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View Diary: "No True Scotsman" and Jesus: UPDATE (89 comments)

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  •  OK, but what if people did (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Nowhere Man, HeyMikey

    recognize that bad things were done in the name of the sect by people in the sect.  What then?  

    Roundabout question:  why is it that religion is covered by the equal protection clause?  After all, religion is a mutable characteristic, so I could validly say I'll rent to Muslims or Jews if they just quit being Muslim or Jewish.  But the answer is that it's too high a price to ask.  Acting as though it's easy for devout Catholics to leave the Catholic Church if they buy recognized the NTS fallacy is a failure to engage people on their terms.  They have a higher price to pay in their own view to take a stand by leaving.  (Consider, for example, circumstances in which you'd renounce citizenship.)  Assuming they're people of good will, it seems they're getting it coming and going -- from the church which is doing terrible things in their name, and from ostensible allies who are adding insult to injury by actions as though religion is something other than religion.  

    Consider as well the possibility that Catholics know exactly what's being done in their name, and what they tacitly enable, they'd simply rather work with an institution than outside it.  Some might well be driven to leave, but I don't see how it's anyone else's call.  

    The fallacy is thus neither necessary nor sufficient for abuses in the name of religion, and it doesn't much matter.  If someone goes to mass and gives on sunday but runs a business that pays domestic partner benefits monday thru friday even if he doesn't have to, and votes for same sex marriage, are you willing to say this person is not doing his part?  What if mass isn't simply something he does but truly believes he would go to hell if he didn't go.  What would it then matter what you say?

    The point of the NTS fallacy is that it doesn't work as a shield, but it doesn't work as a sword either.

    The study of law was certainly a strange discipline. -- Yukio Mishima

    by Loge on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 10:58:12 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gnbhull, nominalize

      you're asking for the wrong group of people to be met on their terms.  The Christians are the one's with the privilege in our society.  It's the victims, marginalized, and oppressed that should be engaged on their terms.  Often people who have been abused by something lash out against it in unfair, generalizing ways.  The way to deal with that is not to lecture them on how their insane to believe that that particular group was their oppressor or that not all of them are like that, but to show them through actions and compassion and standing against such oppression from these groups.  You put an end to people making such generalizations by siding with the victims, not by having an argument with them.

      •  you put an end to generalizations (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nowhere Man, HeyMikey

        by not making generalizations.  I'm telling the majority of Americans who identify as Christians that it's ok to believe as they do on matters of faith, and on politics, that they don't have to let Rick Warren speak for them.  This doesn't involve, by the way, saying Warren isn't a Christian or a True Christian.  I don't much care whether he is or isn't.  If it works to say that his views are inconsistent with not a few teachings of Jesus, and in my view they are inconsistent, that's fine.  But you're suggesting that even discussing the possibility of such a move is itself oppressive, because the world would be better as long as a few like-minded people repeat that oppression is bad as loudly and as often as possible.  The believers have a phrase for this, preaching to the choir.  Is it enough to say end homophobia, etc.?  Would be nice if it were, but as it's not, some constructive engagement of religion is going to be necessary, including pitches on their terms, and recognizing this augments, not derails, discussions of discrimination.  Either acceptance is a pluralistic vision, in which case it is a value that can be accepted by religious and non-religious alike, and all points in between, or it's not, either because the Constitution is flawed or because you posit a much broader conflict with religion than you seem to want to admit.  

        The study of law was certainly a strange discipline. -- Yukio Mishima

        by Loge on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 11:26:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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