On our Tendency to Hang Labels on Others
Back to my favourite pet hate of "labelling", ie, someone has such and such an opinion so consequently he must therefore be a part of this or that particular group. What tosh. (BTW, I've decided that it's OK for politicians to be labelled. This post is about human beings after all.) For example, people say that they - or someone else - is an atheist. Or an agnostic. Or a Creationist. This is total bollox IMHO. It's just not that black or white.
Maybe - just maybe the person being labelled as an atheist thinks it would be really arrogant to state categorically that there definitely is a god, sight unseen, and as a result he's not going to buy into it on the basis of the evidence so far...Is he a true atheist, or is he simply tending to lean in that direction at present?
And maybe - just maybe the person being labelled as a Creationist thinks it would be really arrogant to state categorically that there definitely is not a god, and as a result he's not going to buy into God being non-existent on the basis of the evidence so far... Is he a true Creationist, or is he simply tending to lean in that direction at present?
And even more maybe - maybe the agnostic isn't so open minded after all and is simply playing safe in the hope that there really is a God but that he doesn't actually have to do anything about it and can therefore plead ignorance if he's ever called to task.. :-)
It happens a lot in the UK, the US and other Western countries, this 'hanging of labels on others' crap.
I have to deal with this bollox from time to time.
If you say that the average man has more physical strength than the average woman - you're sexist.
If you dare to criticise or ridicule Islam - you're Islamophobic.
If you don't think that Caitlyn Jenner is beautiful - you're transphobic.
If you point out that blacks participated in slavery just as much as whites - you're racist.
If you object to current immigration policy - you're xenophobic.
It's all a load of trendy toss from self-loathing, middle class, white people ...
Interesting thoughts. Question, what about people who feel ok with their labels? I know people who have no problem with them. I personally can't care less what people call me, so I don;t pay attention to labels one way or another, but some people do call themselves atheists, racists, whatever they call themselves. What do you make of those people?
And it's interesting that people tend to criticize labels when they are being labeled something.
There's nothing wrong with labels. They're a convenient way to quickly identify a person's position on a particular matter. The problem is when labels are misused by making them a barrier to learning more about the individual nuances of a person's position; or when we let label's obscure a person's identity by thinking of them only in terms of the label instead of seeing it as just a label that identifies just one aspect of a person who is much more than the label.
Snugglebunny, all the people you describe are simply "indecisive". That's my label for them.