When political privilege is founded on notions that cannot be challenged by reason, or whi
When political privilege is founded on notions that cannot be
challenged by reason, or which pit group against group, or
which allow one group to seek domination over another group,
then violence is more likely to happen, as witness Bosnia.
The value of the secular state is that is tends to minimize the
differences between people which divide them into warring classes
or groups, provided groups are not denied access due to birth or
origin. The sciences tend to emphesize the common heritage of the
human species and to minimize differences due to race and
nationality. And differences due to culture or reliigon do not
even figure in its assessment of the human situation. Its findings
can be challenged and tested in a way that the arbritary divisions
due to ethnicity cannot, and the latter lead inevitably to violence.
The total economic collapse of the U.S. could lead to a break up
of the forces which unify us. The Dark Ages in Europe, a heyday
for the spread of Christianity, were a time when the infrestructure
of the Classical Era was destroyed and politics was reduced to gang
warefare. It wasn't until the rise of the Monarchies and nobility
that the Dark Ages ended. Someone may wish to comment whether the
European Dark Ages were due to economic collapes attended by
ecological diaster. If there is a parallel in the present it is
the rise of the drug gangs in America's inner cities aided by the
tribalizing influience of electronic media such as beepers and the
thechnology we are using at this moment. With these it is possible
to maintain power on a small scale while national power diminishes.
Due to the effects of economic determinism, and possible ecologic
disaster, and decay of the nation, we could indeed see a resurgance
of religion as a source of power. Maybe religious wars would ensue.
People's psyches would fall inward, but the cause is hardly due to
spirituality, although the flight of fancy would look that way to
Bruce, you really should introduce your prejudices to some
facts sometime; I'm sure it would be an interesting meeting. The
Dark Ages were, on average, a time of marked decline for Christianity
both geographically and numerically: the Middle East, North Africa,
Spain, and much of southeastern Europe all came to be dominated by
non-Christian populations (although Christianity did recover modestly
by the end of the period). It was in fact through the infrastructure
of the Roman Empire that Christianity had spread widely.
Steve Schaffner firstname.lastname@example.org
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank