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Activism, Atheism

The Morality Of Intolerance

Pat makes a really good point here.  Well, actually he makes a couple dozen good points, but he makes one exceptionally good point.  It’s morally good to be intolerant of some things — racism, sexism, homophobia, violence against women, etc.  We often toss “tolerance” around in political punditry as if it is a universal good, and anyone who doesn’t tolerate everyone around him is a bad person.

It’s just not the case.  In fact, we can say that people who tolerate some evils are themselves bad people.  How many times have we heard stories of parents who knew their children were being abused but did nothing to stop it?  Do we think them good people for tolerating child abuse?

Similarly, it is morally good for us to be intolerant of many aspects of the religious world.  The Catholic Church covering up pedophilia rings?  Absolutely intolerable.  Killing people over cartoons?  Absolutely intolerable.  Female genital mutilation?  Absolutely intolerable.  Teaching children that the world is 6000 years old and that there was a global flood?  Absolutely intolerable.

Pat Condell represents one side of the diverse non-believer strategy I mentioned last week.  We need people like him to voice the anger and intolerance many of us rightly feel towards so many believers.  We need to pass this message along and repeat it as often as we can.  Tolerance is not a universal good, and intolerance is often the morally correct thing.



6 thoughts on “The Morality Of Intolerance

  1. I see the Atheist propaganda machine is strong as ever. Im waiting for him to finish with Hail Hitler.

    Try listening to this radical while focusing on the contributions made by mother theresa,.She did more good in one day than this windbag has in a lifetime!

    BTW, regarding faith, Does he provide empirical evidence that there is no God, or is he just a guilty as those he persecutes…


    Posted by PG | August 16, 2010, 6:38 pm
  2. Welcome back PG. Hadn’t heard from you in a bit. Thanks for the um… what was that exactly? Do you have an argument to make? Did you even read my post? I get the feeling you have no idea what I was talking about.

    Posted by hambydammit | August 16, 2010, 8:20 pm
  3. Does he provide what???

    Posted by YASHWATA | August 16, 2010, 10:56 pm
  4. How about this PG. You prove something. No one here is claiming that we can prove God doesn’t exist, it’s just being said that you can’t prove it, and as such should not use it as a reason for anything you do (or any insane claims about reality).

    Posted by Alex Hardman | August 17, 2010, 6:58 am
  5. This is a very useful reminder. I was discussing pacifism with someone recently, and I said that it just can’t work in combating evil. Hitler is the easiest example, but there are many. When something is absolutely intolerable, what is our moral obligation?
    A glaring example of what not to do is here:
    Feminist Scholar Can’t Condemn Stoning of Muslim Women
    (That Would Be Intolerant)

    Posted by Susan Walsh | August 17, 2010, 11:36 am
  6. PG…

    Calling someone a ‘windbag’ is an ad hominem attack & does nothing to enhance your credibility. What specifically did you object to?

    Like Santa Claus and little green martians, there is no evidence for the existence of any gods never-mind the god of the Bible. The onus is on the one making the assertion to provide evidence for the assertion. Pat is not obliged to provide evidence for the non-existence of your sky-god. As Hitchens has said:

    “That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”

    & speaking of Hitchens, try reading his book on Mother Theresa: “Missionary Position”.

    You might not sing her praises quite so loudly.


    Posted by eheffa | August 17, 2010, 5:02 pm

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