Saturday, August 27, 2005

Intellectual plurism

In an op-ed piece related to the previous post, Rosa Brooks points out that the shoe now seems to be on the other foot with respect to relativism and multiculturalism. It used to be the conservatives who criticized liberals for their support of intellectual pluralism.

Now, she points out, the Intelligent Design people are arguing that all sides should be heard. She suggests that this might be used as a wedge — although such a wedge would work only with people who repsect intellectual honesty, which doesn't describe most of the religious right.
If the right is sincerely dedicated to supporting pluralism and openness, surely they'd have no further objection to sex education classes that urge condom use, for instance, as long as abstinence-only arguments get equal time. And presumably they wouldn't mind if teachers tell kids that homosexuality is a legitimate form of human behavior, as long as teachers also explain that some people consider it a sin. Nor would conservatives have any basis to object to education about abortion rights, as long as their perspective is also represented.

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