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Aug 09 2008

Love And Anger

Greg Laden has a nice post up today talking about Matthew Nisbet’s strange oblique attack on PZ Myers as an “angry, grumpy, uncharismatic male loner[] with a passion for attacking and ridiculing religious believers”. I am not going to get into that issue, however, and only want to discuss something Greg said that resonates with me:

I mention this because it seems to be part of PZ Myers philosophy of critical tolerance. It is this part of his approach that allows vehemence and compassion about the same issues and the same people.

It is really, really, really important to understand that this principle applies in a more general way. One can simultaneously be angry about perceived flaws in something and yet care about it very deeply, and even love it. The idea that expression of harsh criticism entails that one “hates” the thing one criticizes is a pernicious rhetorical trick used to discount valid criticism and marginalize the individual who brings it.

4 comments

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  1. 1
    Busteduckles

    Never heard of “Constructive Criticism”?

  2. 2
    drugmonkey

    so you actually love rightwing wackaloon theocrAtic farknozzles?

  3. 3
    greg laden

    Especially when they are Wackaloon Pseudonymous Anonymous Whateveryoucallits!!!!

    But seriously, right. But this does not mean, of course, that all instances of tough talk are tough love.

  4. 4
    True Bob

    Personally, it takes a hell of a lot of aggravation to get me to hate anything/one. Really, hate takes a lot of focus and energy, and apathy and disdain are sooo much easier. I expect that there is a lot less actual hate in the world than some talking heads would have us all believe.

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