Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
comment by lm
lm  ·  204 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: We Have to Build the Future Out of the Past

I don't think she's arguing that you should be friends with weev -- you're right, neither of you are in the same tribe and neither of you want to be in a tribe with each other. She's arguing that since she's already in a tribe with weev that she's better off maintaining a relationship with him rather than trying to kick him out of their common tribe or, more likely, removing herself from the tribe, as that seems to be how that sort of thing typically ends up.

    Nowhere in this paean to St. Augustine is there argument or evidence that all this lovey-dovey changed anyone's opinions one iota.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/23/conversion-via-twitter-westboro-baptist-church-megan-phelps-roper

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/the-white-flight-of-derek-black/2016/10/15/ed5f906a-8f3b-11e6-a6a3-d50061aa9fae_story.html

Outliers? Maybe so. From a personal perspective, though, my views on most political and social things have changed completely over the past 10 years, and I'm disgusted by some of the positions I used to argue pretty strongly for. I can definitely say that I would not have been able to make that change if I wasn't around people who took other viewpoints and, often unintentionally, educated me on a lot of stuff.

I dunno. I don't think I'd be friends with weev, but I do think that long-lasting social change has to include changing peoples' minds.




kleinbl00  ·  204 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I don't think she's arguing that you should be friends with weev -- you're right, neither of you are in the same tribe and neither of you want to be in a tribe with each other.

She is. That ain't the royal "we." Nowhere does she say "I have decided" she consistently speaks about what we must do. It's not about who we already know, it's about "we must give love to those whom the gods put in our paths." In bold. In green.

The stupidest thing about this sort of argument is it presumes that we shun and upbraid those we meet for holding views contrary to our own as if we treat acquaintances the same as we treat random passers-by in a Facebook thread. We don't. We all know this, we all acknowledge this. As humans we bend over fucking backwards to be civil and commiserating with those we must share space with. The closer our orbits the more empathy we show in a linear relationship. This is exactly the mechanism used in your links: Both Megan Phelps Roper and Derek Black were apostates. Both of them lost their faith individually, not through direct confrontation (Megan Roper over the horrific realization that Westboro Baptists could celebrate the death of Brittany Muphy, Derek Black by being publicly shunned for his beliefs and privately welcomed for everything else). Sure, love the sin and hate the sinner and I'm really glad there were Jewish students around willing to sit at dinner with Derek Black but fuckin'A, it wasn't coffee klatsches that got him to renounce racism it was the unbending insanity of the home life that condemned him for those same coffee klatsches.

    “Derek,” a friend responded. “I feel like you are a representative of a movement you barely buy into. You need to identify with more than 1/50th of a belief system to consider it your belief system.”

You can certainly change someone's mind if their mind isn't made up. You can certainly shift someone's allegiance if their allegiances are unchallenged. But all this assumes that the people you're interacting with aren't truly committed to their positions.

I'm gonna be human to people who deserve humanity. Sociopaths? I've met a few. No thanks.