Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn


One of the mental habits I aspire to (but don't always manage) when criticising religion is to imagine that all my conversations are overheard by a select set of the people I've known in life who are religious. Priests, Rabbis, evangelists on campus, muslims, judaists, and the like. I don't imagine I'm talking *with* them; person-to-person speech needs to be topically appropriate and more care is appropriate (it is ok to make fun of a group in mass-oriented speech, not so cool to make fun of someone specifically). My aim isn't to be unable to laugh, or criticise, or so on, but to try to have some fairness and care-to-normativity mixed in. I do this with the expectation that they're allowed to make fun of or criticise my views too; in a perspective-pluralist society, I call this a truce-aiming perspective, not a peace-aiming one.

I am fundamentally ok with saying that I hope atheism wins out in the end, as a long-term perspective. I am also okay with people who hope their religion wins out in the end. Just like with politics, I don't expect friendships to require similar views. I do expect occasional difficult moments and difficult conceptual clashes in society and in interpersonal relationships. I had good practice for dealing with this because of the way my family works.

There are occasions where this mental habit fails me and I feel regret; not that some random person would feel offended; that's a normal part of lfe with expressive individuals, but rather that the specific boundary laid out by this mental habit approximates an aspect of fairness, and stepping beyond that reflects badly on someone. (My goal here is to define both a standard for what is acceptable to say and what types of offense are the things we should just accept)

Tags: philosophy

  • Still alive

    Been feeling a bit nostalgic. Not about to return to LiveJournal - their new ownership is unfortunate, but I wanted to briefly note what's been up…

  • Unplugging LJ

    It's about time I pulled the plug on the LJ version of my blog: 1) I'm much more active on G+ than I am with general blogging. I post many times a…

  • Mutual Trust

    I don't know which should be considered more remarkable: That a cat should trust a member of a far larger and stronger species that it can't…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded