Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Do I use the word "jackass" too often?

But it is somehow comforting to learn that someone whose work  or opinions one despises is not a darling for whom one must feel sympathy for his invincible wrong-headedness or lack of talent, but rather, is... well, a jackass.

I remember relief reading a perfectly stupid and unkind combox entry at Praytell once, and seeing that it was the work of the composer of some of the most cringe-worthy religious music ever put on paper.

Well, skeptic  and atheist theophobic Richard Dawkins is really a jackass of astounding proportions.
Here's the argument I was making. [A strange man who hit on  a woman with whom he was all alone in an elevator late at night ] didn't physically touch her, didn't attempt to bar her way out of the elevator, didn't even use foul language at her. He spoke some words to her. Just words. She no doubt replied with words. That was that. Words. Only words, and apparently quite polite words at that.

If she felt his behaviour was creepy, that was her privilege, just as it was the Catholics' privilege to feel offended and hurt when PZ nailed the cracker. PZ didn't physically strike any Catholics. All he did was nail a wafer, and he was absolutely right to do so because the heightened value of the wafer was a fantasy in the minds of the offended Catholics. Similarly, Rebecca's feeling that the man's proposition was 'creepy' was her own interpretation of his behaviour, presumably not his. She was probably offended to about the same extent as I am offended if a man gets into an elevator with me chewing gum.
So, this PZ who deliberately offended Christians by desecrating the Blessed Sacrament was "absolutely right to do so" ?
That's stronger approbation that "was entitled to do so,"  isn't it? and we should  assume Dawkins thinks other theophobes should emulate PZ?
Then likewise, he is saying a man who intimidated a woman, (albeit probably not deliberately,) should also serve as a model, he was not just WITHIN his rights, but "was absolutely right to do so," and go ye and do likewise.

Nah, I don't think I use the word "jackass" too much.

Of course, anyone looks smarter in glasses....

No comments: