The survival of this country will not be determined by the degree to which the government, simply by
inertia, imposes taxes, entitlements, controls, etc., although such impositions
will be harmful (and all of them and worse will be embraced or pioneered by
conservatives, as Bush has shown). What does determine the survival of this
country is not political concretes, but fundamental philosophy. And in this area
the only real threat to the country now, the only political evil comparable to
or even greater than the threat once posed by Soviet Communism, is religion and
the Party which is its home and sponsor.
That’s just dead on, even though Leonard Peikoff is wrong that this implies that I have any moral obligation to vote, and/or to vote as he would have me to vote. But I’m interested in the core issue here: "What does determine the survival of this
country is not political concretes, but fundamental philosophy." Indeed, and I will remind you that we are governed by a nutbar and others who actually believe that "Jesus is coming again; Praise God." They believe he will come in a Rapture, and that millions of them will disappear into thin air, leaving the rest of us (billions) to die and suffer eternal torment. Such eternal judgment, torture, torment and death is their most sacred and profound hope beyond their own privileged salvation. It is the core of their sense of justice, which reduces to: believe in my assertion of truth, or face eternal, unending torment. I originally wrote that "it’s every bit as whacked and nutty as anything L. Ron Hubbard ever came up with," but in reality, it’s pure evil in a genocidal sort of way.
I estimate that Fundamentalist, Born-Again Christianity indeed posses the most dangerous potential in the world, far surpassing the threat posed by Islamic Fundamentalism or Hillary Clinton. Why? Because the United States has the power to easily destroy the entire world, for one. Unlike the Muslim world, Born-Agains are only recently coming to reject science and high technology out-of-hand as anti-God, now that science is increasingly accessible to average people who heretofore have been easy to keep dumb and stupid by the country preacher and his sycophants. But technologically, the cat is already out of the bag. The world can now be annihilated by means of technology already know, understood, and available — available to religious morons like George Bush. They are primitives in mind, but not in matter. That’s a dangerous combination, particularly when such destructive power is already at hand. From that second link, just above:
Religious fundamentalism in Israel, the Roman Empire, China, and the Islamic world had very destructive results. Israel BCE was consumed with religious zealotry and alienated itself from its surrounding Greek and Roman civilizations. Israel’s zeal for God got its reward in 70 CE. The Romans annihilated Israel.
The Roman Empire’s unlikely demise came three centuries later. Edward Gibbon, author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, blames Rome’s fall in part on the ascendancy of Christianity.
Buddhist fundamentalism in China resulted in centuries of chaos until the 9th Century when the Song renaissance restored the Chinese civilization.
Islam’s early success was spectacular. It produced many intellectuals and scientists until fundamentalism gained the upper hand in the late 11th Century leading to a millennium of backwardness, which still afflicts the Islamic world.
All of these past fundamentalist movements derailed scientific inquiry before the technology to destroy the world became discovered and available. It goes on:
In February the New Scientist reported a survey in which fully half the scientists working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said they had been pushed to change or withdraw scientific findings for political reasons.
Fundamentalism’s anti-science attitude pervades society. The science journal Physical Review reported in May 2004 that scientific papers published by west European authors exceeded those by U.S. authors in 2003. In 1983, there were three American authors for every one west European.
The percentage of patents granted to American scientists has been falling since 1980, from 60.2 percent of the world’s total to 51.8 percent.
In 1989, America trained the same number of science and engineering PhDs as Britain, Germany and France combined. In 2004, the United States is five percent behind. European scientists now outnumber American scientists in citations awarded.
America is behind in cloning and stem cell research, now led by South Korean, Italian and British scientists. American fundamentalists seek to outlaw stem cell research on the arbitrary and totally unproven premise that "life begins at conception," a recent concept contrary to the teaching of St. Augustine and the allegedly infallible Roman papacy for some 1,500 years.
