What next for Kentucky?


I thought it interesting that US District Judge David Bunning requested that not only Rowan County clerk Kim Davis attend the hearing tomorrow at 11:00am following her defiance of his order but that all six of her deputy clerks attend as well. All of them are authorized to issue licenses too. It is known that four of them support her stance, one does not care much either way, and the sixth is willing to issue licenses. But all have been forbidden to do so by their boss on the grounds that since it is her name of the forms, that means she will go to hell even if the signature is that of her deputy, because her god is not very smart and unable to pick up on such subtleties

I was wondering whether the judge intends to order the deputies to issue licenses as well even if their boss tells them not to. I don’t know if he can order such a thing and, if he does, what options Davis has. Can she stop her deputies from doing so, say by threatening to fire them or even physically restraining them? The mind boggles at all the weird scenarios that could play out.

In the meantime, Davis’s own life is coming under close scrutiny. What I found interesting is that she gave her life to Jesus just four years ago which explains her religious vehemence since old converts tend to be the most fervent in their newfound faith. But when she ran for election in November of last year, she did not reveal her religious devotion.

The decision stunned residents who spoke with the Guardian, saying Davis did not allude to her strong religious beliefs while running for office. Though Davis said on Tuesday her relationship with God precluded her duty as clerk to issue marriage licenses, after winning election in November she told the Moorehead News: “[I] will be the very best working clerk that I can be and will be a good steward of their tax dollars and follow the statutes of this office to the letter.”

The gay couple whose license she denied had actually voted for her in that election.

The decision by their clerk to reject their request for a license burned the couple deeply, particularly as Moore and Ermold supported Davis’ election bid last November.

“If we had known [how she’d respond to their license requiest] we wouldn’t have voted for her,” said Ermold. “She ran on a Democratic ticket, but clearly she’s not a Democrat.”

In an interview, Dan Savage rips into Davis and says that she will milk her actions for maximum profit, publish ghost-written books, and go on the conservative talk show circuit and never do an honest days work again in her life.

But surprisingly, an Indiegogo fund raising page set up for her with a goal of $75,000 has raised only $2 in five days. Oddly, under a photo of her, the caption says “1 woman fighting against God’s wrath”, giving the misleading impression that god is smiting her, not that she is fighting for god. She needs an editor.

Meanwhile, people are having some fun on Twitter. In the hostile confrontations that Davis has had with license applicants you may have noticed a woman seated silently by her side at the counter. Some wag has started a Twitter account under the handle Sitnextto Kim Davis with the account description “I sit next to Kim Davis. This was supposed to just be a chill job. Goddamn it, Kim.” The Tweets are pretty funny.

Next to Kim-Davis

Comments

  1. oldoligarch says

    Lefties never have a problem with religious people standing up for their beliefs, as long as those beliefs are compatible with Secular Humanism’s ethic.So separation of church and state is not really the issue here, is it?

    That’s not surprising, since complete separation of the “religious” and “political” areas of life is not possible.

    This is a contest between two worldviews, “traditionalist” and so-called “progressivism”.

    I believe the traditionalist will ultimately triumph,simply by the slow but sure work of natural selection.

    You see,societies,institutions,ideals,beliefs, attitudes,ethical systems,and behaviors are selected for in a manner analogous to biological selection.This ‘sociological selection’ is what we study in history.The evolution (origin,development and extinction) of societies,institutions,ideals etc.

    If a society,institution,belief,etc enhance survival and reproductive fitness it is selected for,it becomes more common and in time becomes a ‘tradition’. So ‘traditions” have proven themselves.

    If demography is destiny,then one need only look at the demographic decline of the most”progressive” societies on earth;Western Europe, to see the future of ‘progressivism”(The reasons for this decline are numerous, but mostly rooted in individual behaviors and public policies that stem from ‘progressive’ beliefs and attitudes).

    These countries have to import that most basic resource, PEOPLE just to maintain the welfare states “progressives” are so proud of.
    These immigrants are coming from traditionalist societies and bringing their beliefs,attitudes etc with them.They will inevitably transform these “progressive” societies into more traditionalist ones.

