Disability “Privilege”

2014-10-23 Comments off

Disability accommodations tend to be seen as special privileges, as political correctness acting to deliberately lower the bar for people who aren’t qualified and thus shouldn’t be present. Superficially, a person who is not able to perform as required is not qualified, and thus should not be hired or admitted. Changing the parameters in order to account for that person’s deficiency, essentially giving that person “an extra hand” which nobody else is permitted, smacks of special treatment.
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Arrogant Atheists

2014-10-07 Comments off

In the United States, most people believe that you must be religious to be moral, and further that atheists are not only amoral but also arrogant.

Religion has a set of rules to follow; without adhering to a religion, you have nothing but yourself to guide you. Often, religions teach that people are inherently sinful—inherently bad. Following your own moral inclinations would therefore create a selfish, malicious ideology. This is where the idea that religion is a prerequisite to morality comes from. When you reject the guidelines of religion, you’re either choosing to follow your own ideas or you’re outright rejecting any restrictions on your behavior. Either way, you’ve rejected any oversight. The only reason to reject guidance, the logic goes, is that you’ve decided you know best, in which case you must think yourself perfect. Believing oneself perfect is the result of an arrogant personality, which confirms the idea that nothing good results from rejecting religion.

The fault in this logic is the assumption that rejecting one type of oversight—religion—means rejecting all restrictions on your behavior.

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Unpretty

2014-09-30 Comments off

Everyone’s beautiful.

They really aren’t, though. It’s the adult equivalent of having to agree with every parent that their child is gifted. You know this. They know this. These exchanges should be mere social grace, like asking “how are you” and always replying “fine” no matter your true feelings, but they’ve become much more than that.

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Nazi Christians

2014-09-24 Comments off

Were the Nazis Christian?

Everyone thinks they have the simple, absolute answer to this question. Finding the answer isn’t complicated. It’s the question that’s tripping everyone up. 

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Fighting Words

2014-07-09 Comments off

JT of Patheos put voice to the trend that any discussion of hot-button issues always seems to spiral downhill:

“Not only are they wrong, they must also be malicious or have some sort of agenda against something or someone that led to their wrongness….Now, this isn’t to say that agendas and assholes don’t exist – they most certainly do…Often from atheists and believers alike we seem more interested in tearing down our opponents by trying way harder to paint our opponents as evil people and getting around to deconstructing their arguments second (if at all).”

This tendency is a result of the fundamental attribution error: we judge another’s character, and therefore their intent, based on their actions; we judge our own character based on our intent, not the outcome of our actions. It’s a judgement error caused by the inability to know another’s mind. The only information we have about another person is how they act, and what they tell us about how they act; when the two conflict, we often go with how the person acts. A person who acts badly is indistinguishable from a person who is malicious. The two are the same thing for purposes of everyday character judgement. Read more…

Jesus in a Box

2014-05-21 1 comment

PZ Myers posted a challenged he received from a creationist to explain the physics of light. At the bottom he asks for something I’m sure he believed was as equally ridiculous as he thought the creationist’s challenge was: “take a box into church and have the congregation pray into it, so that when [he] open[s] it, Jesus pops out.”   Read more…

Bisexuality: Orientation of Iniquity

2013-10-25 Comments off

One of the claims about bisexual people—more broadly, about anyone who identifies with attraction to more than one gender/sex of people—is that they’re unfaithful, that they can’t maintain a monogamous relationship without cheating with the “other gender”. Read more…