Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Well that's settled then. So can we get on with the job of trying to safeguard human rights and strenghten our crumbling democricies without fighting over the evils of religion?

I'm not going to shut up quite yet. BritGuy misses an important link in the following comment posted elsewhere in this thread:

The dominant mythology of today isn't Christianity, it's Neo-liberal fundamentalism. The neo-libs are far more dangerous than the fundies. They have far more media leverage, their mythology is so widespread and pervasive it has started to appear inevitable, and - unlike the fundies, who are merely robotic and rather stupid - the neo-libs have the potential to completely obliterate any trace of Enlightenment values. If not worse.

If he wants a target to rail against, he should attack the organ grinder, not the monkey. Because without funding and a supportive media climate, the Religious Right would fade away within a decade or two, especially if distracted with a few scandals - not hard to find, I'd guess - and some competing narratives.

I don't think neoliberal fundamentalism could have caught on in a society that does not believe in the concept of "personal responsibility" in the way that America does. It's extremely damaging because it obliterates the concept of society (in exactly the fashion Thatcher put it). I don't know that religious institutions created this concept in its modern form (I honestly have no idea) but the church certainly functions as a wellspring for it today. At a level down from this concept, the guilt and learned helplessness taught by religious institutions certainly allows neoliberal fundamentalism to flourish. Guilt can be harnessed to drive deference, and those stuck in the learned helplessness rut require a leader. The neoliberals simply swoop in and install themselves as the ministers representing god in the material world. Not altogether different from England taking over India - they simply installed themselves at the top of the caste system. Much of the work was already done for them.

There are reasons to want to submit to authority - see Escape from Freedom for example - with our finite minds we all have a point at which we must defer to concepts and assumptions developed by others. Guilt and learned helplessness drive this further, though, at the cultural level, and thus artificially lower the point at which we are willing to submit to the assumptions and concepts of others. These concepts are what need to be eliminated.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:07:08 PM EST
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