Sunday, February 26, 2012

Penn Jillette on "Why Tolerance is Condescending"

Penn is often times a breathe of fresh air, though I (obviously) disagree with him. Worth checking out the video below. 


Penn & Tolerance


Physical senses as objective lens?

1) A physical reality that his perception does not change. If you look at a tree, then turn away, the tree is still there. 

But what if people do not see the tree? What if you don't see the tree, but only think you do?

I'm not convinced that Penn's claims are objective only in the sense that he pits his own feelings about what is objective (his senses) against what other people "feel" (their mind). It seems to be a false equivocation and by implication, I'm not certain his love for objective truth is all that objective. Though I share his belief in that objective truth exists, I think other criteria is better attested than my sensory perception.

If his senses are what define objectivity (which I find odd given that his senses can only really apply to himself given that they are HIS senses, which seems to make his claims of objectivity entirely subjective), then it makes sense if only within the realm of his own mind that he appears to be objective. After all, within his own sensory perspective, everything seems to be objective. 

2) "I can't prove it but I've got a feeling in my heart. . . "

First, I'm not convinced that an emotional appeal to such a thing is even necessary given other criteria for God's existence. 

Second, I'm not certain, given Penn's criteria, that he would even be able to critique such a view in the first place.

Third, there is a difference between God and The Beatles, even if John Lennon was close to his original claim. Of course I don't even like The Beatles, so this is irrelevant. 

Fourth, there is also a difference between murder and benevolent belief in a deity. Unless that deity tells you to kill Sharon Tate, then ehh, maybe she had it coming. 

3) His honesty

I appreciate his commends about honesty. It is genuinely refreshing. I find Penn to be a dude I'd love to kick back and smoke something with. Being "busted on our bullshit" is a necessity, and I expect the same here if I am incorrect. 

So, bravo sir. I love reflection and I expect to get along very well with Penn in the new world.

4) Religious Tolerance and My left Foot

Here, I entirely agree with Penn on religious tolerance. I tend to get along with people who listen to what I have to say, mull it over for a bit, and come back with a damn good comment that I don't have an answer for.

I love that. Being nice to me is all well and good (and it helps get me into a nicer mood to discuss), but overall I think Penn is entirely correct in his comments here. I get along with liberal Christians as people, but I prefer to be discussed with instead of dismissed as "my own truth or opinion." Which, of course, is indeed my own opinion.

Thanks Penn. You've made another fan.

--Nick

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