FW: [evol-psych] Rationally speaking

From: William Benzon (bbenzon@mindspring.com)
Date: Wed 11 Jun 2003 - 13:16:07 GMT

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    ------ Forwarded Message
    > From: "Ian Pitchford" <ian.pitchford@scientist.com>
    > Organization: http://human-nature.com
    > Reply-To: "Ian Pitchford" <ian.pitchford@scientist.com>
    > Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 13:25:04 +0100
    > To: <evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com>
    > Subject: [evol-psych] Rationally speaking
    > The New Humanist
    > Rationally speaking
    > A monthly e-column by Massimo Pigliucci
    > It's the fundamentalism, stupid!
    > At the cost of oversimplifying an overly complex situation, I propose that the
    > major threat to modern democracies is not terrorism per se, but ideological
    > fundamentalism, particularly of a religious nature. Political fundamentalism
    > has now essentially disappeared, at least for now, with Fidel Castro as one of
    > the few pathetic remnants, destined to soon disappear naturally into oblivion,
    > like all mortals.
    > No,the real problem is religious fundamentalism, and in particular the one
    > rooted in the twin monotheistic branches of Christianity and Islam (with
    > Judaism ranking as a distant third only because it is numerically much less
    > represented worldwide). This is not, of course, because every (or even the
    > majority) of fundamentalist Christians, Muslims and Jews are willing to blow
    > themselves into pieces to achieve a political goal, or because they are all
    > bent toward the destruction of everything and everyone that disagrees with
    > them. Far from it. But the fact remains that fundamentalism of any sort, by
    > definition a form of extremism and therefore ill-suited to live within a
    > democratic and pluralistic society, easily breeds intolerance,
    > self-righteousness, and even more extremes, of which the world has experienced
    > the consequences all too clearly during the past few years.
    > Let us not make the mistake of dismissing the problem as simply a modern
    > incarnation of the old (and certainly true) observation that political power
    > exploits religious feelings, and that therefore the problem is with the greed
    > for power and with people like Saddam Hussein (or George Bush) who want power
    > and find it easy to manipulate the masses using religious appeals. There
    > surely
    > is part of that going on too, but George W. Bush, I think, really believes
    > that
    > God is on his side, and so do Tony Blair, Hussein, Bin Laden, and a host of
    > other characters that are concurring in making a mess of the just-born 21st
    > century.
    > Full text
    > http://www.newhumanist.org.uk/othervoices/rs/rs0306.htm
    > News in Brain and Behavioural Sciences - Issue 98 - 8th June, 2003
    > http://human-nature.com/nibbs/issue98.html
    > Human Nature Review http://human-nature.com/
    > Evolutionary Psychology http://human-nature.com/ep/
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