  2. says

    What I found interesting is that she gave her life to Jesus just four years ago which explains her religious vehemence since old converts tend to be the most fervent in their newfound faith. But when she ran for election in November of last year, she did not reveal her religious devotion.

    […]

    In an interview, Dan Savage rips into Davis and says that she will milk her actions for maximum profit

    With all apologies to Ozzy Osbourne:

    I’ve listened to preachers,
    I’ve listened to fools
    I’ve watched the divorcee
    Who makes her own rules

    A hypocrite christian, the foolish type of
    Refuses to sell to gay couples in love
    Bigots are still scheming
    “Victims”, “not to blame”
    She’s going off the rails on the gravy train

  3. anat says

    oldoligarch, have you seen the presentations of demographer Hans Rosling? We are living in the days of ‘peak child’, all human societies are undergoing a shift towards reduced numbers, some sooner than others – and the sooner the better, for the sake of the health and living conditions of future generations.

    BTW you completely misunderstand some of the implications of population dynamics. A population that fails to limit its growth runs the risk of collapsing and dying. If they do so after overrunning a slower growing population they’ll be just as dead.

  4. Knight in Sour Armor says

    Are you perhaps positing that she ran for office with the intention of defying SCOTUS? The timing is right, but that seems like a significant length to go to.

  5. Eric Riley says

    Oh – so much to unpack from the ‘oldoligarch’ – but I’ve got a little time for this:

    Lefties never have a problem with religious people standing up for their beliefs, as long as those beliefs are compatible with Secular Humanism’s ethic.So separation of church and state is not really the issue here, is it?

    Evidence for this claim? And – yes, this is very much a separation of church and state issue – she is claiming that her personal religious beliefs should drive government policy for the office she is holding. That itself is a clear violation.

    That’s not surprising, since complete separation of the “religious” and “political” areas of life is not possible.

    Which is not what the term means. It means the government should be neutral with respect to religion – so, in her official capacity, she does not get to show preference for her own (or any other) religious belief. If she truly believes that she cannot fulfill her duties, she should resign – but to keep the position, but refuse to do her job is pushing her beliefs as a representative of the state.

    This is a contest between two worldviews, “traditionalist” and so-called “progressivism”.
    I believe the traditionalist will ultimately triumph,simply by the slow but sure work of natural selection.
    You see,societies,institutions,ideals,beliefs, attitudes,ethical systems,and behaviors are selected for in a manner analogous to biological selection.This ‘sociological selection’ is what we study in history.The evolution (origin,development and extinction) of societies,institutions,ideals etc.

    Well – that’s one way of looking at it – however I think “This ‘sociological selection’ is what we study in history.” would surprise most history (and sociology) professors. It really is a poor analogy with biological evolution that shows both a poor understanding of history and biology.

    If a society,institution,belief,etc enhance survival and reproductive fitness it is selected for,it becomes more common and in time becomes a ‘tradition’. So ‘traditions” have proven themselves.

    I would ask for evidence for this claim, but I am really not sure what you are claiming – it *sounds* like you think that people evolve to favor a particular style of social institution, but that is ridiculous to the point of being gibberish. So – just what *are* you saying?

    If demography is destiny,then one need only look at the demographic decline of the most”progressive” societies on earth;Western Europe, to see the future of ‘progressivism”(The reasons for this decline are numerous, but mostly rooted in individual behaviors and public policies that stem from ‘progressive’ beliefs and attitudes).

    And what ‘demographic decline’ are you talking about?

    “These countries have to import that most basic resource, PEOPLE just to maintain the welfare states “progressives” are so proud of.”

    Wouldn’t that make it *harder* to maintain the ‘welfare state’ (as you call it)? Immigrants are rarely the big income earners, and so tend to use social services more than pay for them – are are you trying to say that immigrants are so industrious and pay so much in taxes that it’s the white-Eurotrash freeloaders that are parasites on the system? (Not to mention – those countries that have avoided the ‘austerity’ program look to have had better growth than those who were forced to take it, in some cases better growth than the US)…

    These immigrants are coming from traditionalist societies and bringing their beliefs,attitudes etc with them.They will inevitably transform these “progressive” societies into more traditionalist ones.

