Re: MD junk or politics on this list

Date: Sun Mar 28 2004 - 23:55:22 BST

  • Next message: David Buchanan: "RE: MD quality religion"

    In a message dated 3/28/2004 2:08:50 PM Central Standard Time, writes:
    It doesn't matter what newspaper
    reports the story. Its not a battle of media outlets. ITS BETWEEN SCIENCE
    AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. Sorry for shouting, but it seems you've had
    trouble hearing that. ;-)
    I have a somewhat different opinion. Freedom, let us say, is an idea. Freedom
    IS Dynamic Quality. Pirsig says the intellectual level gained prominence when
    World War One ended. America was an intellectual nation long before this.

    America is a scientific experiment. We've all heard the phrase "the great
    American experiment." This refers to our government, which many thought was
    doomed to fail from the very start. They said a Republic simply could not function
    over such a vast area (and this was BEFORE we stretched from sea to shining
    sea!). But the experiment has been successful. Liberty and Freedom have
    increased and spread since 1776. The Civil War was a scientific experiment, "testing"
    whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, could long
    endure (Iraq?). Pirsig writes about the idea behind the Civil War in LILA. I
    don't know if I agree with every point, but he clearly shows the intellectual
    nature of it. Pirsig says this. He ties in morality and science and the American

    The experiment continues, as it were, in Iraq. One could argue it's the next
    logical step to the experiment. Terrorism is yet another test. Lincoln was the
    most hated President in American history. The nation was divided. Tested.
    Clearly Lincoln is no longer hated (except by revisionist historians, of course).
    Pirsig has written of his admiration of Lincoln. Today, even the supporters
    of Bush have to admit the level of sheer hatred there is for him. And the last
    election demonstrated, as in Lincoln's day, a divided nation. Once again, we
    have a leader in America who is taking decisive action, however unpopular, to
    test the strength of a nation founded on a good idea. Is Bush this generation's
    Lincoln? The differences are easy to see, but the similarities are there too.
    (As for the Bush/Hitler comparison, it's ridiculous, but people also compare
    Lincoln to Hitler, believe it or not).

    What annoys me, whenever I start to talk about Bush and the Iraq Experiment
    in these terms, I'm met with a resounding chorus of "it's all about oil and
    corporations and Bush being a daddy's boy, blah, blah, and most of all oil!"

    People don't want to hear Bush referred to as a scientist or even a
    philosopher, when he clearly holds very strong philosophical beliefs. And to those who
    say the comparison with Lincoln isn't there, I'd point out that in his day
    Lincoln was widely referred to as a "hick" with little intellectual power. Pirsig
    says his favorite philosopher is, indeed, Abraham Lincoln.

    This isn't about science being at odds with the Bush Administration. Iraq has
    become the testing ground. Was Bush smart to make sure future experiments
    against the strength of America happen in Iraq instead of America itself? Think
    about that. It's happening in Iraq because not only are our troops there, our
    IDEA has been planted there, and it's the IDEA they've been attacking all
    along. Philosophy, indeed.

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