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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Being Unfair and Balanced

Several weeks ago I prepared a presentation for my atheist group on religion and science in the 2008 election. At the time I had decided not to vote.

I know that many active atheists, certainly those in my group, are liberals and really behind Obama. I wanted to have plenty to say on Obama regarding religion and science. My naive goal was to approach it in a fair-and-balanced manner. After doing the research, I would have had to compromise my presentation to be both fair and balanced between the two.

You cannot be both fair and balanced unless the nature of the situation is one wherein both sides merit equal representation. Otherwise, you necessarily sacrifice one at the cost of the other. In my presentation, it would have been unfair to have balanced criticism of bringing religion into the political arena on both sides. Yes, Obama has made some nasty remarks, but that pales in comparison to the multitude of detestable, loathsome remarks McCain has made regarding religion and science. To have balanced the criticism would have rendered the presentation unfair.

Being fair and balanced is not a virtuous principle.

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