    Really? Again – evidence for this claim? Could it be that they are leaving the ‘traditionalist’ societies specifically because they *want* to be a part of a ‘progressive’ society (never mind that those tags are also problematic)? Perhaps they will make these welfare states into *more* progressive societies?

    Let’s see – an abuse of history, sociology, and biology – the rare triple fail!

    Mano – I tried logging in, but it says ‘no server found’ and gives me a ‘possible imposter’ error when I try to submit.

  6. says

    If a society,institution,belief,etc enhance survival and reproductive fitness it is selected for,it becomes more common and in time becomes a ‘tradition’. So ‘traditions” have proven themselves.

    Shorter you: what works, works.

    But that misses the point that what works, changes. Often radically. Simply reifying the status quo as “the right thing,” only means you have an idea of the status quo. One could just as easily argue that the fact that secular sciences have caused the US to achieve economic and military dominance shows that secularism is advantageous.

    In other words, your motivated reasoning is either trivial or transparent. Or maybe both.

  7. Reginald Selkirk says

    oldoligarch #1: Lefties never have a problem with religious people standing up for their beliefs, as long as those beliefs are compatible with Secular Humanism’s ethic.So separation of church and state is not really the issue here, is it?

    This seems totally clueless. I would have no problem if Kim Davis refuses to marry a woman. I would have no problem if Kim Davis, on her own time and own dime, advocates against the legality of gay marriage. But what she is doing, in the name of “religious freedom” is using her government job to impose her religious beliefs on everyone in Rowan County who wants to get married, as well as on all her deputy clerks. So you statement that “separation of church and state is not really the issue” just draws a total “WTF?” Stop posting while you are high.

  8. Reginald Selkirk says

    oldoligarch #1: So ‘traditions” have proven themselves.

    Hmmm. What do you think of the tradition of slavery?

  9. oldoligarch says

    @3 anat,I understand how over- population in any species can lead to ecological ( and for humans) social collapse.But we are nowhere near the carrying capacity of earth, (not that I advocate we should try to reach it.)

    Traditionalist societies will persist long after “progressive” ones have gone extinct.

    “Progressive” societies simply indulge in too many maladaptive behaviors:postponing reproduction or not reproducing at all(contraceptive use),destroying one’s offspring(abortion), acceptance of abnormal non-reproductive sexual partnerships(same-sex marriage),altruistc behavior towards members of out-groups equal to or greater than that shown to in-group members(immigrant rights, condemnation of racism,nativism ) , belief in the absolute equality, ie identical capacities, of males and females(feminism),the belief that psychology and society, not biology, determine gender.(LGBT agenda)

    Any societies that emerge from a post-collapse will be traditionalist or become so if they survive.

    So the cycle will repeat itself.

  10. anat says

    Progressives don’t need to reproduce in order to promote our ideas you know. Humans came up with that language thing. As well as mass communication and education.

    Also, have you noticed how much traditions change? Once upon a time polygyny was traditional. Now monogamy is. The great thing about the past is that there are many places in it for traditionalists to choose from (and if they don’t like what they find they invent a new vision of what the past was like). Who knows, maybe one day what counts for progressive today will be traditional, and the future conservatives will be fighting to protect it from reform.

  11. oldoligarch says

    @5: “Lefties never have a problem with religious people standing up for their beliefs, as long as those beliefs are compatible with Secular Humanism’s ethic….”
    Evidence for this claim?

    How about religious opposition in the ante-bellum north to the Fugitive Slave Act or practically all civil disobedience in the 20th century U.S?
    In these cases people peoples refused or advocated refusing to obey laws that violated their religious/moral conscience.

    @5:”Which is not what the term means. It means the government should be neutral with respect to religion…”
    Gov’t can be neutral on questions of metaphysics,theology or liturgy,but not on ethics,which affects BEHAVIOR. Regulating human behavior is what gov’t’.s do.

