By gawd, one can actually learn something on Topix. Thank you. By the way, I think your assessment of<quoted text>
Clearly, you are correct, I am wasting my time.
Not sure that I see this situation as a winnable/unwinnable one, but an instructive one. RR's teaching us all how insidious structural violence works - he has admitted that he's an unwilling tool of racism. He doesn't want to be a racist, but he has no choice, no power to change himself.
So we know the limits of this man. This is enculturation. It's powerful. That he is conflicted over his own thoughts and behavior and powerless to change them provides a wonderfully strong example of how limited people are by their growth and development. We cannot trust people's subjective realities. So the tools of science, the reflexivity and critical analyzing of the self in the social sciences are so necessary for us to understand humanity.
These tools lead us to reject religion. Just as RR's racism is the direct product of his early environment, so are his religious experiences. "God" certainly spoke to RR in RR's reality, but it is no more objectively real than RR's racist image of black Americans. Just as we can do away with his racism as a product of his early environment, so to can we do away with his religious experiences thusly.
I have no doubt both are meaningful to him, and neither are descriptive of objective reality.
Chagon is correct. My initial positive opinion of him is slipping with every page I turn. "Noble Savages" is turning into mere entertainment as opposed to illumination. Bah.