Conversational Intolerance
Posted: 05 April 2010 06:46 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Some speech deserves to be marginalized. Effective opposition to ideas without merit isn’t the same as somehow “disallowing” them or even dismissing them without giving them a fair hearing. In fact a fair hearing is precisely what does meritless ideas in (which means if you haven’t rejected them you’ve either not given them a fair hearing, and/or you’ve applied religious faith to justify ignoring it).

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 30 April 2010 03:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Agreed… but I’m not sure if this deserves the term intolerance at all - as you are not trying to force someone into silence.
After all, what you are doing when you oppose someone else’s stupid notion is expressing your own ideas (concerning his or hers). Technically, you are excersising the same right as that person.

Related: People who invoke “tolerance” when they want others not to “offend” them.

I think that’s getting the concept of tolerance backwards.

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Posted: 30 April 2010 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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It’s intolerance of nonsense ideas in discussion, basically.

It’s Harris’ term, not mine. It’s from The End of Faith.

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 30 April 2010 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I know the term. Just not sure if it really fits.

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Posted: 30 April 2010 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Can’t say I disagree.

I think conversational equity would have been a better choice of terms, personally—both more accurately descriptive and more palatable.

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 05 May 2010 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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I certainly agree. I support tolerance of rights, but not tolerance of beliefs. In fact, tolerance of beliefs would in some sense be intolerance of rights.

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Posted: 05 May 2010 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Moridin - 05 May 2010 01:43 PM

I certainly agree. I support tolerance of rights, but not tolerance of beliefs. In fact, tolerance of beliefs would in some sense be intolerance of rights.


And that’s more what Harris was saying when he coined the term. It’s appropriate when understood properly, but I think word intolerance is too much of an obstacle to proper understanding here for “conversational intolerance” to function properly—to communicate what it’s intended to communicate to all but a pretty small audience. That’s just because we’ve been programmed (socialized) to have such issues with the term—another major problem (pretty much unrelated to the problems with the term conversational intolerance) is it seems a great many have issues with the form rather than the substance of the word.

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 08 May 2010 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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How can any of us try to discuss any subject when we believe God does not exist?  New acquaintences are seldom a problem but, in my case, political discussions can turn deadly when the subject of individual freedoms are mentioned.  My politics have always been about which party represents equality for all Americans. 

Since 2000 when the Republican National Committee went for the Religous non-voters, many voters were told by their ministers to follow born-again Governor Bush of Texas.  The arrogance of the religious right came blasting out on the new media called the discussion forums.  Living in California for many generations, I was in a state of shock at the ugliness of the religious right.  They wanted homosexuals contained out of the schools, armed services and in our government.  Abortions were murder and both the doctor and the mother were guilty. 

I had read about this culture in the history books of Spain, Italy and France when the Inquisitions were formed to torture and kill the people thought guilty of these deadly sins.  Could it be that America was secretly a Christian nation?

I read about the growing influence of Humanism, Atheism etc., but it has not hit the Americans who live by the Network news, soap operas, and Oprah.  It is my hope that Hollywood will finally get into the equality problems and show the course of bigotry coming from the religious right.  What on earth can cut through the superstitions and religious cults that are growing daily in our nation?????

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