Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Word Play

As long as I'm talking about new coinages, here's one from John Wilkins that I like: "indifferentialism."

John has coined this as a description of a position I've taken in the past, that that the non-religious should not care about the theology of the religious or their internal struggles with it, that is set out nicely by The Sensuous Curmudgeon (and why wasn't I told about this blog before, eh?):

Our position is to totally disregard what we consider to be a sectarian disagreement among various denominations about whether scripture should be read in a manner to deny verifiable information about reality. One might describe our position as including both curiosity that such disputes exist, and indifference as to whether the disputants ever figure it out.

We become concerned only when a reality-denial sect threatens to go malignant, seeking to forcefully spread its dogma beyond its own voluntary membership. Absent such malignancy — which requires vigorous opposition — why should we care about theological debates among denominations? And why should we involve ourselves in their disagreements?

Don’t misunderstand — we’re not impartial. We prefer a world in which everyone thinks and behaves rationally, and we approve of scientific research and education. We humbly endeavor to achieve to those ends. (What else is this blog?) But we recognize that such efforts are unappreciated by some groups. Their choices are not our concern — unless they are literally a threat to our freedom. Should that happen, and it does, you’ll hear from us, and you do; but such are exceptional situations.
As John says:

[I]n my intellectual imperialism, I take it to be my own position, and hence either an accommodationism, or accommodationism is an indifferentialism.


P.S. Don't forget “New Agnostic” too (scroll down in comments).


Curmudgeon here, in spite of my Google screen name. Thanks for linking to my humble site. It's my Curmudgeonly nature to make no accommodations with anyone. But there's no reason to run around bashing creationists. It only feeds their martyr fantasies. They have their own way of dealing with the world (by denying its existence), and that's their problem, not mine.
I'm sorry I hadn't found it sooner ... because of all the time I'm going to have to spend reading back through it.

As you can probably see, I have no problem bashing creationists once they start messing with my tax money or the future of education. The ones that just want to spend time in their churches and believe what they want to believe and, especially, those who respect the results of science, I have no problem with

... except for the occasional irresistible urge to run them down and wrestle the stupid out of their hands for sport, that is.
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