Thursday, April 14, 2011

Another response...

To another of QP's (NSFW site) posts:

(I put them here where I think my comments are controversial enough among her other readers to invite a flame war, incidentally, which is why they show up here rather than in her comments.)

I'd omit religion and political affiliation from that list, for the simple reason that religion and political affiliation are more philosophy than not, and philosophy is a legitimate domain for prejudice.  (For example, you express a philosophic prejudice against prejudiced philosophies here, something I think you will agree is legitimate.)

Even when religion and political affiliation aren't directly philosophic they are indirectly, because the decision not to analyze your belief system is a philosophic one.

Religion and political beliefs are to a great extent the odd man out in prejudice, partly because they are a matter of choice (unlike most targets of prejudice), partly because they've been the source of so much prejudice, and partly because they've been the domain of more violent and invalid prejudice than anything else - so we have very good reason to be wary of prejudice against these two things even as they're the two things which most lend themselves to valid prejudices.

It's possible for a religion or political group to be totally irredeemable, after all, in any self-consistent moral code which forbids prejudice.  (As they might include prejudice as tenants.)

Which is not to say an individual belonging to such a religion or political belief system can't buck the system and be a good and moral person, but as with slavery and kind slave owners, these individuals may be the worst moral offenders by lending their support and credibility to a morally corrupt system.


  1. I do see your point. Keep in mind that my plan to fight intolerance with patronizing snottiness is maybe not the most serious of business. That post expresses something I feel to an extent, but trying to find a fully realized philosophy there is never going to work. And you're welcome to respond on your own blog or on my blog, certainly! Whatever you're comfortable with.

    That being said, I included politics and religion on my list for a reason. People are jerks about those, and it's all the more insidious because they feel it's justified. I think most of the time it's just "I'm right and couldn't possibly be wrong because I refuse to think about it further" bullshit. It's fine to disagree, but looking down on people just because they're Republicans or in the Green Party or Mormons IS immature to me. We can oppose beliefs without feeling superior to the people who hold them.

    I agree that there are political affiliations, and even religions, that are irredeemable signs that someone's gone completely off the deep end. So yeah, in my heart of hearts I actually do believe I occupy the moral high ground above a Neo Nazi, for instance. However, my system self-corrects because it specifically targets where those philosophies go awry.

  2. Nothing is serious business! People are much too serious about everything.

    And patronizing snottiness or not, society -is- growing out of its more irrational prejudices; regarding them as the backwards things they are isn't a bad thing, I think it's been the most effective weapon in the anti-prejudicial arsenal. I don't like the way it's tinged phrases like "old fashioned" with negative connotations, but I guess every fight has some collateral damage.