Friday, July 6, 2007

A Response to a Critic of my Aspie Posts I

Your sense of humor is remarkable. The following is a quote from your tongue in cheek essay."Anyone who uses the term “Asperger Syndrome” should be viewed as a bigot. They are implying that my state of being is somehow less then completely human and are robbing me of my humanity. Any attempt on the part of the psychiatric community to “cure” us or make us less Aspie like should be viewed as Nazism. Furthermore society should be made to be more tolerant of us Aspies. We should not have to act in a less Aspie fashion."

You have taken me out of context. What I tried to do with these two pieces on Asperger Syndrome was to take the same logic used by the Gay rights movement and apply it to “Aspie rights.” I believe that the arguments used presently by the Gay rights movement, particularly the notion that homosexuality is a state of being and that any opposition to a homosexual act is, therefore, a denial of being and therefore bigotry, to be fallacious. I have therefore offered a reductio ad absurdum argument against this belief.
I am a supporter of Gay rights simply on libertarian grounds. I believe in keeping the government out of people’s bedrooms. A person should be able to sleep with another consenting person without the government’s interference. (I suspect that I am far more consistent in this belief than most people on the cultural left, but this can be something for another time.) The limitation of the libertarian argument though is that it does not extend outside of the government into society. The same government which I want kept out of people sex lives I also want kept out of people’s religious taboos and their petty likes and dislikes. People have the right to follow religions that ban certain actions and they have the right to find certain types of behavior repellent. They may not have the right to enforce those beliefs on others, but, on the other hand, they have the freedom of association to choose to have or not have dealings with such people and they do not have to give them jobs.
People should be free to follow religions that say that homosexuality is a sinful act. They should be free to find homosexual behavior abhorrent. While I have no intention of allowing our government to be turned into an anti-homosexual theocracy, I have no intention of making social conservatives like homosexuals or give them jobs. If someone does not want to give a homosexual a job then that is his concern. By the same token, no one has to like Aspies or give them jobs. If you find me annoying then you are free to openly dislike me. If you so happen to be on the hiring committee at a university to which I seek employment feel free to reject me.
Ultimately I think we are in agreement that it is my obligation to adapt to society; society does not have to adapt to me. In the future when I have to go in for a job interview I will do my best to make sure that my clothes do match and that my shirt is tucked in. All the years of my mother prodding have to be good for something.

More to follow …


Anonymous said...

Your original post did not look in any way to be tongue in cheek. I think that you are either changing your story or not very good at communicating.

Some Aspies believe that they are special. They think that they have special gifts that the rest of the world can't live without. They believe that great art and technology wouldn't be possible without the contribution of Aspies. However, none of the Aspies who make these claims are making any significant contributions to society. Instead, they are either unemployed or underemployed. Your original post seemed to echo that view. If that's your view, you need to change it. You will not be successful if you fight with the entire world.

Some Aspies are very shy and quiet. For the rest, some very simple advice would greatly improve their lives. They should listen more and talk less. When someone says to tuck in your shirt, do it. Do not debate the merits of it and say how your state of being is threatened. When someone says you should smile, shake hands, and say upbeat things, do it. When someone says that what you are saying is wrong, seriously consider it. When several people all tell you the same thing, believe it.

Some Aspies also believe that the world is structured to single them out. "Why am I the only one who has to do this?", they ask. You made a reference like that in one of your posts. The answer is that everyone who is successful is polite and respectful of others. For most people, it comes naturally. Aspies have to work hard to do what comes naturally to others. But, with effort, they can be successful too.

Try agreeing with people and smiling for a while. You will be more successful. Also, you will eventually come to enjoy being agreeable and friendly.

Here's my point again about 'then' and 'than'. This is a quote from your latest post. Use than, not then.
(I suspect that I am far more consistent in this belief then most people on the cultural left, but this can be something for another time.)

Izgad said...

I ended my first piece with the following statement:
"Of course if we were to reject the Gay rights argument then none of this would apply. If society has the right to look upon those who live differently as being deviant and force such people into choosing between being true to themselves or being accepted then I, as a proud Aspie, will, along with all other social deviants, have to make a tough choice."
So I did point out that my whole argument was built around the acceptance of the Gay rights argument. If you look at my earlier posts about the issue of Gay rights you will see that I do not accept their basic argument.
May I suggest a little thought experiment. Take your comments and replace the word Aspie with, take your pick, Jew, Black, Gay or Woman. I believe that you are a person of good will. Ask yourself if the comments do not come across as just a bit bigoted.

Anonymous said...


I'm an Aspie. No, I don't hate Aspies. I learned a lot about getting along and I am getting along quite well.

I see Aspies on the internet all the time who demand that the world change for them. Also, many believe that their 'gifts' are vital to the well-being of the world. Then, there's the anti-cure zealots. It's all nonsense.

I'm not against Aspies. I'm against crazy ideas and bad behavior.

How about this then/than thing?