RE: MD NAZIs and Pragmatism

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sun Feb 09 2003 - 01:20:37 GMT

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    Matt said:
    My wariness stems from the example set by the Christian Coalition, another
    group of people gathered under the banner of a private route towards
    self-perfection to affect social change. Their fundamentalism and attempts
    to bring God back into public discussions is what I fear. Atheists like
    myself and Kevin don't know what to say when Pro-lifers defend their
    position with an invocation of God. We don't think that's a valid argument
    because we don't share a crucial premise: belief in the existence of God.
    When they reply that the fact that we don't share the crucial premise
    doesn't disprove its truth, we can only shrug our shoulders and say, "But
    it's still not a valid argument."

    DMB says:
    Hmmm. I don't see how your argument is any more valid. They believe it and
    you don't. So? That's not even an argument. Its just a contradiction.
    (Apologies to the guys from Monty Python.) I think this is where Pirsig
    excells. He puts fundamentalism in a context that shows pretty damn clearly
    that principles like the seperation of church and state are more evolved
    than religious beliefs. He shows very clearly why fundamentalism is less
    valid in terms of informing public policies. He also shows where they have a
    good point. He shows us how and why their complaints about the loss of
    morality ought to be taken seriously. (Never heard THAT from any other
    intellectual, have you?)

    I'd also point out what Campbell says about this. You remember? He says the
    true believer and the atheist are both literalists and so are both wrong
    about God. That God exists is neither true nor false. Its a metaphor, the
    ultimate metaphor, the ultimate archetype. This stuff has nothing to do with
    ontological reality or facts. Its a poetic expression of a mystery. With
    that in mind, its clear that we can never use such a thing as a basis of
    public policy any more than we can use a Jackson Pollack painting to guide
    the government. It would be absurd in the extreme. Is this about holding
    "seperate visions", or is it just about knowing what is relevant to what in
    a single vision? I think the latter.


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