Saturday, October 05, 2002

Two Instances of Silliness

1. The argument that Bush's invasion of Iraq is wrong because he just has imperialistic motives.

You can find this on Salon. Silly: that someone's motives are relevant to whether his action is in fact right. That's pomo Marxist nonsense: attack motives because there is no such thing as good reasons for believing anything anyway. The left is wedded to pomo Marxism at the genetic level. Silly: To dismiss the likelihood that a suitcase nuke from Baghdad will appear in an American city soon unless we change the Iraqi regime. Silly: To complain about the U.S. supporting corrupt dicators in order to stop the U.S.S.R. from taking over the world and in order to prevent the world from descending into an economic depression for lack of oil flow. Silly: To think that we should bring democracy to Saudi Arabia instead of supporting its tyrants. We can't bring democracy to that country because they are culturally incapable of it at this time. Therefore, we have no duty to bring democracy to it.

2. The argument that without religion, people become degenerate, debased, selfish, and interested only in satiating their lusts.

You can find this on NRO. I love NRO; it's amongst the best things going on the internet. However, I have to hold my nose through the 5% of it devoted to over-the-top religionism. Silly: Defending with great pride the notion that religion is a necessary crutch for anyone who wants to be a good person. If it's true, it's deeply humiliating to the religious. They are incapable of adult moral backbone and need a father figure to provide the backbone. This is nothing to be proud of. Silly: That religion is not to be defended because it's true but only because it's a mental trick we need to go through, in order to cope with our moral lives properly. The moment you start recommending a belief because it will improve the believer's life, you as much as admit that there is no good evidence for the belief. Otherwise, you'd just provide the evidence for it. So, I guess there is no evidence that religious belief is true, if we are at the level of recommending it for practical reasons. Silly: That there aren't lots of non-religious people with solid moral character, the existence of whom renders the recommendation of the crutch to those who need it all the more demeaning and humiliating, rather than worthy of pride. Religion matters. It bears a sublime and important relation to many people's moral lives. But a more subtle approach to religion than NRO's is required in order to uncover this relation.