    @5″If she truly believes that she cannot fulfill her duties, she should resign – but to keep the position, but refuse to do her job is pushing her beliefs as a representative of the state.”
    Do gov’t. employees surrender their rights as citizens ?Can they engage in civil disobedience?
    Obama has failed to execute the laws of the U.S. on immigration,should he resign? Would you call for his resignation? or is it okay because you agree with him?

    @5 “Well – that’s one way of looking at it – however I think “This ‘sociological selection’ is what we study in history.” would surprise most history (and sociology) professors. It really is a poor analogy with biological evolution that shows both a poor understanding of history and biology.”

    The tendency of many social “scientist” and Liberal Arts types to ‘remove’ humans from the animal kingdom when talking about sociological (to include history,the study of past societies ) and psychological issues would probably mean you’re correct about such people being surprised by what I say,but it is they who are wrong not me.The analogy is good. Both gene frequencies and meme frequencies change.Some forms of each passing out of existence and new forms as well as new combinations of both old and new forms coming into existence.
    Memes compete in a way similar to genes;ultimately they must increase the Darwinian fitness of the individuals and societies of individuals which hold them,or they perish.

    @5 “If a society,institution,belief,etc enhance survival and reproductive fitness it is selected for,it becomes more common and in time becomes a ‘tradition’. So ‘traditions” have proven themselves.”

    “I would ask for evidence for this claim, but I am really not sure what you are claiming – it *sounds* like you think that people evolve to favor a particular style of social institution, but that is ridiculous to the point of being gibberish. So – just what *are* you saying?”

    What I’m saying is certain types of institutions,attitudes,beliefs,values etc are more conducive to human survival and reproduction.Some less so.
    Traditional societies Christian,Islamic,Hindu ,Confucian have not only survived for thousands of years, but given birth to profound civilizations.While their are differences between these societies they all promote, what are usually referred to in the U.S., often derisively,as family values.

    @5:Wouldn’t that make it *harder* to maintain the ‘welfare state’ (as you call it)? Immigrants are rarely the big income earners, and so tend to use social services more than pay for them – are are you trying to say that immigrants are so industrious and pay so much in taxes that it’s the white-Eurotrash freeloaders that are parasites on the system? (Not to mention – those countries that have avoided the ‘austerity’ program look to have had better growth than those who were forced to take it, in some cases better growth than the US)…

    Too have any gov’t. services you have to have people to provide them.Not enough people of working age and the system collapses. Europeans aren’t producing enough future workers largely because of “progressive” policies,attitudes,values etc.

    I wonder if you’d ever use the term ‘Afro-trash or Asian-Trash,I doubt it A perfect example of the auto-masochistc,ethnophobic mentality of white progressives. I assume you’re white? Or are you racist?
    Whatever.

    These “white-Eurotrash freeloaders” as you call them are definitely in favor of the welfare state.Even if these people are completely non-political it is the existence of the social policies favored by politically conscious ‘progressives’ that have created this problem of freeloading as we know it to day. To the extent non-white immigrants follow them in their behavior that will only hasten the end of ‘.progressive’ societies.

    One need not assume these immigrants are going to create Taliban type societies in Europe, I mean some might,but what I think is more likely is a gradual change in the cultural norms in a more conservative,traditional direction.
    Currently these minorities need the support,cooperation, even protection of white leftist,so unsurprisingly they support those parties they believe favor their interest.They want always need white leftist.

    Will the left succeed in converting enough of them before that day is reached ?This is the gamble ‘progressive’ politicians are taking with their way of life and children’s future.

  12. oldoligarch says

    @10 “Progressives don’t need to reproduce in order to promote our ideas you know. Humans came up with that language thing. As well as mass communication and education.”

    Traditionalist can use language and ideas to recruit new members as well.However having more children is just another arrow in the traditionalist quiver.
    By the way if their are genetic factors involved in producing conservatives and liberals,then the left is at a serious disadvantage.

    @10 ” Also, have you noticed how much traditions change? Once upon a time polygyny was traditional. Now monogamy is.”

    Yes traditions change,but any cultural practice that becomes a tradition must meet a certain criteria; it must enhance the survival and reproductive fitness of the members of a society.The different traditions of marriage you spoke of all involve various combinations of males and females.

