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Tag Archive: social justice

Sep 11 2013

[guest post] Thoughts on the Assumption of Good Faith

Mitchell of Research to be Done wrote this post after he and I and some other friends had a great discussion about social justice and giving people the benefit of the doubt, and how to adjust our beliefs and expectations when we’re proven wrong time and time again. It wasn’t so long ago that Lawrence …

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Aug 30 2013

Making the Normal Abnormal

Much of progressive activism focuses on making things that seem weird, abnormal, and wrong to many people seem more ordinary, normal, and acceptable. For instance, activists have tried to show that being attracted to someone of the same gender is no different from being attracted to someone of the opposite gender, that eating vegetarian or …

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Aug 10 2013

How to Be a Responsible Devil’s Advocate

Devil’s advocate is a tricky rhetorical strategy. On the one hand, it can be extremely useful for exposing the flaws in an argument, helping others clarify and strengthen their positions, and practice your own argumentation. Using devil’s advocate when the topic under discussion is, say, whether or not we should pursue immortality or how best …

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Aug 02 2013

“They’re Your Friends/Family/Neighbors!”: On Activism and Appeals to Kinship

This post may have more questions than answers. You have been warned! For a while I’ve been noticing a certain tension in activism of various kinds. On the one hand, we want people to care about our causes not because those causes are necessarily proximal to them and impact their lives directly, but because these …

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Jul 09 2013

[guest post] Harry Potter and the Fuzzies of Altruism

Here’s a guest post from Robby Bensinger about the psychology of altruism with a little bit of Harry Potter thrown in.  Effective Altruists are do-gooders with a special interest in researching the very best ways to do good, such as high-impact poverty reduction and existential risk reduction. A surprising number of them are also Harry …

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Jun 16 2013

[guest post] Undigging the Hole: FOFISSAMO

While I continue to recover from what I did to myself to celebrate finishing college, CaitieCat is back with some advice about apologizing. So you’re in a mess. You said something in public that might have used a bit more thought, a bit more empathy, and now you’re in a hole. And people being what …

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May 19 2013

[#wiscfi liveblog] What the Secular Movement Can Learn from Other Social Movements

After just four hours of sleep, I’m back to blogging. This is a panel with Debbie Goddard, Carrie Poppy, Desiree Schell, and Greta Christina, and moderated by Soraya Chemaly. 9:08: Soraya: We’re going to compare the secular movement to other social movements, expanding secularism through social justice, and the marginalization of women in social movements. …

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May 14 2013

“But I’m a man and I don’t feel like I have any privilege.”

Another one inspired by the comment thread of doom. The hardest thing about explaining privilege to members of dominant groups is that, usually, the fact that you’re advantaged in certain ways doesn’t mean you’re not disadvantaged in many other ways. So when we’re talking about gender and a man is told that he’s privileged–or when …

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Apr 22 2013

Shit People Say to People Who Care About Shit

Or, an incomplete list of responses I get when I talk about the things I care about. “Yeah, well, what did you expect?” That’s an easy one to answer. I expect better. “So what, are you surprised?” I’m not surprised. I’m angry. Those are not the same emotion. Often people seem to think that just …

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Mar 08 2013

[Liveblog] Real World Atheism Panel at DePaul University

In a little under two hours, my friend Andrew Tripp and his student group, the DePaul Alliance for Free Thought, is hosting a fantastic panel called Real World Atheism: A Panel on Godless Activism and Cultural Relevancy. I’ll be liveblogging! The panel starts at 7 PM CST. Some of the panelists should be familiar to …

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