atheists (for lack of a better term) and they both enjoy a good argument. Both also believe that the best way to change a mind is to be extreme – the idea being that this forces those around to think about what they’re doing. One shouldn’t coddle religion and religious ideas, but rather shout out any wrong a church has committed.
This approach doesn’t work for me at all. While I think people do need to think harder about what they believe and why, I don’t believe the fact that religion is a slippery slope is a reason not to be religious. I’ve always found the slippery slope argument unconvincing, although I do admit to using it myself in other conversations. Meg, that’s my response to your last comment, btw.
I very much different from them. Debates with Yin have caused my speech to become more careful, so that I don’t make broad pronouncements which I can’t defend. (Though I still stand by all modern art being crap *grins*.) I something of the consumate middle child, so I have to work to be confrontational. I try to see where the other person is coming from, and in return ask that they give me the same respect.
I dunno. When I read things by Adam or Yin, or their likes in the media, I think of my mom, who clams up and calls me young and stupid if I tell her she’s wrong, so much so that I just pretend to agree with her all the while saying something different until she accepts it. I think of Sara, for who I’d kick someone’s ass if they hurt her, and who honestly means well and is willing to think, as long as the person she’s talking to respects that she’s able to think.
It takes all kinds, I’m guess. Some people won’t hear me because my voice is too quiet, while some people won’t listen to Adam or Yin because they’re too loud.
I hope that makes some sense. I keep going back and changing things, and I’m too spacy to do it well I think. There was a sense of arc when I started, and I’ve lost it now, so I’m going to leave it at that.
In other news, I got to carry my awesome new umbrella with me to work today.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2007 7:51 pm

    Yeah, I hate the slippery slope argument too but I think that in some cases it’s valid, if only because it has happened.
    Generally, however, it is lazy arguing. It’s arguing on an “if-then” statement which you can’t prove. The potential for the slip may be there but it is almost never guaranteed.

  2. May 26, 2007 6:06 pm

    You and Yin should team up together! You could play “good cop bad cop” — Yin would shock your victims into reconsidering their views, and you’d give them a safe space in which to do so. Together, the two of you would be unbeatable!

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