Need an Update

So much is happening in Ukraine, my research, and my personal, professional and social life that I’m hugely behind on my American news.

What is it that I’m hearing about 3 people being shot over a parking space in NC? And why is everybody dumping on Richard Dawkins over it?

People do get overwrought about parking space. The first time my sister came to visit me, a neighbor took the time to produce a long and passionate  hand-written letter chastising her for leaving a car with Missouri plates in a space with many empty parking spots that was supposedly reserved for people with Illinois plates. It’s like the “fair” use of these parking spaces is the last hope people have for finding fairness anywhere in the world.

18 thoughts on “Need an Update

  1. Various groups are upset about this shooting for different reasons. The shooter was an avowed atheist. His parents claim the dispute was about a parking space. The victims were muslims, and their parents claim this was a hate crime. Dawkins is a loud-mouthed atheist who keeps saying nasty things about Christians, Muslims, and religious people in general. So now atheist groups are complaining that fellow atheists like Darkins are making atheists (who are supposed to be enlightened and rational) look like bigots.

    So everybody’s got a dog in this fight. Got it?


  2. “As usual, people use somebody else’s tragedy to make intensely stupid points about their favorite hobby horses.”

    You’re right.

    “A self-described friend of the three Muslim college students killed in North Carolina this week appears to place some of the blame on Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

    Appearing on CNN this week, Shafi Khan told anchor Brooke Baldwin that recent remarks made by the two-term governor and others are “really, really starting to take a toll.””

    And while we’re on Louisiana:

    “Across the state, people are bracing for potentially devastating cuts to college and university funding that could change higher education in Louisiana for years to come.

    The talk of deep — many have been throwing around figures around 40 to 60 percent — cuts to campuses has prompted responses from faculty, students, alumni and administrators, though most are left with only speculation and concern.”


  3. If I recall correctly the victims had been suffering Islamaphobic abuse from the attacker for a long time, so it should definitely be considered a hate crime.


    1. I just hope that this tragedy doesn’t turn into a debate on atheism and into an opportunity for Dawkins to self-promote. The guy keeps inserting himself into everything. I don’t have anything against him but it’s just annoying how he always uses everything to be the center of attention. The victims don’t deserve to be forgotten in the midst of a PR storm.


      1. The New Atheism is really not a healthy phenomenon at all. The overestimation of narrow, narrow rationalism as a means to live shows a severe lack of philosophical acumen and even perhaps common sense. Actually what is more interesting is that in a way Nietzsche predicted the New Atheist movement. He said when Christian truth seeking makes its final judgement against itself, namely that Christianity is untrue, it will culminate in atheism. He saw this as a historical development taking place over time. That’s why another way of looking at the New Atheist movement is that it is a more severe form of Christianity because of its belief in (what Nietzsche termed) the “ascetic ideal — that is, the compulsion to pursue the truth no matter what. But looking at if again from Nietzsche’s perspective, this attitude, although historically determined and inevitable, is deeply unphilosophical. To have acquried the compulsion to believe in the redemptive power of truth telling is to be extremely unfree to ask one’s own questions about reality or to engage with it more broadly (outside of and beyond the compulsion of the ascetic ideal). The ascetic ideal demands the sacrifice of religious feelings because it judges religion, at this historical juncture as “untrue”, but this sacrifice itself is irrational — because it comes from a historically engendered compulsion and one ought not to blindly make oneself a slave of a historically engendered compulsion. One ought to be free. One ought to be more philosophical than this.


  4. I wish people would just consider whether their actions were ethical and rational rather than what identity they have or had. Trying to trace causality to leadership is another sign of vast disrespect for the human condition.


      1. It’s part of the American myth about leaders, who are seen to exert a magnetic control over their followers. The degree of educatedness or lack thereof is demonstrated here.


  5. There are state-designated parking spaces? 😀 I had heard about those reserved for veterans, but this is even more weird.


    1. No, this was a private residential building. The neighbor decided on his own that only Illinoisians were allowed to park there. We live 10 minutes away from the border with Missouri, so every other person has Missouri plates.

      But this was not a discussion we wanted to enter into with this neighbor.


      1. Also …

        States that end with the letter A:
        North Carolina
        North Dakota
        South Carolina
        South Dakota
        West Virginia

        … and Missour-A. 🙂


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