I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

573. The Justification For Ridiculing Irrational Beliefs

573.     The Justification For Ridiculing Irrational Beliefs

In entry 436 (Religion As Entertainment), I described, how the weirdness of behaviors based upon irrational beliefs can be very entertaining and that some religious events are spectacles worth visiting.   I mentioned Lourdes as an example.   

In a forum discussion I mentioned, how shared laughter at irrational behaviors is a way of feeling close with someone because of sharing the same attitudes, while the necessity to censor myself and refrain from laughing in the company of persons afflicted themselves with those weird beliefs is an indication of the separating mental ditch.  
Mentioning Lourdes as an example I was accused of laughing at cripples.   There is a fallacy in this accusation.   

The evaluation of a person's situation and the evaluation of a person's method of coping with a situation are independent.   Compassion with a person's unfortunate situation does not require automatic respect for weird coping,
  • Every religious and other irrational belief and every behavior based upon such beliefs are so preposterous and ludicrous, that this justifies ridicule and making fun of it.   This is independent of who is afflicted with the irrationality and of the reasons to behave irrationally.   This ridicule is principally justified by the irrationality.  
  • Justified ridicule is no justification for hurting the feelings of the misguided believers.  Ridiculing has to be restricted to be shared only by those in agreement.   It is important to be guided by the consideration to ascertain, that the unfortunate believers are kept ignorant and are not exposed to the ridicule.     
  • The moral justification of ridicule depends directly upon how much choice there is.   It is not justified to ridicule someone for being sick, because this is not a choice.   But it is justified to ridicule someone (without his knowledge) for praying or taking homeopathy, because this is irrational and it is a choice.  
  • When looking at the absurdity, there is not difference between someone praying to win the lottery and someone praying to be healed from an incurable condition.    The urgency of the suffering of the sick, which is not there for someone merely dreaming of being rich, explains the susceptibility and gullibility to behave irrationally, it does not diminish the absurdity.   
  • Justifying hidden ridicule is the combined expression of two distinctive consequences of the same underlying strong rationality.  
    Irrationality is defined as the absence of full rationality, no matter the circumstances.      The rational moral principle of not harming people, of behaving according to the golden rule and a tit-for-tat strategy requires not to show the ridicule.  It requires instead to independently perceive and acknowledge the need for compassion and support.     
Having visited Lourdes, standing there hidden in a corner and sharing a discreet good laughter about the weird spectacle was restricted to ridiculing the irrational religious behaviors of making fools of themselves by going to Lourdes.  Ridiculing this choice does not imply any devaluation of the unfortunate and tragic situation of being crippled and sick.   They have my compassion and my sympathy.   

There is the Darwin award, ridiculing especially absurd and stupid ways of people causing their own accidental death.  I would never jump to the fallacious conclusion to mistake people as cold and immoral monsters for nothing more than having invented the Darwin award.   Laughing about weird ways of getting killed does not preclude their having compassion with dying and suffering persons and those grieving for them.