Sunday, August 19, 2012

Kentucky Lawmakers Shocked To Find Evolution In Biology Tests

So, we need to keep religion completely out of education standard.

No, actually we don't. It depends on what the people want, since this is a democracy. If the people are a bunch of religious nuts, then the education standard needs to include religion (whichever flavor the majority wants) and omit evolution (of that's what a majority wants). This is the price of democracy: you have to share with all the other people you co-inhabit a region with.

Be careful where you're heading with that idea, as what you propose is exactly what ages of very intelligent political philosophers have correctly pointed out to be the most brutal and merciless part of democracy: The tyranny of the majority.

If you take a democracy to mean that you put everything to a vote and then blindly enforce what the majority demands, you quickly end up in a nightmarish hellhole.

After all, what if a populist puts up to vote that you must buy and memorize a particular book and you are told that 51% of the people agreed to that?
What if it is then put up for the vote, that due to the way voting works, all parties should be merged, and 51% of the people agree?
What if is then asked, what you should do with a certain 1% of the population, and 51% of the people agree to seize their property?

With just three, small votes, you're in a wonderful cross between Mao's China, Stalins Soviet Union and -- and this is up to you to choose -- Hitler's Germany, Mussolinis Italy, Franco's Spain, Europe during the Inquisition, the USA during the Indian Displacement, Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, etc. pp.

After all, remember that no-one said that those 51% of the population were always the same 51%. As an old adage goes: When they came for the Communists, I didn't say a word. When they came for the Gypsies, I didn't say a word. When they came for the Jews, I didn't say a word. When they came to get me, there was no-one left to say a word to save me.

No, the power of democracy does not lie in the tyranny of the majority; it lies within the civil discourse between all; majorities, minorities, loud or silent. It lies within the concept that everyone must be included to agree on a best course of action. All safe-guards in a democratic society must be laid out to guarantee this fundamental concept. That it must be impossible for any part, to take away the voice of any other part.

And, not to put too fine point on it: Taking away the voice of reason, the process of rational and impassioned evaluation of how we think the world works -- even if that reason might arrive at a conclusion you deem erroneous -- in favour of the voice of dogma, is to deny one of those safeguard of democracy.

The difference is that those teaching evolution do not deny you your right to teach your kid your point-of-view; they only deny you the option of saying that your view is the only way to look at it. In contrast, most creationists/intelligent designers want to force a single point-of-view, to the exclusion of all the others; especially if they come from an impassioned look at the world as it is.


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