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? Aimee Mann: Pavlov's Bell | Main | Waltopia ?

April 17, 2006

My invention can detect human stupidity. It has a very simple interface. All I do is point it at people.

Scott Adams asks some cogent questions about respect. If a grad school education in anthropology has accidentally taught me anything it is that Adams is right: We need less respect and more mockery. We need to learn to put up with each other not pretend to agree with each other.

People keep telling me that I should respect the beliefs of others. That sounds entirely reasonable, at least until you think about it. The problem is in knowing where to draw the line. I can understand why, for example, Presbyterians should respect the beliefs of Methodists. They’re practically the same thing.

But what about those Heaven’s Gate guys who believed they should kill themselves so their souls could follow a comet? Am I obligated to respect those beliefs too? How about the people who give away all of their possessions because they have determined the exact date that the world will end? Do I respect their opinions up to the predicted end-time and then, after it passes, keep on respecting their opinion while they are begging the neighbors to give back their crap?

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 17, 2006 08:41 AM

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