Worthy Reads from December 6, 2018

Comment of the Day: Ray Vinmad: Ersatz Better Angels? http://crookedtimber.org/2019/12/04/ersatz-better-angels/: 'I love this more than I can say. I’m curious about the work done by the ‘Steelwool Scrub.’ There’s a related phenomenon where people believe that they aren’t scrubbing the beliefs so much as giving their origins. The idea is that there has to be some kind of bridge between a faith-based but bigoted belief schema and a liberal universalist belief schema–assuming that the faith-based-but-bigoted is really sort of due to the historical lag religious doctrine seems to force upon orthodox religious believers. (The less orthodox tend to catch up faster.) Eventually, the hope is that the religious doctrine and egalitarian principles will meet up once the believers cross over the bridge. You could call the religious origin stories of bigoted belief ‘believer breadcrumbs.’ Genealogies have a way of lessening the grip on people over time of certain belief systems. Or perhaps people doing this also aren’t working in good faith but are doing something more like ‘Steelman Airbag’ where they are creating a soft landing for the bigoted. We’re supposed to be less angry at their bigotry because these origins are mitigating factors. A problem of course is that a lot of people leading these orthodox believers see the bigotry as an attraction rather than a liability–and that’s likely true. There are surely some people who flock to orthodox belief systems because of the free steelwool...

#commentoftheday #2019-12-06