Re: Religion and ethnocentrism

Brian Michael Howell (bmhowell@ARTSCI.WUSTL.EDU)
Thu, 11 Apr 1996 16:42:23 -0500

On Thu, 11 Apr 1996, Jana Fortier wrote:

> A few questions for Brian:
> *since when are women styled as "girls"?
> *since when are androcentric statements performed by only boys (or men)?
> *since when was Soren Kierkegaard invoked into the postmodern hall of fame?
> *was there a woman arging about your hateful "truths"?
> *since when was your religious belief more "true" than someone elses belief
> of the "truth" of their religion?
> *why is "the truth" that conflicts with your own bother you so much?
> *is this an ad hominum attack? ;-) (answer: no)
Excellent questions all. Lets see if I can provide any satisfactory relpy.

1. the use of "girls" was a joke. (haha?)
2. Since never. good point.
3. He's not. However, I believe that your use of his concepts of
"subjective" versus "objective" truth was a postmodern (and
non-Kierdegaardian) use of the word "truth"
4. "Hateful Truths?" First of all, since when are women the only ones
capable of expressing nonadrocentric thought? (see #2) Secondly, (and
this kind of takes in your other questions) to hold a view that is
mutually exclusive (e.g. the out of africa theory vs. the multiple
evolution theory of human development) and to argue that one is right and
the other wrong is not to hate the people you disagree with. I may
disagree with you, but I don't hate you. :) I would never have a problem
with someone who says that my beliefs are wrong and theirs are right.
Even concerning matters of religion, at least there can be a discussion.
But if one side asserts that there is no truth or (even more
exasperating) that there are several "truths" then discussion is over
before it began. It is the common problem with relativism and I think it
is not only wrongheaded, but ultimately not helpful in aleviating
intolerance or violence in any form.