    You see nature puts certain limits on what we can change and get away with.
    This is difficult for leftist to accept.There whole program centers around freeing the individual from all limitations imposed by God,Nature, or society(except Leftist societies of course).

  13. lorn says

    The wingnut welfare dollar is a very fine dollar. Backed by billionaires who were made billionaires by conservative give-aways and deregulation the right can afford to lavish cash and special financial opportunities upon those who do their bidding. This will continue right up to the point where the person fails to do their bidding, or, as with “Joe the plumber” (who was never a plumber), they are no longer useful. At which point they are dropped like a hot rock.

    Wingnut welfare is often quite generous, but it is also fickle.

  14. Mano Singham says

    #4,

    I am not sure if your question was addressed to me but if so, no I do not think she had any long term plan like that.

  15. doublereed says

    Why would progressives need to breed more when we can just get the traditionalist women to run away from your psychotic, sexist bullshit? Sounds like way less work than pregnancy. We don’t even have to do anything.

  16. anat says

    oldoligarch, traditions can form that increase survival in the short term and decrease it in the long term. All a matter of what time scale you choose to decide what is ‘traditional’. Also, the same tradition can be beneficial in one context and detrimental in another. Just sticking to a tradition because it worked in the past makes no sense when the conditions of the past no longer apply.

    As for same sex marriage – it does no more to reduce the growth of a population than the existence of celibate people. Heterosexual people aren’t going to marry people of the same sex just because it is legal.

    There are multiple ‘leftist’ ‘programs’. Humanism isn’t necessarily ‘leftist’, it depends on the context (liberalism is a right-wing ideology; moderate right wing). Humanism seeks to maximize the flourishing of individuals in the context of the societies in which they live.

  17. raven says

    Troll: hat’s not surprising, since complete separation of the “religious” and “political” areas of life is not possible.

    Assertion without proof. It’s just wrong. Since the gods don’t exist you can toss them and never miss them.

    Idiot troll:
    This is a contest between two worldviews, “traditionalist” and so-called “progressivism”.

    I stopped reading dumb old troll right here. There aren’t two worldviews. This is cosmically dumb!!! It’s a false dichotomy.

    There are thousands of worldviews at least. More likely it is billions. You could say that each person has their own worldview and not be wrong.

    PS My natal xian sect, old, rich, large, and once influential was and is …progressive. Progressive xians still outnumber fundie morons. They vote and it shows. Obama is…a xian and managed to beat out the “traditionalist” candidate Romney, who isn’t even a…xian.

  18. raven says

    Why would progressives need to breed more when we can just get the traditionalist women to run away from your psychotic, sexist bullshit.

    Fundie xians can’t recruit so they have to reproduce.

    They are just making more atheists these days. US xianity loses 2 million people a year. I was one of them.

  19. raven says

    Look at it on the bright side.

    I haven’t seen much support for Kim Davis, world class hypocrite and white trash who has been married four times. Except from the usual suspects, rabid xian haters.

    It’s likely she has made more atheists than converts to Oogedy Boogedy xianity. Xians having been making atheists since 33 CE.

  20. Lesbian Catnip says

    (LGBT agenda)

    Oh, good, you found it. I had misplaced mine so long ago and totally forgot I was supposed to be getting abortions for all the homo sex I’ve been having.

    Here, I’ll make you a trade: my agenda, for your new tinfoil hat.

  21. doublereed says

    Oldoligarch, you talk of memetic fitness of birth rate? Feminism has shown to drastically improve economic, education, and health prosperity of any nation. Just look at the countries by birth rate. You think we need to watch out for Niger, Mali, Somalia, and Afghanistan?

    The fact is that in many countries, the traditionalists are ones living off taxpayer money. They’re rarely are able to excel until they break away and go into one of the deprogramming organizations that progressives have set up..

  22. raven says

    Oldoligarch sounds a lot like Dukedog and several other nyms. This is a troll banned from a lot of places including Dispatches and Pharyngula.

    It is rumored to be Michael Egnor, MD neurosurgeon, creationist, and Catholic crackpot.

