Breaking the spell 44

We very seldom quote from a Leftist atheist site.

Today we do.

At Patheos, Shem the Penman writes in praise of Daniel Dennett. (You can find the whole thing here.)

We won’t discuss his contention that Dennett writes better on atheism than Hitchens, Dawkins and Harris, all of whom he apparently despises (although all of them were to some degree, or at least for a certain time, on the Left). We have given our opinion of their writings elsewhere. (See eg. our reviews of some of their books under Pages in our margin.)

It is something he says that Dennett says that we choose to examine.

He writes:

It may not be as popular on nonbeliever reading lists, or as packed with quotable quips about religion as God Is Not Great or The God Delusion, but Daniel Dennett’s 2006 book Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon gives us a scheme for a scientific study of religion: how it developed and what it means to society today. Even on my first reading of it, I recall being impressed with Dennett’s thoroughness and seriousness in his task, which was much more subtle and empathetic than the standard demolition of religion delivered by cheap polemicists like Hitchens, Harris and Dawkins.

Such a study is important, Dennett knows, because religion represents a significant investment by believers in time, effort, and resources. Whether we think religion is a good thing or not, we have to come up with some sort of explanation for its development and survival throughout human history. In Darwinian terms, it has to justify its cost at every step of its evolution. …

Nowadays, the custodians of religion have come up with ways to ensure its survival that represent defense mechanisms for the meme complex. The first is the “spell” Dennett refers to in the title: the admonition against examining religion the same way we’d examine other human phenomena like sexuality or language. But there’s a more significant way that religion perpetuates itself in our era, and that’s through the belief-in-belief. In other words, whether people believe in the deities and tenets of their religion, they profess belief that the belief in them is a good idea. Religion perpetuates itself not by the belief it inspires, but by the behavior it motivates. Professing religious belief, in particular, is a behavior that significantly contributes to the perpetuation of the meme complex of religion.

This is the feature of Dennett’s thought that distinguishes him from a critic of religion such as Dawkins: while Dawkins focuses on the literal beliefs of religious people, Dennett points out that from the meme’s-eye-view, there’s no difference between a Muslim who prays five times a day because he truly believes in Allah and the truth of the Koran, and a Muslim who prays five times a day because that’s what Muslims do. …

There is a difference. The difference is as stated – that the one truly believes and the other merely conforms. And it is a fairly significant difference, because there is a better chance that the conformer can be dissuaded from his conformity than that the believer can be dissuaded from his belief.

In sum, what Dennett is saying (according to the writer) is that religions continue through the ages because they become conventional in this or that society.

True, and not a revelation.

In most societies, throughout the Third World, the notion that ideas can and should be critically examined did not arise. Only the West was taught this marvelous and simple exercise; first very early in its history, by Socrates in the 4th century BCE, and then, after hundreds of years of dogmatic Christian tyranny, by the Enlightenment thinkers of the 17th and 18th centuries CE.

With the Enlightenment, religion in the West began to die. To quote from our own Articles of Reason: Many a belief can survive persecution, but not critical examination.

It did not happen that everyone who was told to reason became a rationalist. For many who preferred to feel rather than to think, religion was replaced by Romanticism. But almost everyone came to accept what Science revealed and what its child, Technology, put to use. Almost everyone, that is to say, who was taught some science and whose lives were transformed by technology; those  who were TOLD about those ideas, who experienced their effects.

Sure, there are still millions in the West – mainly in America – who learn some science, use technology, and nevertheless continue to believe that their religion is true. But their number is dwindling.

Religion must be argued against. Especially, now, Islam must be argued against. Argument is the best weapon in our arsenal to use against Islam – without excluding any others – precisely because so many Muslims pray five times a day for no better reason than that “that’s what Muslims do”.

That is why Muslims fear critical examination, so much so that they are trying to get it banned by law in Western countries, and by the UN, where they have a bullying majority.

We quote a few passages from the essay Tell them listed in our margin under Pages

Why do millions of Americans “think” that economic equality is morally desirable? …

Why do millions of university students in America admire intellectuals who hate America, such as Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, and make an icon out of the sadistic mass-murderer Che Guevara?

Why? Because they’ve been told to. They’ve been told that good people do and “think” these things. They want to be good. They believe what they’ve been taught. …

Now millions of conservatives are waking up and are asking, how did this happen? It happened because people patiently, energetically, persistently planned it and made it happen.

What can we do about it, they ask themselves and each other.

What they have to do about it is change the minds of the believers. First they must be sure that they want the free republic the founders established; that they want to maintain free markets; that they don’t want a welfare state; that they do want to preserve national defenses; that they want indoctrination in the schools to stop; that they want to forbid the application of foreign law; that they do not want to go on funding an institution – the UN – that consistently works against their interests. Then they must decide that their political philosophy is right, uniquely right, and must be implemented at any and all costs. Then they must start teaching it. With energy, persistence, patience and fiery enthusiasm. It will take time. But that is the only way. Teach, preach, argue, use every method that works.  …

How badly does the conservative right want to win [and hold on to] power in America? How important is it to them that they should?

If it is important, tell the voters, tell the children that the free market is the only means of creating general prosperity, and why. Tell them that central planning of an economy cannot work, and why. Tell them why competition is good for everyone, producers and consumers alike.

Tell them what profit is and why it is essential for ensuring abundance.

Tell them that only where people are free can there be discovery and innovation, improvement in everyone’s daily life, better technology, the advance of civilization. Explain why. Show them the proofs of history.

Tell them the truth about life in the Third World. Not politically correct sentimental drivel, but the actual awful facts about life in most other countries.

Tell them why impartial judgment is the only means to justice; why all sane adult citizens must be treated equally by the law; why people must be judged by their actions, not their intentions or feelings.

Tell them why government should be kept small and its powers limited. Tell them what the essential tasks of government are: protection of the nation, of the individual, of liberty, of the rule of law itself. And why governments should not be allowed more power and money than it needs to fulfill its few essential functions.

Shout down the shouters.

Tell Muslims what is wrong with their creed and why American secularism is better. Don’t allow them … to shut out criticism of their absurd and savage beliefs.

Tolerate only the tolerant and tolerable.

It will take time. Start now. … Tell them.

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Thursday, April 19, 2018

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This post has 44 comments.

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  • Some worrying news from here, the problem is that nobody in the House of Commons right now has the sense or knowledge to object:

    “Parliament Offers ‘Islamist’ Group Opportunity to Create Official ‘Islamophobia’ Definition”

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2018/04/24/parliament-appeals-islamist-group-official-islamophobia-definition/

    • Very worrying. It wouldn’t matter how they defined it if there was still free speech in Britain. But what will probably happen is that the definition of the word will be taken as a definition of a crime.

      • Shazia Hobbs has just been banned permanently from Twitter as well, Tommy Robinson was a while back. This comes in the wake of Amber Rudd’s repeated calls for social media to get tough of course. At least there is a rally for free speech planned at Speakers’ Corner on the 6th May – Tommy Robinson, Anne Marie Waters and Shazia will be speaking.

        • Jeanne

          And…we are seeing the same progress of progressivism here. My cousins in the UK have often told me that it is their hope that the USA will stand against the further advancement of Socialism if no other nation was able. Heavy sigh… Since I do not pray, I can only hope and do my best to stand athwart. There is a glimmer, though, and maybe more will be awakened to the possible loss of liberty.

          We face it not only because of Islamists, but because of the Progressives use of identity politics, which has skin color and class and sex/gender added to religion. For that reason, it really is actually getting way more out of control than in the UK, but maybe that is a reason why it will hopefully be doomed to fail, as well.

          • Agreed. I might be trying too hard to see something to be optimistic about, but as the madness spirals further, the sensible ones jump off and the madness intensifies. Eventually this whole identity politics movement could actually thus destroy itself.

      • Forced to resign for linking to Gatestone Institute, Kassam, Mark Steyn (even I’m surprised by this one):

        “Wokingham town mayor resigns after social media postings come to light”

        https://wokinghampaper.com/wokingham-town-mayor-resigns-after-social-media-postings-come-to-light/

        • liz

          The UK is literally coming under the rule of “thought police”.
          And the Mayor of London says something like “there’s no good reason for anyone to carry a knife”. Well I guess it’s true then, just because he says so! Of course! Little children (what Britons have apparently become) should never carry sharp objects. They have Nanny State to care for them.

          • I have to admit I’m starting to get worried myself now, because it seems this stuff just keeps escalating. There just doesn’t seem to be a point at which they think ok, that’s enough now.

            • liz

              Yes, the closer they get to total power, the harder it is for them to contain themselves and hold back from slicing the “salami” thicker and thicker. The “long march” becomes a stampede.

  • Stev60

    I have got that book of Dennett’s but not actually read it yet, from the brief summary of its message here, it seems to have something in common with Cicero, who argued something about the social usefulness of religion trumping its inherent factuality, though it’s a long time since I have read Cicero. Re arguing against religion, I would draw a distinction between in general, and with regard to Islam. Even Dawkins made the point recently that Christianity especially in its modern form is relatively benign (at least overall) compared to Islam, and that for the latter to fill the void left by the dying latter as is happening in Europe would be a disaster. Also, the reality is, that even America was founded on a (broadly) Christian cultural basis, even if with separation of church and state built in, and that the loss of that basis, can have serious consequences. Secularism can itself go too far, or become a substitute religion, with all the faults of religion at its worse, only its ‘theology’ is in such cases materialistic and ideology/party/personal-cultic, rather than ‘divine’. And, having read or skimmed quite a lot of the literature on the topic (of religion vs atheism/secularism), as well as having my own ideas on it, it seems to me that there is and will never be a definitive answer to the main questions, that cannot and will not be contested by those so inclined, some have a more religion-oriented make-up (with even genetic aspects), some less so, and the arguments are or can be ‘strong’ on both sides, especially to those predisposed to accept them, yet without ever being quite finally deciding in a neutral, objective sense. Plus, religion is assuming new potential forms as with eg AI, there is even a move afoot to ‘deify’ it with its own theology, church, etc, and that will just increase over time. Also, there are or could be quite benign forms of ‘religion’ otherwise, Deism is an early example, Buddhism another (much earlier still), others are possible. And we don’t need militant ‘wars’ against our own remaining (especially anti-Islamic) Christians for example. So in our Western societies, while there is and must be a place for atheism and secularism, there is and must also be a place for ‘religion’, the problem with the latter is twofold, extremism (or other problematic craziness) and undue influence on the secular realm in any case, and Islam in particular, because of its unique expansive aggression (and history thereof), predisposition to violence and persecution/relegation of ‘infidels’, strong self-policing/integenerational reproduction/resurgence, strong deceptiveness and infiltrative nature/capacity, and sheer vast numbers, which are only going to increase far more. It needs to be made a special case in the West, subject to special restrictions, as would eg Aztec Human Sacrifice if it still existed on any substantial level. We are fortunate in that Islam itself exerts such restrictions, so we would be justified also in the basis of reciprocity, a basic general principle. ‘Freedom of religion’ cannot be allowed to apply without limit or in any and every case, and originally it was meant to apply to Christian denominations and Judaism only, in practical substance especially, as such were the only religions in early America, apart from native American ones at the margin. If the Founding Fathers had really known and understood Islam and the threat it poses, I am sure they would have framed the Bill of Rights differently. An amendment thereto would seem very unlikely given the difficulties, so other means must be found, they are conceivable, and also it must be accepted that in Europe especially such restrictions are not only warranted and rational, but essential, as Europe lives and has lived for most of 14 centuries under the shadow and direct threat of Islamic conquest, which is now rising again, and already far advanced, if by mostly non-(directly)-military means. Americans cannot expect their model to be standard through the West, the West will collapse and disappear if so, because local circumstances and needs vary greatly, and the US is in a privileged position that eg Europe does not share. This is a key issue and coming struggle for America, if it tries to impose and enforce its model and values without due distinction and exception, especially in the West, then the West is doomed, and will end this century, forever. Only America will be left, and alone at that.

    • Stev60

      See also Howard Bloom for some interesting views on religion and especially Islam as a cultural meme and force, and the threat thereof.

    • liz

      Yes, Islam should be restricted in the West – like to a museum exhibit.

    • Don L

      “If the Founding Fathers had really known and understood Islam and the threat it poses, I am sure they would have framed the Bill of Rights differently.”

      But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg
      .-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

      No they wouldn’t. They understood freedom of religion was inclusive of freedom from religion. And, without an amendment of exclusion (which is what I suspect you mean). One, even, today could argue that islam is not a religion at all and even if it where mistakenly taken as such, it is, by document and behavior, incompatible with the US Constitution and thereby ought be banned in all manner and fashion. Extreme vetting: belief in Sharia or other, ship ’em out; including use of plants, any and all means, to verify verdad.

      “The Original Consitution: What It Actually Said And Meant” by Robert G Natelson

      Too bad you folks in Europe don’t grock this stuff. Too many years as subjects, maybe? Transference doesn’t apply.

      • Stev60

        Your Jefferson quote is irrelevant to my point, and to the real threat of Islam, which in fact demands death when strong for those who claim there is either no God or more than one, usually via beheading, which breaks the neck, with pocket-picking (and more) usually associated. Jefferson et al had little experience of Islam (Barbary skirmishes notwithstanding) or understanding of its real threat, they lived in a period of considerable naivety and ‘positive propaganda’ on the subject, documented by eg Warraq and Spencer. And ‘frame’ especially as I used it can mean, a different frame around the same picture, the Bill of Rights could have stood as is, as long as other adequate measures/strictures were implemented, to prevent America being infiltrated and gradually taken over by Islam, even though, it was a rather less evident threat at that time, but one that was historically documented nevertheless. But a constitutional barrier of some sort would have been best, because that’s the hardest to change, other laws and regulations etc can change easily enough from one admin to another, and will generally not stand over time.

        Too bad you overestimate your ability to grasp what others are actually saying, or conduct a reasonable debate.

        • Don L

          Well thanks for less than a page. Yeah.

          However, what have you actually said here but: they could have and maybe then should have, maybe it meant this, or some of this and some sort of that, historically ought it not have also been, yadayadayada? What, you do not do, haven’t done, is give examples/solutions.

          Please, Don’t!!! You have shown in other commentary that whatever you would provide neither fits atheism or free-market capitalism (conservative).

          Can’t stay away can you? tee hee.

    • Don L

      Dear Stev60:

      Once again I am amazed at your ability to put forth such warm air and not even take a breath. Such volume of irrelevant ramblings wherein, in toto, you pose, promote, ideate, muse, state the obvious and never reach a solution but seemingly always conclude with either doom or a retreat to it’s too complex. Never missing, however, the opportunity to include “I”.

      Of course, there is a solution to ending virtually all the misery existing in the world; by which I include: importing enemies of the west into one’s bosom, government welfare, unnatural income inequality, government adventurism and wars not of defense and so much more.

      Now many readers of this site know exactly the cause and the cure; whereas I have been promoting it here and afar for many years now. And, you ought know because the cause of all political corruption and the engine of socialism began in the UK. In fact, the unintended consequences of the cause of misery and tragedy was what Marx actually railed against. Marx’s failure, amongst the many, was he laid the blame at the feet of the wrong idea.

      Nowhere in your ostensible wisdom have you even come close to recognizing the villain in the world. And, again, it was the UK that brought forth upon the world a new, nightmarish and insidious criminality. Of all your ramblings of your self-promoted intellect, you miss the one thing that deleteriously drives the world to its own demise.

      I wonder if you can figure it out from the clues I’ve dropped herein. I’ll give you some time. I hope to be thrilled you get it right. I await your commentary.

      Oh, Heck. Here’s another clue: What other major event occurred, in England, simultaneous with the birth of the industrial revolution and the beginnings of free-market capitalism? If put to an END, freedom reigns across the globe.

      Again, in less than a page. I’m old and it hurts my eyes; so many words You need to take a breath, after all. Thank you.

      • Stev60

        I am bored with your ad hom stalking-trolling, from so far up your own backside that it stinks from the other side of the world. So you keep this site, and I will go elsewhere.

        • Don L

          You don’t have to get angry and leave just because you don’t know the answer.

          By the way, It was the Bank of England that unleashed fractional reserve banking simultaneous with the industrial revolution in England. The fraudulent practice was made official in 1833. USA enacted it in 1913, The only purpose is to inflate the currency, through debt – credit expansion, to the benefit of gov’t and the bank’s/gov’t’s cronies. The poor loose wealth as the currency is diluted and prices rise as new money bids prices up.

