Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Not helping

In some comments somewhere, Russell Blackford thinks arch accomodationists like Chris Mooney see themselves as politicians: members (read “wannabe leaders”) of a political movement.  Viewed in this way, their antics make sense, or are at least consistent.  A political party has to convince as many people as possible about its message across a wide demographic range.  From this point of view, insulting one of those demographics really isn’t helping.

I think this probably sums up Mooney’s thinking quite nicely.  He’s a statesman with a steely eye on the big picture while we dissenters are politically naive squabbling children.  If we’d just stop being so silly and myopic, we could actually achieve something.  By which he means something on his agenda.  Presumably our agendas don’t count.

The problem is that I’m not a member of his party and I don’t necessarily subscribe to his message, but he still wants to tell me what to do.  I’ve seen that kind of thing before.  Didn’t much care for it.

Mooney’s cause isn’t mine and if I’m not helping his then that’s just too bad.  He’s not helping mine and you don’t find me complaining about that.

My experience of atheists and skeptics and people who generally want better science education and communication suggests that it’s less like a political party and more like a community.  We don’t want the same thing. We don’t even have the same aims, goals, motives or ideals.  We kind of live in the same sort of place, but we believe different things, we act in different ways, we club together as and when it makes sense and we argue with each other when it doesn’t.

I won’t help you, Mooney, because I don’t subscribe to your way of doing things.  But it turns out that the supposed problem is entirely of your own manufacture.  Above all, you don’t get to pretend that half the planet is on your team.  I’m not sure that’s right though.  I think many of us think you’re a dick.

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