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Old 10-26-2008, 11:54 AM
JIM3CH JIM3CH is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 157
Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

As Ocean observed in her comment above, I was trying to give a common, albeit controversial, example of what I would identify as liberal tribalism.

As to why I pick on the phrase “Jewish atheist”: Firstly I find that the two words together reduces the word Jew so abruptly and absolutely to its tribal meaning, free from any religious, or even historical context, and secondly because Jonathan Haidt uses the phrase.

Tribalism, just like patriotism, nationalism and racism, I suppose, can have a negative sense to it. I don’t mean to imply that it is always bad. My thesis, again, is that liberals can be as tribal as conservatives.

The phrase “I’m an observant Jew” sounds to me much less tribal than the other phrases that you offer. Why is that? Because, correct me if I am wrong, anyone can become an observant Jew, whereas the population of Jewish atheists is highly exclusive.

Last edited by JIM3CH; 10-26-2008 at 02:06 PM.. Reason: typo--probably one of many
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