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  •  Contempt & Indifference (1+ / 0-)
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    WI Deadhead

    It that isn't hate, I don't know what is. Short of rounding them up into camps, refusal to acknowlege anyone as a human is about as hateful as you can get.

    Although I have been one to argue that there is genuine hatred towards atheists, I have to say that there is a good argument for what Deadhead described as not being hatred.

    Hatred implies something active. If I don't care what happens to you, then I can't hate you. If your existence, happiness, or suffering all lie outside my field of interest, then I can't hate you (or love you). To hate you, I must care what happens to you — and specifically wish you ill.

    I think that what Deadhead is describing is, at least in some cases, genuine indifference — contempt in its most pure form. Elie Wiesel wrote:

    In a way, to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman. Indifference, after all, is more dangerous than anger and hatred. Anger can at times be creative. One writes a great poem, a great symphony. One does something special for the sake of humanity because one is angry at the injustice that one witnesses. But indifference is never creative. Even hatred at times may elicit a response. You fight it. You denounce it. You disarm it.

    Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response. Indifference is not a beginning; it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor -- never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten. The political prisoner in his cell, the hungry children, the homeless refugees -- not to respond to their plight, not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope is to exile them from human memory. And in denying their humanity, we betray our own.

    Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment.

    "If you do the right thing for the wrong reasons, the work becomes corrupted, impure, and ultimately self-destructive."

    by AtheismGuide on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 11:04:33 AM PDT

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