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What your moral and intellectual superiors are reading

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He is conscious of previous attempts to explain religion in a Darwinian framework or as a by-product of human cognition and draws on them liberally. Furthermore, he grew up amid the violence and religious strife of 1980s Lebanon, curious about why a “once vibrant, cosmopolitan society turned against itself, and imploded” over differences in ideas and outlook.

It is a convincing thesis, and whether or not you buy it, some of its implications are compelling. For example, Norenzayan asks why in religious societies atheists are so profoundly distrusted – as many surveys have shown – rather than simply disliked or ignored. The reason, he suggests, is they are considered freeriders. To the faithful, those who don’t believe in divine monitoring cannot be expected to act morally.

But he also finds that prejudice against atheists diminishes in nations with strong state institutions. Police, judiciary, and the rule of law can be as effective as a supernatural power at ensuring cooperation and accountability.

Actually, they can’t be as effective. All such no-God-needed societies are living off the capital of earlier, devout generations. Also, they tend not to have many children to pass their system on to, and are thus overtaken by people who do not share their views.

In other words, it is about how Government shows there is no need for God any more. Yeah right. More jackboots for peace. Not like we hadn’t seen that before or anything.

3 Replies to “What your moral and intellectual superiors are reading

  1. 1
    idnet.com.au says:

    I am doing a university history course with an atheist lecturer. He made the statement that “One believing priest does the work of one hundred policemen.” Sounds to me like Governments would be better off economically to encourage the religions that are peaceful and promote kindness rather than thinking all religions are dangerous.

  2. 2
    jstanley01 says:

    But he also finds that prejudice against atheists diminishes in nations with strong state institutions. Police, judiciary, and the rule of law can be as effective as a supernatural power at ensuring cooperation and accountability.

    Ha ha. Dumbing themselves down as they go, eh?

    Of the three alleged bulwarks mentioned, the only “institution” necessary to comprise a “strong state” is the first, the police. With the judiciary, if one even exists, functioning as a rubber stamp, and the rule of law, if the concept is even known or acknowledged, appearing as a sick sad joke.

    Or at least, looking at history, that’s what “I find” (rofl).

    Arbitrary rule is the rule of history, not the exception.

    Mankind’s history is one of systematic, arbitrary abuse and control by the elite acting privately, through the church, but mostly through government. It is a tragic history where hundreds of millions of unfortunate souls have been slaughtered, mostly by their own government. A historian writing 200 or 300 years from now might view the liberties that existed for a tiny portion of mankind’s population, mostly in the western world, for only a tiny portion of its history, the last century or two, as a historical curiosity that defies explanation. That historian might also observe that the curiosity was only a temporary phenomenon and mankind reverted back to the traditional state of affairs—arbitrary control and abuse.

    -Cited from Walter Williams’ Preface to Bastait’s The Law

    What is it that we’re wrangling over in Babylon on the Potomac currently? Whether the politicos’ favorites, along with themselves, get carve-outs from complying with a law that everyone else must obey? As enforced by the Internal Revenue Service?

    Yeah, strong state institutions are going to ensure “cooperation and accountability.” Right. The stupidest thing I’ve read all week, and I read a lot.

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    People from Lebanon are VERY unlikely to have anything to teach North americans about making a successful civilization. thats why he came hereand inherits cozy jobs of writing books.
    I understand it was wars of identity and pride and not about religion. the religion is just the origin of the segregated identities. lIkewise the problems in Israel are not religious but about identity.Lebanon was only relatively better then other third world countries because it was a French run colony. not a reflection on the natives. The fRench leaving was the start of the problems between the native tribes.
    Further it helps to have the TRUE religion behind the civilization.
    In our case it was the evangelical/Puritan protestant Christian beliefs and motivations that brought us to the top of human history.
    Then the Lebanese came later to add their two cents on how to run the world.

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