British pro-homosexual group creates "bigot" award, despite objections from sponsors. So who's being bigoted now? http://bit.ly/ScyR6Y
One response I received was from Adam Preston, who on his Twitter page describes himself as "atheist. bibliophile. interested in military history, secularism, evolutionary psychology, LGBT rights. member of Labour Party & National Secular Society." Below is our entire exchange. I think this is helpful in showing why asking questions can play a key role in discussions with others.
@comereason: What're the essential attributes of a bigot? People throw these terms around too much without clearly knowing what they mean.
@adam_preston: I'd say wanting to deny equal rights to LGBT people because of your religion constitutes bigotry
@comereason: That's not what I asked. What are the necessary conditions to be labeled a bigot in any sense? Don't deflect the issue.
@adam_preston: Inflexibile intolerance and prejudice towards a group of people. I think that applies to most vocal anti-equalmarriage people
@comereason: By using prejudice you beg the question. Regardless, I am intolerant of serial killers. Is that bigotry?
@adam_preston: Was expecting that response. Although usually it's paedophiles, not serial killers. Intolerance of serial killers is RATIONAL
@comereason: So if the intolerance against a person is rational, it is not bigotry. Is that your view?
@adam_preston: In the sense that intolerance of child abusers & serial killers is not bigotry, while racism and sexism are, yes.
@comereason: Can you tell me why racism or sexism is irrational while the others aren't? What makes one belief rational and another isn't?
@adam_preston: Child abuse and murder are clearly harmful to individuals and society. How is equality harmful and how are gays dangerous?
@comereason: Is physical harm the only basis for rational intolerance? Can I be intolerant of cheaters or drunks if they harm no one else?
@adam_preston: Intolerance of them would be wrong, yes. Believing it's wrong to CHEAT is one thing. Intolerance of all who have is different
@comereason: I completely agree!! Being intolerant of the actions of cheating is different than being bigoted against the cheaters.
Do I think the above exchange has changed Adam's mind and he will stop labeling those who are for traditional marriage bigots? No, I don't. But it may help clarify the issue in the minds of others reading the exchange and it does allow me to hold Adam to his own standard if he confronts me again.