Friday, May 09, 2014

Questioning the Authority for Advocacy on Public Policy

The posts
all address the central theme of individuals using the rhetoric of pathos and ethos when advocating public policy.

History tells us its perilous to listen to the likes of Congressman Fernando Wood ("Congress must never declare equal those whom God created unequal") with the authority they argue has been divinely bestowed upon them.

Equally so, it is perilous to give credence to the most recent economic policy recommendations made by Pope Francis (Pope demands 'legitimate redistribution' of wealth).

If the Pope is going to advocate a global re-working of the capitalist system, he opens himself up to having the facts that directly lead to the authority by which he makes the advocacy challenged.  Specifically:
All of the Pope's authority hinges on these extraordinary biological claims.  And, as Carl Sagan rightfully argues, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

Evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson asserts, the Pope's belief and faith may have "evolutionary utility":
...The empirical evidence points to substantial group-level benefits for most enduring religions.

Benefits include defining the group, coordinating action to achieve shared goals and developing elaborate mechanisms to prevent cheating. The same evolutionary processes that cause individual organisms and social insect colonies to function as adaptive units also cause religious groups to function as adaptive units. Religious believers frequently compare their communities to a single body or a beehive. This is not just a poetic metaphor but turns out to be correct from an evolutionary perspective....
 However, as one can see with Congressman Fernando Wood,  it is a two-edged sword.

Related: The Clergy Project:
The Clergy Project is a confidential online community for active and former professional clergy/religious leaders who do not hold supernatural beliefs. The Clergy Project launched on March 21st, 2011.

Currently, the community's 582 Forum Participants use it to support, network and discuss what it's like being an unbelieving professional in a religious community or being an unbeliever as ex-clergy in their world.

The Clergy Project’s goal is to support Forum Participants as they move beyond faith. Forum Participants freely discuss issues related to their transition from believer to unbeliever including:
The Clergy Project is referred to by Daniel Dennett in his presentation: How to Tell if You're an Atheist

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home