Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Gateway Drug?

It should come as no surprise to those who know me that I've always resented the gov/media portrayal of Cannabis as a gateway drug. This is largely due to the observation that; all contemporary research points to the black market phenomenon (caused by government instituted prohibition) being, at least largely, responsible for exposure to Cannabis leading to concomitant exposure to Hallucinogens and harder drugs. Interestingly, the official stance of the government on drugs is war but the stance on religion is one of tolerance.
This disparity is disturbing in a free society purporting to uphold freedoms such as the right to worship without fear of persecution. In such a society, smoking pot is a freedom you would expect to be able to enjoy without fear of prosecution. Taken together, these two observations lead to an apparent paradox. At least for Islam and Christianity, our unwillingness to call attention to the ethical and philosophical disparities of the "soft-core" sects of practitioners is tantamount to condoning the fundamentalists. So one could argue that childhood indoctrination of the concept of faith and the parallel concept that others' faiths are unassailable in polite, politically correct society, are a prerequisite for the existence of fundamentalist cells of Evangelicals and Jihadists. If religion is the opiate of the masses, it is certainly a gateway drug. This particular gateway opens onto a path of coercion, dismissal of reason, terror, and subsequent societal collapse. Which gate would you rather your child open? Neither? Then you have your work cut out for you, at least here in America (Land of the semi-free and home of the occasionally courageous).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I keep hearing people say that comparing theology and science is like comparing astrology and astronomy. These are people who are attempting to snub theology. I just don't get it. Even if religions around the world are only complex memes evolving in the context of complex cultural dynamics someone could still benefit from studying what they have in common and where they differ. That is comparative religion 101 and falls under the heading Theology. It is certainly just as valid as Anthropology and Psychology as a field of research and endeavor. Also, as far as I can tell, there are many branches of astrology and while some are clearly moronic others attempt to use some relatively powerful tools to test some relatively interesting hypotheses about human nature. It seems like saying that comparing apples and oranges is like comparing plums and potatoes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A new Age of Reason

The South aside, Americans surprised me this election by choosing the right candidate in an overwhelming fashion. I've been underwhelmed by the behavior of some of my African -American Friends and colleagues, but oh well, they were overdue. Does the lame duck, that rat bast., realize he will go down in history as the single worst American president to serve two terms? Perhaps he does. We can hope.