Friday, August 24, 2012

Bill Maher on regressive fantasy

My recent post on Batchelor highlights the importance of fighting the kind of religion typical of Todd Aiken in its absurd ignorance of basic science. Not all religion or spirituality, just the mythic kind that believes in absolute nonsense because it has serious repercussions on society as a whole, particularly when such beliefs infuse politicians creating public policy. Maher: "When I say religion is a mental illness, this is what I mean: it corrodes your mental faculties to the point where you can believe in tiny ninja warriors who hide in vaginas and lie in wait for bad people's sperm."

And as I posted before, Aiken is not an anomaly but typical of this kind of magical thinking in the GOP. They don't believe in the overwhelming scientific evidence for climate change. They claim to want to reduce the deficit yet refuse to curb military spending or raise any revenue, instead believing in the magical trickle-down effect which has proven to be pure illusion.

How do they get away with this nonsense? Because the majority of Americans are religious in this mythic sense. And we cannot even challenge its antithesis to science, as if they are two domains of non-overlapping magisteria (NOM).We must respect and treat as off-limits any rational discussion of faith and religious belief, just shut up when someone makes such ludicrous claims. Even though we have our first black President he must still claim religious faith, for one of the last and strongest prejudices to this office is atheism. We simply cannot have an atheist President given this bizarre taboo, nor can we simply question one's faith, let alone that of a Presidential candidate. Romney is a Mormon and they believe some whoppers, like magic underwear and that a man inherits a planet to settle his family upon death.

You even get this sort of magical thinking in kennilingus, with its rigid and separate boxes of quadrants and zones which don't overlap or communicate. See the principle of nonexclusion, for example, akin to NOM above. Whereas a more integral integral theory of say Mark Edwards takes into account how the various zones and methodologies interact and blend, how their boundaries are fuzzy instead of cleanly distinct. And how a more scientific, empirical analysis sees this as opposed to the rigid categories and hierarchies of a mythic religious interpretation. We see this obvious fact in how regressive religious beliefs bleed (hemorrhage) into their political policy. As does progressive spiritual morality, in terms of its humane policy and budgetary priorities.

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