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Getting cast into outer darkness …

File:Ixchel Dresden.jpg
Ixchel/14th c

… is the new “thinking for yourself,” it seems.

Writing on climate change, political economist Steven Hayward recounts

A few months ago at a Senate hearing about climate change featuring Roy Spencer, a former NASA scientist who departs from climate orthodoxy, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (a double winner of Power Line’s Green Weenie Award) thought he could discredit Spencer not by arguing science, but by essentially asking Spencer “Are you now or have you ever been a believing Christian?” (Spencer has expressed doubt that Darwinian evolution can explain the origin of life and consciousness, a view that causes you to be cast to the outer darkness among the intelligentsia these days: just ask the eminent philosopher Thomas Nagel, who holds a similar view but who is otherwise an atheist.)

I wonder if Whitehouse would ever ask a conventional climateer a similar question about their theological views. At the 2010 UN climate summit in Cancun (for some reason the climateers never meet in Dayton), the executive secretary of the UN climate bureau, Christiana Figueres, opened the meeting with a prayer . . . to the ancient Mayan goddess Ixchel … More.

But that’s okay because the climateers are not expected to take Ixchel seriously. They don’t likely pray to her expecting, or even wanting, an answer. Her job is to be more picturesque than charts full of stats and recycle boxes full of PRs, and she certainly succeeds.

You might find that anyone who actually took her seriously would land in outer darkness along with Spencer and Nagel. The fairly narrow band of things you are allowed to take seriously (indeed, expected to take with utter seriousness) are the offerings of popular science media.

In Christianity, the outer darkness is a place referred to three times in the Gospel of Matthew (8:12, 22:13, and 25:30) into which a person may be "cast out", and where there is "weeping and gnashing of teeth". Generally, the outer darkness is thought to be hell; however, many Christians associate the outer darkness more generally as a place of separation from God or from the metaphorical "wedding banquet" that Jesus is expected to have upon his Second Coming. (wikipedia)
'Busy! Busy! Busy!' Well he meets that pugilist's skill requirement. Give 'em a good working over, Francis! Axel
'Hirelings'. The word might have been coined specifically for neScience's enforcers. I'd like to set our 'bouncer', Papa Francesco, on them! He worked as a 'bouncer' for a nightclub in his younger days, while he was studying. He doesn't look as if he'd have a glass jaw, does he? Axel

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