Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Book TV

I got back late, but was able to see an episode of book TV. Mostly book TV has been bowing to Rupert Murdoch's right wing nuts with creationism etc, but Sunday night they had Salmon Rushdie and Christopher Hitchens on together for PEN. One comment by Salmon Rushdie caught my attention and I agree with him, because I have seen it here in Minot. To paraphrase Mr. Rushdie; Respect has come to mean not question or challenge another position or opinion. He mentioned that it use to mean to take someone seriously. If someone talks about or writes some opinion that is crazy, so far out in right field as not to be in the ball park at all, we all have the right, the duty to point it out and criticize it. That doesn't mean attacking the author or the sayer of such words, but ideas, claims themselves are not subject to non critical judgement. We have seen in our society now a lot of these ideas taking root and growing, like weeds. Such things as homeopathy, naturopathy, antivax movement, acupuncture, heavens gate movement, Scientology, creationism, Holocaust denialism, U. S. Revisionism about the founding of our country and many more. Some of it is outright revolt against what is perceived as a threat to way of life, or sense of self. Be that as it may if your opinion or sense of self is founded on non supportable opinions or made up "facts", then you must reassess your position and change accordingly, not dig in your heels and claim you are not respected. Not getting respect is the whine of the ideologue, the illogical and the one not secure in their own position.
Remember Minot Skeptical Society Meeting tomorrow night at 7 pm at CFM. Topic is evolutionary medicine.

Skeptical DoDo

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