Forward Thinking Update: When or How Is It Wrong To Challenge Other People’s Identity Forming Beliefs?

Libby Anne and I both been really busy of late and so we decided to postpone the “Forward Thinking” posts scheduled for last Monday to this upcoming Monday, July 8 instead. This means that there is still time to write up a blog post on this half month’s topic, which is about whether, when, and/or how it is okay or not to challenge the controversial beliefs, values, and identity commitments that some people find so important to them that they take serious offense to have them questioned.

For more on what goes into the question you can see my own analysis of the various elements that need to be taken into consideration, my own current rough formulation of how to solve the problems, and a healthy disagreement about these issues in the comments section, all by clicking here.

Send your blog posts on this deeply important (and often deeply divisive) topic to camelswithhammers at gmail dot com by Sunday night Eastern Time and I will incorporate Your Thoughts into the post!

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Leiningen’s Ants

    Those identity-forming beliefs. Where-in I go “heh.” Who forms their identity on a belief? Shrugging so hard you can see my shoulders from space. More a fan of actions, y’know? But to answer your question, I guess I wouldn’t pick someone’s funeral to call some mourner a dick for thinking of his invisible friend rather than the one in the dirt. (for instance)

  • pk@fire

    This is very, very awesomely worded and well thought out.

    I might just like to add – there are good ways of wording great questions, and then there are ways of wording those exact same questions as personal / religious belief attacks. One is great for opening up things for debate. The other is just insulting.

    • Hilary

      Thanks! I picked on Dan as an example because he’s the moderator, but I have a lot of respect for him as an ethical human being.

    • pk@fire

      I really appreciate freethinkers like yourselves, because even if we do have different faiths, its nice to know that a descent debate, respectful on both sides, can be had.