Atheists and Bigotry

In reference to Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, Fr. Dwight Longenecker says he sees “a man dressed up as a whore” on the cover of Vanity Fair. In response, Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, says: “We’ve come to expect this sort of bigotry from religious leaders. They demean people like Jenner by refusing to acknowledge her identity. That’s what happens when faith-based hatred clouds basic human decency.”

If refusing to acknowledge a person’s subjective identity is bigotry then I’d like to suggest that all atheists are bigots? Consider the fact that some people identify as gods (e.g., Egyptian pharaohs, Roman emperors). On the one hand, if the atheist acknowledges such a person’s identity then he is no longer an atheist. On the other hand, if the atheist refuses to acknowledge such a person’s identity then he is a bigot.

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9 thoughts on “Atheists and Bigotry

  1. hmmm do you recognize Egyptian Pharaohs or Roman emperors as gods? What about Zeus? Mithras? Gender identity and self identifying as a god are not the same thing. One is something you’re born with and the other is a psychosis. We know that gender identity exists, not so much for gods. What a hateful way of thinking you seem to have.

  2. If not acknowledging someone’s professed identity is bigotry then it doesn’t matter whether the person is born with it or whether gods exist. You’re still a bigot.

  3. I’m disappointed by the favoritism shown for gender dysphoria and the deafening silence from progressives and the media on the subject of species dysphoria, otherkin, and therians.

    It’s hateful and bigoted.

  4. Assuming Greek rulers actually considered themselves to be deities–they weren’t gods. But transgendered folks actually are of the opposite gender, and that is rooted in neuroscience. And helping them to live their lives as their actual gender, studies have shown, greatly improves mental health outcomes.

    See http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/3727

  5. Bryan, you’re trying to get out of the bind (and it’s not really a bind since the atheist can just reject Mehta’s definition of bigotry) by comparing apples to oranges. You are judging transgods (to make up a word) on the basis of their objective identity but you are judging transgenders on the basis of their subjective identity. You need to judge both by the same standard.

  6. Before I respond to the content of your post–did you read the material I linked to? Because it seems to me that it clears up a lot of your apparent misconceptions.

  7. Well, as the Carrier article states, transgenderism isn’t about holding false beliefs about your anatomy. Believing you’re a god would be a false belief. No, transgenderism is about living your life consistent with your gender, which is distinct from sex (also found in the Carrier article). And gender identities are objective realities, though not always clearly seen to all observers.

    So your comparison is misguided from the get-go.

    And Longenecker’s comments are condemnable for their sexism, regardless of which side you come down on on transgender issues.

  8. Bryan, keep in mind that you are free to state that not acknowledging another’s identity is not bigotry. My post is nothing more than an attempt to show that accusing others of bigotry on flimsy grounds is liable to backfire.

    Reading between the lines, I sense that you don’t believe refusing to acknowledge a person’s identity is always bigotry. At the very least, you think it is not bigotry in cases where the identity consists of a false belief.

    Well, as the Carrier article states, transgenderism isn’t about holding false beliefs about your anatomy.

    Where did I say it did?

    Believing you’re a god would be a false belief.

    Why does that matter? All that is necessary is an innate, deeply felt psychological identification as a god. We then have a point of similarity between the two groups.

    And gender identities are objective realities, though not always clearly seen to all observers.

    I referred to subjective identity in the post. And how is the psychological state of a transgendered person more objective than the psychological state of, say, Emperor Domitian?

    And Longenecker’s comments are condemnable for their sexism, regardless of which side you come down on on transgender issues.

    I only included his comment to provide minimal context to Mehta’s words, not because I agree with it. This post does not take any side on transgender issues.

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