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I suggested imagining yourself in the shoes of a Jew in czarist Russia.
The big news story is about a Jewish man who killed a Christian child. It’s just disappointing that everyone who tells it is describing it as “A Jew killed a Christian kid today”.
There was an argument on Tumblr which, like so many arguments on Tumblr, was terrible. Alice said something along the lines of “I hate people who frivolously diagnose themselves with autism without knowing anything about the disorder. The straw man is a terrible argument nobody really holds, which was only invented so your side had something easy to defeat.
They should stop thinking they’re ‘so speshul’ and go see a competent doctor.” Beth answered something along the lines of “I diagnosed myself with autism, but only after a lot of careful research. I think what you’re saying is overly strict and hurtful to many people with autism.” Alice then proceeded to tell Beth she disagreed, in that special way only Tumblr users can. The weak man is a terrible argument that only a few unrepresentative people hold, which was only brought to prominence so your side had something easy to defeat.
Now you are less likely to believe in religion when a much more convincing one comes along.
But if you’re an atheist, would you just let this pass? What are the chances a black guy reads that and says “Well, good thing I’m not a thug who robs people, he’ll probably love me”? Right now most people’s central examples of religion are probably things like your local neighborhood church.
Alice said she hated people who frivolously self-diagnosed without knowing anything about the disorder. Why didn’t she just say “Yes, please continue hating these hypothetical bad people who are not me”? Why didn’t she just say “I think you’ll find I wasn’t talking about you? One of the cutting-edge advances in fallacy-ology has been the weak man, a terribly-named cousin of the straw man.
For example, “I am a proud atheist and I don’t like religion.
It seems kind of pedantic to interrupt every conversation with “But also some bankers are Christian, or Muslim, and even though a disproportionate number of bankers are Jewish that doesn’t mean the Jewish bankers are disproportionately active in ruining the world economy compared to their numbers.” So again you stay uncomfortable.
Then the next day you hear people complain about Israeli atrocities in Palestine (what, you thought this was past czarist Russia?