Thursday, February 10, 2011


Irrational traditionalism (we have always done it this way) can be a fetish. An excuse for lack of study and thought. We used to laugh at South Sea Islanders for their Taboos when I was a kid. The idea was so popular they named a perfume after it. And yet we have in politics a very powerful Traditional Values crowd. Let me say that I have nothing intrinsically against those values. But they all ought to be evaluated in terms of current conditions. Is slavery profitable? Only if it doesn't have to compete with machines. Altered conditions change the morality of traditional practices. For better or worse the birth control pill and modern contraception in general plus antibiotics and other STD treatments has changed the effective morality in male/female sexual relations. And let us not leave out warm summer nights and automobiles.

Altered knowledge can also change how we treat others. We are not sure if "gayness" is genetic, eipigenetic, a cultural affectation or a combination of those and other factors. What ever the cause we no longer condemn to death homosexuals. It just doesn't seem right to kill people because of who they have consensual sex with. Prison might be OK though. Kinder and gentler. And burning witches has gone out of favor. Both popular religious practices at various times and places. And you know death for witches is sill in the most popular traditional values book of all time. Who is rewriting these laws without notice?

So the test of any religious/traditional practice should be a rational basis test. And in America I would add a Liberty test. You know Leviticus 25:10:

"Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof" a traditional value that has stood the test of time.

We place no reliance on virgin or pigeon, our method is science our aim is religion. Obviously a not so traditional value that might serve us better than fetishising tradition.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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