Monday, February 16, 2009

Fascinating to see Blair going full-out religious in his retirement.

I worry that we'll see Obama doing this in about 8 or 9 years. If he does, it's a sign that he'll have retreated into spiritual pieties rather than earthy problem solving; and the world will be in a real mess.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what a politician believes in private. But the moment he or she starts letting their ungrounded faith guide their actions, it's time to get them out of office.

Update : In case this seems like pure anti-religious prejudice, I'll try to clarify / rationalize.

I'm happy if my leaders take risks and work on hunches. We all have to. I don't expect them to be omniscient. But what I also hope is that such conjectural behaviour is balanced by willingness to take note of, and learn from, mistakes.

But someone who is of a religious bent, who believes in an omniscient deity, and believes his hunches are consistent with (or worse, inspired by) the will of that deity, has a greater barrier to recognising and correcting his mistakes than someone who believes in nothing but himself. The believer's religion will teach him that unwavering certainty is a valid option. Yet we need an expert waverer.

I'm not saying that the atheist is always better at self-criticism than the deist. Just that faith and skepticism are contradictory skills and you have to be particularly good to be good at both of them.

1 comment:

John Powers said...
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