Monday, 9 February 2009

The tolerant Humanist Symposium

Michael White is hosting the 32nd Humanist Symposium at his A Superflous Ramble blog. Another release of my Weird Science review and I am flattered that Michael made this the first in the symposium list, thanks.

The article that most interested me here was Christine of Millenial Thoughts with a review of T.M. Scanlon's “The Difficulty of Tolerance”. "Scanlon’s goal in this essay is to try and describe tolerance, specifically religious tolerance, why it is important and valuable, and the difficulties that spring from it." Given that I have just written on the Paradox of Tolerance I will read both Scanlon's original article and then re-read Christine's analysis. Still, at first glance, I have not seen the simple reactive principle that I advocate to promote tolerance: the mutual discouragement of intolerance through criticism and condemnation of intolerant beliefs and those who support them and that such criticism and condemnation is not expressing intolerance itself. (Free speech is a necessary part of this since it is required to check one's claims (of intolerance) and arguments on both sides, to not prevent or suppress criticism either way and to show that the only legitimate response to words is words, not violence).