« This Idea Must Die -- great idea for both science and religion | Main | Thoughts on "Let's find out" in science, religion, and everyday life »

March 26, 2015

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/indiana-defines-stupidity-as-religion

It crossed my mind this morning as I drove to work, that I ought to register to vote as a republican so I can vote against Ted Crews in the primary.

I always remember that Max Robspierre, championing the cause of freedom of thought from religious tyranny, the French Revolution's Champion of Atheism, made Dr. Guillotine famous, killing thirty thousand innocent French citizens.

Religion, per se, is not the problem. It is prejudice of any kind. It is the presumption that I understand you perfectly, and judge you inferior.

That sort of bigotry has plagued humankind for a very long time. Sometimes it was wrapped in religion (usually as a covering for pure political power mongering), at other times it was wrapped in Politics straight up, and at other times, such as in Hitler's Germany, (Hitler who dispised religion) which killed 50 million people, far more than all the Holy Wars of all time rolled together.

The only protection against bigotry is knowledge, but everyone claims to have it, and few do. Few honor the demands of knowledge, and the limitations of knowledge. If I can know something about a human being, likely, it is only about me, and only adequate for my personal use. But if I really love the Truth, I accept these limitations as the price tag.

That last stipulation throws folks with a lust for power, with a need to dominate others, off track. They can't accept it.

And they adopt either religion or atheism or any particular popular belief, even false claims of "Scientific"...they coopt it, bend it, re-write it for their own ends. That actually has little to do with religion, science, philosophy, or real Atheism.

Real Atheism: The rejection of superstition, not the popular presumptions that God and Spirituality don't exist. That is the difference between Atheism the philosophy, and Atheism, the religion with its own bigotry.

Meanwhile, in Indiana...

http://i.imgur.com/5457qOn.jpg

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/whoops-indianas-anti-gay-religious-freedom-act-opens-the-door-for-the-first-church-of-cannabis/#.VRilUGzjKdI.reddit

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/30/indiana-republicans-revisit-language-religious-freedom-law

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/31/mike-pence-still-isn-t-telling-the-truth-why-indiana-s-anti-gay-religious-freedom-law-is-different-than-the-other-ones.html

Can we really have laws that are “better” than we ourselves are? Can we do that while still being “democratic”?

Democracy is great and all (at least it is heaps better than the monarchy and aristocracy of old, and the dictatorships of the near past) : but surely this is one direct shortcoming / fall-out of having a democratic set-up, one that we simply cannot side-step? That we end up having laws and systems that reflect both what is “good” in us and what is “bad” in us?

If the vast majority of some particular political unit believes that it is good and “virtuous” and right to hold on to and to enforce some particular weird belief, then is there really any democratic way of ensuring that this majority does not impose their will on the minority that does not share their delusion? If, for instance, 95% of the populace believes that the slightest gesture that expresses even the slightest doubt on the wisdom and infallibility of some revered cultural hero (peace be unto that cultural hero) ought to be punished by such doubters and heretics having their hands and perhaps their heads cut off, then is there any democratic way of ensuring that they do not pass (and enforce) laws that makes blasphemy punishable by amputation and/or decapitation?

And who chooses, then, what is “good” and what is “bad”? Is it good or bad to observe religious “feast-days”, not just in private, in solitude or in the exclusive company of other believers, but by announcing those days to be public holidays for everyone? (Religion and culture are so very intertwined : where does the one end and the other begin? And is heavy-handedness on cultural matters really all that different from heavy-handedness on religious matters, at least for those poor souls who do not share in that particular aspect of the generally prevalent culture or religion?) Is it good or bad to keep separate kosher and/or halahl restaurants and grocery stores? Is it good or bad to allow a man to marry another man? Is it good or bad for a man to keep four wives (when all five are willing)? Is it good or bad to allow a woman to willingly marry an animal or even a tree? Is it good or bad to keep slaves? To fight wars and kill “uncivilized” people in far-off lands for oil? To smoke pot? To consume alcohol? To consume “hard” drugs? To voluntarily die when terminally ill instead of being kept alive via tubes and drugs? To voluntarily die when perfectly healthy by gradually ceasing to eat and drink? What is “good” and “bad”, and when (if ever) are we “allowed” to impose our ideas of “good” or “bad” on others?

“Self-governance” is basically power : and if the people at large happen to possess the intellect of pre-adolescents, then is there really any legitimate way of preventing these people from doing harm to themselves and to others, unless we descend to dictatorial means (which will open the floodgates to a whole other set of “evils” and weirdness)?

All of this does not necessarily directly apply specifically to the Indiana law your post talks about here : but just thinking aloud here. And asking questions : since it is so much easier to ask questions than to offer answers!

Self-governance” is basically power : and if the people at large happen to possess the intellect of pre-adolescents, then is there really any legitimate way of preventing these people from doing harm to themselves and to others

If the majority of those who vote and take an active interest in self-governance are "pre-adoloescents", the adults have abandoned all hope of self-governance and hope only that the pre-adolescents might learn from their mistakes before they destroy everything.

Self-governance” is basically power : and if the people at large happen to possess the intellect of pre-adolescents, then is there really any legitimate way of preventing these people from doing harm to themselves and to others


If the majority of those who vote and take an active interest in self-governance are "pre-adoloescents", the adults have abandoned all hope of self-governance and hope only that the pre-adolescents might learn from their mistakes before they destroy everything.


You make a valid point, x. You speak here, basically, of the "vocal minority". That applies both ways. Sometimes what passes for the majority is merely an especially vocal and active minority ; and "we", the actual majority, can counter this by voting in greater numbers and by speaking up. Conversely, if "we" happen to be in the minority, and "they" are the actual majority, even then we can still try to punch above our weight by ensuring we never waste our vote and, again, by speaking up and being seen. Either way, that's sound tactics.

But tactics apart, I was wondering about the principle of the thing. If -- to deliberately take an impersonal (and therefore inoffensive) example that's likely to be removed from the personal sphere of influence as well as the immediate interest of most readers of this blog -- If, I was saying, the vast majority of a country like Egypt turns out to have fundamental Islamic leanings, then is there any democratic and legitimate way to stop (or, even, any democratic and legitimate reason to want to stop) that country from going the Sharia way?

P.S. -- On re-reading my comment in your quote, my use of that term "pre-adolescent" immediately jumps out as unnecessarily offensive and arrogant. All who think differently than I are fools, it seems to be (foolishly!) saying. I can't go back and edit my past comments here, so I'll make do with expressing regret for that stupid phraseology I used up there.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Welcome


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.