          End the immoral and fraudulent central fractional reserve banking and all the spigots of money-out-of-thin air get turned off; foolishness ends as the governed actually get to determine how their taxes get spent. Not for terrorists, dictators or wars of adventurism; how many idiotic bills get passed when the tax payer is directly on the hook. No more funding behind the scenes with a wink and a nod.

          Just so’s ya knows.

          • Stev60

            In fact fractional reserve banking goes back further than that, if less officially and influentially. It’s a common and logical enough financial practise, the real problem is the reserve requirement, amongst other things. With actually existing credit/debt structures, loads, and ratios it cannot just be ‘turned off’ without major economic repercussions nationally and internationally, what’s more, the Fed and member banks have documentedly been heavily Jewish owned and influenced, as have the Bank of England and City of London to some degree, and it is sometimes considered ‘anti-Semitic’ to attack the Federal Reserve System and fractional reserve banking.

            Just so’s ya knows.

            • Stev60

              And btw I will leave when done with this because you are a real drag.

            • Don L

              You’ve said that, twice or three times? Too bad. I’ve begun to enjoy this.

            • Don L

              Poor Stevoreno 60:
              Yes O’steveoreno dude, the history goes back a long ways and always rejected … Until it finally wasn’t.

              I, of course, was specifically referencing the timing of the three events: Industrial Revolution, the end of guild/feudalism and the birth of free-market capitalism and the Bank of England unleashing its version of the fractional reserve banking – a fraudulent business practice of loaning out something that neither exists or is yours; thrown in clinker if done in any other enterprise. Bailment mean anything to you?

              Of course, it is an absolutely and irrefutably immoral practice whereas it steals wealth and transfers it, not even disguised as social justice, to the bank(s) & the illegality endorsing government and their cronies.
              No, dear Stev60, ending the FED (central banks) is not an overnight notion. But, unlike yourself, I at least actually present a cause and solution. Stop the bank illegality and return to sound money – gold/silver. Not necessary to re-invent the wheel:

              “Free Banking: Theory, History, and a Laissez-Faire Model” by Larry J. Sechrest

              “What Has Government Done to Our Money? and The Case for a 100% Gold Dollar” by Murray N.Rothbard

              “The Mystery of Banking” by Murray N.Rothbard

              “The Origins of the Federal Reserve” by Murray N. Rothbard

              “The Case Against the Fed” by Murray N. Rothbard

              “End The FED” by Ron Paul

              A MUST READ!!! “The Creature from Jekyll Island : A Second Look at the Federal Reserve” by G Edward Griffin

              “A Free-Market Monetary System and The Pretense of Knowledge” by F.A.Hayek

              “Set Money Free: What Every American Needs To Know About The Federal Reserve” by Chris Rossini

              “Free Prices Now” by Humter Lewis

            • Stev60

              No I didn’t, fool, apart from having long ago studied some economics partly under a recent Finance Minister of some repute, I have had a long interest in matters of currency, banking, and precious metals, and metallic standards. And repeat, fractional reserve banking and even government debt and general financial malpractise and malfeasance go back a long way before the Bank of England got in on the act.

              Gold/silver standards don’t really work in the long run, and can even less be expected to in the future for various reasons, including probable oversupply of those metals due to new methods and locations of mining (including space) and possibly even synthesis. Anyone without their head up their mental @ss would have grasped that some time ago. You don’t need a ball and chain to this or that precious metal to have tolerably sound finance, the real problem/s lie elsewhere.

              Solution? Here? Don’t make me laugh.

            • Don L

              Oh, the Bag O’ Wind has returned:

              Hey dumb@ss, you support government intervention of the economy through fractional reserve banking, thereby proving ignorance and immorality, and don’t think gold/silver (NOT THE STANDARDS BUT THE REAL DEAL – as determined by mankind over millennia) works out – The guy you studied with must be an bu_t wipe too. But here’s the challenge idiot: Here are my guns, my proof. disprove these:

              https://analyseeconomique.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/austrian-business-cycle-theory-empirical-evidence/

              A world class economist/mathematician has reviewed and confirmed their validity – I can’t wait for him to see your reply.