    I’ll leave anyone interested to figure it out. I’m not wasting time on this one. Polynym troll was always going on about how the religious kooks were going to outbreed everyone else. And ignored the fact that the Catholic birth rate is identical to the national average and birth control use among Catholic women runs around 98%.

  23. Chiroptera says

    raven, #22: Oldoligarch sounds a lot like Dukedog and several other nyms.

    I was thinking that Oldoligarch is a European Islamophobe or anti-brown skinned immigration.

  24. Chiroptera says

    I meant, “or he’s opposed to brown-skinned immigrants coming into his country.”

    At any rate, the concern about birth rates and about “fundamental values” is usually a good tip off that we’re dealing with a European xenophobe.

  25. oldoligarch says

    @16″oldoligarch, traditions can form that increase survival in the short term and decrease it in the long term.

    Admittedly.However there is no way of knowing what the long term is going to bring.This is particularly true for humans because of technology.We could move towards Technological singularity or societal collapse. There are too many factors involved, most beyond our control and some we don’t even know of (eg. unintended consequences of our actions), for us to be able to plan the future to the degree Leftist societies would demand.

    When the welfare states were established in Europe populations were growing. Had the idea that this would continue or at worst plateau at a replacement level been true then Europe wouldn’t have the problems it has.
    But changing attitudes towards marriage,having children,abortion, contraceptive use, in short an unexpected convergence between medical technology and changing mores resulted in a birth dearth.

    Further the welfare state took away one of the reasons people had children,to have someone to care for them in their old age.

    Of course if you’re depending on the state to take care of you ,you’re depending on other people’s children to do it.You’re essentially freeloading off the reproductive success of others.
    If enough people take that route( as in Western Europe) you either have to import people , compel you’re own population to reproduce or face social collapse. All these options have their attendant problems.Europe’s future is not bright.

    @17 raven “Troll: hat’s not surprising, since complete separation of the “religious” and “political” areas of life is not possible”.

    Assertion without proof. It’s just wrong. Since the gods don’t exist you can toss them and never miss them.”

    (sigh) raven, religion isn’t just about this god or that one. About what this or that’prophet’ said,It has an ethical component ,at least the major religions do.
    Ethics is the intersect between religion and politics,church and state.This is going to be true for the foreseeable future.So religion and politics are intertwined in western societies.Accept it, you’ll be happier.
    Even if we could, with the wave of a magic wand,make everybody atheist and secularist we would not get rid of discord on social issues.
    The implicit belief of so many own the Left, that minus religion we would all be in favor of liberalism, democracy ,equality,some form of utilitarianism and other pillars of the leftist Earthly Paradise is simple nonsense.

  26. oldoligarch says

    @23 & 24 “I was thinking that Oldoligarch is a European Islamophobe or anti-brown skinned immigration”.

    “at any rate, the concern about birth rates and about “fundamental values” is usually a good tip off that we’re dealing with a European xenophobe”

    You sound like you believe that would be a bad thing. Why?

  27. oldoligarch says

    @ 21 “Oldoligarch, you talk of memetic fitness of birth rate? Feminism has shown to drastically improve economic, education, and health prosperity of any nation. Just look at the countries by birth rate. You think we need to watch out for Niger, Mali, Somalia, and Afghanistan?”

    The countries with the lowest birth rates ( which you apparently take to be good) are the most industrialized.
    It was industrialization and attendant technological advancement that is responsible for the improvements in “economic, education, and health prosperity”,not feminism nor “progressivism” for that matter.

    In fact “progressivism” is a reaction to industrialization, not its cause.

  28. doublereed says

    @27

    Industrialization is a reaction to progressivism, yea, I never said otherwise. You can still have industrialization without progressivism, and those places suffer and continue to have poor economies, education, and health.

    I don’t even understand your statement though. You’re admitting that ever since industrialization, progressivism has won (at least feminism has). So why after so long do you think it would suddenly revert? The birth rate thing would be just as true for industrialized and non-industrialized, because progressivism is a reaction to industrialization, just as you claim. Would the non-industrialized areas of such countries suddenly overtake the more industrialized, progressive areas? You’re contradicting your own worldview.

