OK, this is Stan's current take on an interview with PZ Myers, as reported at AID (Atheism is Dead).

Color me unimpressed. This is my reply to Stan:

Basically, I find this post to be so overblown that it would be laughable if it wasn't so obvious that you are deeply offended by the whole thing. I don't see that PZ is saying that parents don't have the right to instruct their kids. Let's look at the original question and note the qualifier in bold:

“But don’t parents have a right to teach their children what they believe to be true without a professor undermining certain deeply held beliefs?"

In other words, do parents have the right to not have their child-raising choices contradicted at a university (professors, after all, don't work in the public schools)?

Clearly, no, they don't have that right.

Further, is PZ trying to impose his will on these families, or simply expressing his disapproval? Again, let's go to the source:

".. we have an interest in saying, ‘No, you shouldn’t be doing that.’”

I'm baffled. Is Stan saying that PZ and like-minded folks don't have the right to object? Expressing disapproval does not constitute a fundamental limitation of anyone's civil liberties, but depriving atheists of free speech at a university setting certainly does. Surely someone was bright as Stan can see that his post could be interpreted as advocating the latter?

You also write:

So PZ and intolerance go hand in hand.

Strange. I post on PZ's blog and, for whatever it's worth, have been singled out as an outstanding poster. Does that sound like intolerance?

It's not like I'm a stealth theist.
I make no bones about being a (decidedly-imperfect) Christian. I've met PZ personally. I've had lunch with him. We've had beers together. We don't agree on some topics, but we tolerate each other pretty well. How do you explain that? Can't you distinguish between your beliefs (of whose acceptance you are not entitled) and the civil liberty of religious conscience?

I can, and from where I sit, while PZ clearly rejects my beliefs in unflattering terms, I don't actually see him attempting to tell me what I must believe or in other ways taking liberties. What evidence can Stan produce to support the latter claim?


Stan said...

My comments are at the original post.


Theo Bromine said...

But don’t parents have a right to teach their children what they believe to be true without a professor undermining certain deeply held beliefs?

When I listened to the DJ/PZ interview, I found the premise of this question troubling. Of course parents have a "right to teach their children what they believe to be true", but at some point (ie at least by university age), it is time for young people to be exposed to and challenged by alternate viewpoints. That is one of the things that post-secondary education is supposed to be for. If the set of beliefs that the parents have passed on to their children is not up to such a challenge, then either the premise is incorrect, or the kids have not been taught proper skills of critical thinking and discourse.