              The math is merely the illustration. Disprove this little essay which is deductive logic – something you seem to lack Seem, nay actually lack::

              “The Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle and Other Essays” by Richard M. Ebeling – https://mises.org/library/a

              I await your ” having long ago studied some economics partly under an economist of some repute” reply. I need a good laugh. You empty joke of a person.

              Oh, nearly forgot. You make the claim these things don’t work – where is your proof? I typically provide mine whenever I speak on the topic of economics. You never do anything but puke stupidity!

            • Stev60

              He was one later. As for the rest, a farrago of lies, filth, and irrelevance as usual, not worth a serious response.

  • Zerothruster

    I read Dennett’s book just after it came out (as I read the other three authors just after their famous arguments for atheism were published). He did take a somewhat more detached and analytical view of the subject, and his insights were valuable. The point about belief-in-belief has some application, but can be stretched too far. There are ‘believers’ for whom it explains most of their ‘faith’, but lots of others for whom it explains little of it, their faith being more literally and simply belief.
    I have always thought that there was also some truth to the the ‘opiate of the people’ concept, but not as Marx applied it. What sustains religions, aside from the sheer force of inertia they get from their being central to the narratives of cultures, is the lack of security, freedom and prosperity that have usually attended daily life throughout human history. In a secure, free and prosperous society, religion tends to become less influential and less central to that society’s governing narrative. So it tends to wither away under those conditions. So should ‘the state’.

    • Jeanne

      Most often there seems to be nothing besides their belief in the literal interpretation of holy scripture. It is mind boggling that evolution can be taught in public schools and the only ones who accept it are non-believers. Life-saving surgery can be done and it is still believed that what saved the life were the prayers of the faithful. When prayer fills nearly all waking moments, there is no getting through that wall. When believers accept the “whispering of demons” as reasons why evil surrounds them, there is no getting through that barrier. Nothing new here, but still mind boggling. Believing becomes the belief itself and keeps itself alive under the always win-win scenario of the creator deity’s will.

    • Stev60

      Some people/minds are predisposed to varying degrees of religious ‘faith’ (as are some to atheism/scepticism). That’s why eg many scientists are still religious. As for ‘withering away’, like the state, that may be just a utopian illusion in a temporary phase. I can foresee a resurgence of religion in one form or another in the secular West, let’s hope and work that it is not Islam, which has a remarkable capacity to assert itself even in apparently unfertile soil. Orthodoxy has certainly come back strongly in Russia since the collapse of the ultimate ‘atheist’ state system, Communism.

      • Don L

        “Some people/minds are predisposed to varying degrees of religious ‘faith’ (as are some to atheism/scepticism)”

        So, you dispose of the ability to think. One, by your assertion, is incapable of rationality. The mind is somehow pre-wired.

        Would you consider leftist atheists actually atheists?

        In less than a full page, please.

        • Zerothruster

          I would like to support Steve60’s ‘predisposition’ position. Don L in this case seems to be setting up a straw man automaton. It’s possible (likely, I’d say) for people to have behavioral and cognitive predispositions that may show up as ‘religious faith’ — this would not rule out a capacity for rationality.
          I think that all people have certain faculties and capacities, which may differ from one individual to another, and which also serve as unfinished raw material that gets shaped and refined in one way or another by culture. The best example of this is language.

          • Don L

            Of course, I agree that people are naturally unequal in any number of ways. I reject any notion of innate. Are some people less capable of thought? Yes. So, they are easily persuaded. But, predisposed? I think not. I haven’t got a quote off hand, but I defer to Ayn Rand: You either think or you don’t. And, there are many who work like hell to keep people from thinking: compulsory schooling – Lulled, Gulled & Dulled. One either breaks the conditioning or one does not. Again, if you are kept from knowing a thing – We never think about things we don’t know about.

            I believed in gov’t central planning; it was all I knew .. only thing I was taught by those I thought were trustworthy. Then I discovered economics! Change. Voila.

            • Stev60

              There is a whole (also scientific) literature on the question and phenomenon of innate predisposition to religious (or superstitious) belief, which as with all such phenomena varies by individual. And were there no such predisposition, then there would likely not still be strong religious belief/observance amongst many, even scientists, and even increasing in some cases, like Russia.

              Same to some degree with political beliefs, some can change easily, others not.

            • Don L

              Where does one begin to describe just how wrong the whole study is/was? Inmates, adults … Not worth it.