Fundamentalists use religious pretexts against scientific and cultural objections. A religious sounding "bumper sticker"-like rationality is usually sufficient to corral the pliant followers. Fundamentalism’s dictates on issues are arbitrary and cleverly manipulated to appeal to the emotions of voters. Whether the issue is evolution, gay marriage, stem cell research, abortion, euthanasia or the environment, the strategy is the same.
President Bush’s recent endorsement of teaching "Intelligent Design" perpetuates this same denial of science. ID proponents have never had an article on ID published in any peer-reviewed scientific journal. They do not conduct experiments that would prove or falsify their hypothesis. Their religious conjecture under the guise of science makes no useful predictions, nor can they model it mathematically. There are no research labs doing ID science because "Intelligent design" is not science, it is religion!
"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it" is a profound quote by philosopher George Santayana. We used to be fearful that Communism might bring America down. History and current trends show the fruit of Christian fundamentalism. It is a far more insidious enemy seducing its gullible adherents with idle threats and false promises. Religious fundamentalists’ objectives have never changed; they seek vindication for their rejection and want America’s obeisance. Under George Bush, it looks like history is repeating itself. They will gladly lead our nation down fundamentalism’s proven path of destruction, all in the name of their God!
Fundamentalist, Born-Again Christianity is the most dangerous evil we face as human beings, and I wouldn’t say that unless I had personal experience over many years. They believe that unless you are "saved," you will literally live an eternity in literal torment in a literal place. I have know personally Born-Agains who would be most happy to
push the button — with the sole proviso that everyone killed would
fist have an opportunity to "accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior." No, I’m not making it up. Yep, basically: monkeys screeching in the jungle.
It’s instructive to note that the Soviets likely never seriously contemplated nuking the world as a means of saving it, but I’ll bet you can think of people, jingoist Fundamentalist Christians, who enthusiastically subscribe to the notion: kill ’em all; and let God sort it out. It’s because the Soviet Union was so clearly and utterly evil that this distinction isn’t something that ought to be dismissed lightly.
If you wish to understand the creeping influence of Fundamental Christianity, poised to make of once gleaming America a backwards, anti-intellectual, anti-science quasi-theocracy that operates as an oppressive police state ready to lock up misbehavers at the slightest pretense, then start right here. We’re well on our way.
- Over 9 million people are held in penal institutions throughout the
world, mostly as pre-trial detainees (remand prisoners) or having been
convicted and sentenced. About half of these are in the United States
(2.03m), Russia (0.86m) or China (1.51m plus pre-trial detainees and
prisoners in ‘administrative detention’).
- The United States has the highest prison population rate in the
world, some 701 per 100,000 of the national population, followed by
Russia (606), Belarus (554), Kazakhstan and the U.S. Virgin Islands
(both 522), the Cayman Islands (501), Turkmenistan (489), Belize (459),
Bermuda (447), Suriname (437), Dominica (420) and Ukraine (415).
- However, more than three fifths of countries (60.5%) have rates
below 150 per 100,000. (The United Kingdom’s rate of 141 per 100,000 of
the national population places it above the midpoint in the World List;
it is the highest among countries of the European Union.)
Just so I’m not misunderstood, everybody gets to be as stupid as they want to be. I judge religion and the religious as intellectually lacking. Frankly: stupid morons, and I’ll never back away from that pronouncement for anyone. But if they want to go through life as the modern equivalent of savages hiding from the revealing gaze of the full moon, then who am I to argue? My advice is to never give anyone any political power — i.e., the sanction to initiate coercion — but if you must, as least don’t give it to the monkeys screeching in the jungle.
(link to Peikoff: Venlet)
Update: Billy adds this, in addition to his comments.
"The Cold War" is not "over", socialism is not "dead", and the Democrats will be an unprecedented disaster.
In this I have no doubt. But I also have no doubt that the republicans are much the same. It’s just socialism with God’s blessing. Look: that’s where we’re headed, either way, "if we’re lucky," by which I mean something a lot worse doesn’t happen first. Why not just let’s get it over with? End the slow torture, and just maybe if this downtrend ever finds a bottom, it’ll be easier to work it from there.