[FoRK] Brownback defines science
<jbone at place.org> on
Sat Jun 2 09:05:51 PDT 2007
BTW, apologies to Bill for a hatchet cut-n-paste job; Lion's the
source of the quote I'm responding to, obviously...
On Jun 2, 2007, at 10:25 AM, Jeff Bone wrote:
>>> I do think, though, that regardless, atheists as a group could
>>> stand to give
>>> some critical attention to their messaging.
> YMMV, but for my part, I think that approach is long overdue.
Let me expand on this a bit.
Christians have this saying from their Big Book: "As you sow, so
shall you reap." (Somewhat amusingly, the full passage is "Do not be
deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will
also reap." (Galatians 6:7.) Neener neener, Big Boy!)
Christians have sown a lot of animosity, quite in defiance of another
of their Big Book's dictum's, namely "Therefore all things whatsoever
ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this
is the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12) Also "And as ye would
that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." (Luke
6:31.) It seems only fitting that, fulfilling their own homily, we
who do not believe should respond in kind and allow them to reap the
harvest of their own creation.
But, you say, shouldn't the admonishment to treat others as you would
be treated mean that we should all tolerate and respect each other?
I have several responses to that.
First: for the religious to tolerate and respect the non-religious
would entail embracing secularism. The religious in this country
have over the last two decades become a very powerful political force
*against* the very secularism this country was founded upon; they
have, if you will, reworked our own national creation myths to
dispense with the very idea. Ironically that original secularism was
rooted, partly, in a desire for universal religious tolerance on the
part of the founders; that very secularism and tolerance has created
the cultural medium in which the seeds of its own downfall have been
sown, unless we act to prevent it.
Second: I believe in a modified version of the Golden Rule, stemming
from game theory. Assume that life is an uncertainly-long ---
perhaps infinite --- game of iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. The
optimal strategy for that game is "Tit for Tat" starting with
cooperation. The religious who are seeking a less secular public
sphere and governance have "defected" first. Indeed, those among
them that truly have the courage of their convictions --- the
evangelicals, not to mention the Dominionists --- are *required* by
their faith, if they are honest about it, to "defect" from the course
of secularism and mutual tolerance non-interference. They *are
compelled* by their beliefs to save those that can be saved, to force
their morality on everyone else, and they're quite loud and annoying
They have defected.
Tit-for-Tat requires --- demonstrates that the optimal strategy is
for --- the nonbeliever to mimic the defective behavior of the
religious opponent until such a time as the opponent unilaterally
chooses to start cooperating again, at which point the nonbeliever
can begin cooperating again.
Now consider Islam....
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