Re: Where we lost America

Date: Mon Nov 05 2001 - 19:41:15 MST

In a message dated 11/5/01 5:45:20 PM, writes:

>> Religion models certain non-theistic belief sets, including Communism
>> certain extreme environmentalist sects, very nicely. Similarities
>> include rejection of factual evidence, belief in some goal which is higher
>> than human well-being, factionalism, and intolerance of dissent.
>I see. If whatever-evil-thing doesn't fall under the favorite
>whipping boy, religion, why then whatever it is is defined as
>another form of the said favored whipping boy. And this endless
>morphing of definitions is consider to be "rational". Got it.

I'm making a specific claim; that the social/epistemological structures
engendered by religion are the problem, rather than the specific
beliefs. I think definitional arguments are a waste of time. That's
why I phrased my statement the way I did. I do hold that certain
ideological movements affect their followers and the surrounding
society in basically the same way as traditional religions. I don't
consider the details of particular irrational belief systems an
important ground for drawing distinctions, given that they're
fundamentally irrational. Insofar as those beliefs have consequences
on their holders actions, I care; but I see both harmful and harmless
systems on either side of the various lines people draw to separate
religion from ideology.

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