Selective Outrage and Skepticism

Some people shouldn’t consider themselves as skeptics or freethinkers. Take this blog post for instance.

I’ve not weighed in on the Zimmerman case,with an opinion on whetherhe was actually guilty, and I’m not going to do that here with the exception that none of us here in the online community has a clue as to what actually happened that evening when a young, black teenager was shot to death. Yes, it’s a tragedy. Any death of this sort is. And as a society we should all be mournful that these types of occurrences happen every day.
Look at the death-by-gun rate any in major city in this country. Yes, gun deaths have decreased in the past decade, but that doesn’t lessen the fact that it still occurs. Remember the young high school girl that had attended the Presidents inauguration earlier this year that was brutally gunned down in a park in Chicago? Did you have the same indignation over that young life being cut short as you do on this one particular case? I don’t even recall if the perpetrator or perpetrators were caught. Do you recall? I just recall that this story went away fairly quickly.
Where was the outrage when O.J. Simpson was adjudicated “not guilty” for two brutal murders and the jury was only out for four hours? I don’t recall seeing people on the streets protesting at all. Here’s what happened: his defense team outwitted the prosecution. They were just better at refuting the evidence than the prosecution was at presenting it. That’s all.
Here’s a money quote for me though:

I am sick to fucking death of the idea that “freethought” means “we have to treat all ideas as worthy of consideration, and debate them calmly and without anger, and treat people we disagree with respectfully.” Some ideas are morally repugnant. It is not antithetical to freethought to respond to morally repugnant ideas with rage. It is not antithetical to freethought to tell people with morally repugnant ideas that their ideas are morally repugnant, and that you will have nothing to do with them.

Are there ideas that each of us might find morally repugnant? Sure, I actually agree with that in general, but what might be morally repugnant to me, might not be to you. We won’t always agree on what is moral. Does that mean we have to rage against one another? No. Should we be shunning other people because we don’t like their ideas?
As for the Zimmerman case, I wasn’t sitting in the courtroom, and didn’t hear all of the evidence. I certainly didn’t think about the trial beforehand and come to any specific conclusion; that the defendant should be found either guilty or not guilty. The jury wasn’t just chosen by the defense team, the prosecution had a say in it as well. It’s called Voir dire and has to do with selecting juries in the country. I would certainly think, but have no evidence, that each side probably employed a “jury consultant” to help them select the jurors that would give them a favorable outcome.
Of course, like other sensational trials and verdicts, this one too will soon evaporate from your TV screen, and from blogs, and videos. There’s always another outrage, isn’t there?

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