The Number of the Catches

[First posted to the Freethinkers Mailing List (https://groups NULL.google NULL.com/group/freethinkers-club/browse_thread/thread/25897a7c113cc09f)]

Before that wonderful rant by Greta was an insightful post by Natalie (http://freethoughtblogs NULL.com/nataliereed/2012/02/27/catches-twenty-two/):

Greta Christina made a really interesting point, though, that got my brain pieces to start doing brain stuff. She pointed out how whenever there’s a disagreement within our community, no matter how minor, people will exploit it to make up stories about “rifts” and “infighting” and “drama”, how we’re a bunch of angry little kids who endlessly squabble amongst ourselves. And then when we do agree with one another, suddenly we’re a “hive mind”, an “echo chamber”, “preaching to the choir”, a “circle jerk”, “silencing dissent”. We’re mocked and attacked for disagreeing with each other, and mocked and attacked for agreeing with one another. A catch-22, no-win, damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation. [...]

I started wondering if these catch-22 set-ups are actually sort of the hallmark of discrimination, sort of the most direct and immediately recognizable way of knowing that a given group has been predetermined to be in the wrong regardless of what they do, or just generally aren’t being given a fair chance in terms of how they’re treated or understood.

I’d certainly agree, as someone who’s been called closed-minded several times over, who’s been criticized for being a relativist or too dogmatic. Give her piece a read, though, and see what you’d think.

HJ Hornbeck

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