RE: MD On Faith

From: Scott Roberts (
Date: Fri Oct 08 2004 - 05:04:40 BST

  • Next message: Scott Roberts: "Re: MD A bit of reasoning"


    > My question:
    > What about terrorism in God's name or some compelling sense of morality or
    > extreme "I know better than you-ness"? For example:
    > A religious zealot bombs an abortion clinic because he believes it to be
    > God's will.
    > I don't think that's a biological pattern. Is it social? Intellectual?
    > Can somebody help me out here?

    Well, my gut reaction is that it is social, but let's see. First, which
    pattern are we dealing with. Any vigilantism is immoral on the social level
    -- a law is being broken, so the act itself (the bombing) is a low-quality
    social pattern. So then there is the question of motivation. The fact that
    he believes it be God's will does not make it intellectual, as the idea
    that rules of behavior are determined by God is basically a social level
    phenomenon. On the other hand, the thought pattern might be "That abortion
    clinic is sinning. God doesn't like sinning, so God will be pleased if I
    stop them by violence, since society won't stop them." Now that's low
    quality intellect (it is inconsistent with the dictum "vengeance is mine,
    sayeth the Lord", for one thing), but it is an intellectual pattern. So I
    guess I would say that there are both social and intellectual patterns
    here. I am, though, quite willing to be corrected.

    - Scott

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