    I don’t think you’ve thought this through. But I’m bored of this and bid this discussion good day.

  29. oldoligarch says

    @28 “Industrialization is a reaction to progressivism, yea, I never said otherwise.”

    Actually I said that “progressivism” is a reaction to industrialization.

    @28″You can still have industrialization without progressivism, and those places suffer and continue to have poor economies, education, and health.”

    I think you’re missing the overall point.Natural selection doesn’t select on the basis of happiness,education,economic status, or other things humans value,except to the extent these affect reproductive fitness.

    “Progressives” simply value to many mal-adaptive behaviors.Not least of which is having few children or no children at all.

    The traditional belief that our major function in life (men as well as women) is to reproduce and raise their children to continue the family,race,nation or whatever, has been lost to a shallow concern for the individuals happiness.

    The sense of being part of an organic entity that is greater, and more important than the individual has been largely lost in Western societies.Indeed for the ‘progressives’ such in-group loyalty is an immoral attitude, a crime against some imagined human community.

    Those individuals in all societies who still value this own the future.

  30. anat says

    oldoligarch, what you fail to understand is that *we* care about human happiness (and some of us also about at least some non-human happiness). We care because we empathize with other people. Ideally we want to treat all people in ways they would consider good treatment. That we fail to achieve this ideal in all instances is a problem, it is injustice.

    The humanist view is that all people are equal and all are deserving of conditions in which to flourish. The humanist view rejects preferring one’s own group to others. The greater entity we are part of is ‘humanity’, or perhaps even ‘the group of all self-aware beings’. It is all the same to me if the future composition of humanity will include people descended from me or people close to me or not. What matters to me is that whoever lives here has a reasonable chance at having a good life (I really don’t see how this is shallow in any way).

    Your tribalism sucks because it harms people (including your own tribe), and it wastes human effort. The whole ‘owning the future’ is BS, as you won’t be alive in the future, you live now. You can’t ‘own’ that which you can’t access. And even if humanity recreates your dystopia, people will reinvent humanism or something very much like it, because people prefer not to live in dystopias.

  31. oldoligarch says

    @31 “The humanist view is that all people are equal and all are deserving of conditions in which to flourish.”

    This is as much an article of faith as “For God so loved the world…”,and has as much empirical support.

    @31 “The humanist view rejects preferring one’s own group to others”

    If so then the Humanist will lose out to the tribalist.

    Why you would reject part of our primate psychological heritage ,group loyalty,and totally embrace another ,a sense of fair play is beyond me.
    Both are part of what it means to be a human.

    Of course Humanist can be considered a ‘tribe’ not in an ethnic sense of shared ancestry (genes),but in the sense of shared memes,like a religious community,or the’Soviet community’ that the communist attempted to create,or like the more successful (so far) Americans.

    If group identities based on shared ancestry were to disappear and the contest were solely between meme-based identities,those groups with memes that enhance Darwinian fitness would win out in the end.

    Imagine an experiment in which 1000 young men and women ( 500 of each) were randomly chosen from the Democratic parties voter roles,and 1000 young men and women (500 of each) were chosen from the supporters of the Taliban.
    Both groups are placed on an island in their separate communities.

    If left alone for a century , and assuming both groups were loyal to their memes,what type of society would we find when we looked in a century later?

    We are in a situation like this.The earth is an ‘island’ in space.

  32. anat says

    To oldoligarch: A statement of values needs no empirical support. It is not a claim about an ‘is’ but about an ‘ought’.

    Humanism is basically the golden rule (or its variations) applied to all people.

    Tribalism is ugly. It is the cause of mistreating people and many pointless conflicts. It is the cause of wasted resources, of people doing poorly when they could be doing better, simply by not fighting with each other.

    Your experiment was modeled already. It is hard to beat algorithms such as ‘forgiving tit-for-tat’ – start nice, if treated well by another individual – treat them well next time around, if treated badly by an individual – treat them badly one time only at some probability (I think it was about 2/3) and nicely otherwise. Note that the algorithm only responds to the last interaction with any individual. After that all is forgiven. Vendettas are wasteful behaviors.

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