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.