Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Are Religious People More Tolerant Than Atheists?

I watched Amy Peikoff on Tucker Carlson address a study which purports to show that religious people are more tolerant than atheists. And, while she was reasonable and was correct that the study is flawed, she missed a chance to elucidate the major point in my opinion, and that is, that "open mindedness" in and of itself is not a virtue. Rationality is the virtue, while open mindedness is only a virtue in the context of searching for non-contradictory knowledge, not in a willingness to entertain the logically impossible or arbitrary. If open-mindedness means willing to believe anything, regardless of evidence, that is irrational and dangerous, and most certainly not a virtue.

Rationality demands evidence, and that's why it's consistent to uphold individual rights, capitalism, and atheism. In this sense, she also missed a chance to distinguish the rational atheist from the modern leftist atheist (which is the same thing in many conservative minds). She could have pointed out that the militant leftist is closed minded in an irrational way, with respect to being open to facts that do contradict their Marxist post-modern political and ethical philosophy. In this context, saying the left is closed-minded is a rational criticism. Again, rationality is the compass, not the false alternative of "closed minded versus open minded or tolerant vs. intolerant."

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