            • Stev60

              Non-sequitur (or just nonsense) as usual.

    • liz

      “In a secure, free, and prosperous society, religion tends to become less influential”. I think that’s key to how the U.S. became as free, etc, as it has – the Founders separated Church and State, therefore we are free from the rule of religion, and free to pursue our own happiness, resulting in prosperity.
      Muslims, on the other hand, are still under religious rule, and are, predictably, the opposite. Their countries are oppressive s@#holes they flee from, yet they’re too mentally enslaved to leave the cause – Islam – behind.

    • The state? Okay, it should be small, but not “wither away”. Freedom is only possible under the law. A government, ideally, exists to uphold the law – in order to protect the freedom of the people.

      • Zerothruster

        I agree. My ‘wither’ in this case was more of a tendency to get smaller. How small? I don’t think we ever get to a no-government society, because the state is easier and better than privatizing law, law enforcement and justice, as well as some other infrastructure.

        • Don L

          It is drummed in like government central planning and it is a fallacy. Obamacare, welfare state, etc are a justice system failing the governed – politicized. The same with gov’t “Transportation” – gridlock and rush hours? All gov’t programs fail because they are implemented by Bureaucracy.

          And, even the fallacy of only gov’t can run lighthouses is contrary to the maritime history of privatization.

          Certainly not anarchy! But smaller than you are envisioning.

          “The Private Production of Defense” by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
          https://mises.org/library/private-production-defense

          “The Privatization of Roads and Highways” by Walter Block
          https://mises.org/library/privatization-roads-and-highways

          “Public Goods and Private Solutions in Maritime History” by Larry J. Sechrest
          https://mises.org/library/public-goods-and-private-solutions-maritime-history-0

          “Bureaucracy” by Ludwig von Mises
          https://mises.org/library/bureaucracy

          And, sorry not free:

          “Uncle Sam Can’t Count: A History of Failed Government Investments, from Beaver Pelts to Green Energy” by Burton W. Folsom Jr. and Anita Folsom

          • Zerothruster

            “Anarchy is better than no government at all.”

            I almost added, in my earlier response to Jillian, that I sympathize with the Anarcho-Capitalists in terms of their stands on theory and final goals. When I said, “I don’t think we ever get to a no-government society”, I meant it, but I would like to hold out the possibility of evolving toward that theoretical limit. In any event, any approach to a ‘Minarchy’ is going to involve a long process of social evolution. We are obviously far from it now, and not even moving in the right direction.

            • Don L

              “We are obviously far from it now, and not even moving in the right direction.”

              Textbooks for middle and HS are coming out for the next school year … one student revealed the paragraphs about Trump being a racist, etc – going the wrong way Dem talking points.

              I was hoping DeVos was getting more done. And, we must cut off funds to all universities. If they can’t stand on their own …let ’em fail. After all, we need more trades people … there is this idea that working with one’s hands and solving problems generates ideas for other products and services – not necessarily generated by “studies” degreed low-level staff slugs putting in time for a check (while bashing free-market capitalism).

              Tenure ought be outlawed.

  • Don L

    Hallelujah! Yes, Tell Them! I read your article “Tell Them” upon my return and here again I fully agree. Another Brilliant post here, too. Thank you for putting in words what we know. And, thanks for this excellent call to action.

    • liz

      Yes, I agree – excellent post! I let my frustration with the whole mess get in the way of mentioning that. Even if we could get rid of all the Muslims, we still can’t deport leftists. So yes, they must be told.
      Which is a superhuman task when you are fighting against a stream of 50 years of leftist indoctrination by our institutions.
      But TAC is leading the way, most excellently.

      • Don L

        You too express what needs be said, rational thought driven by emotion is still good stuff, and you too put in words what we know. Thanks.

  • liz

    Oh, for the days, too long ago now, when the question of whether a Muslim believes in or just conforms to his religion, or is plotting to kill people over it, was not a matter of concern for anyone in the West.
    Some of them may be persuaded to question it, yes, but while we spend our time and treasure on them, just as many of them may be persuaded to revive their commitment to it by killing more of us. And of course make converts out of the stupidest of us, who of course will kill more of us.
    Persuasion is good, but I’ll take mass deportation and a permanent ban.