[quote author=“child”]I suppose by “kineticize” you mean something like “make tenable” or “bring to the level of conscious apprehension” or, more basically, “popularize?”
All of the above, basically—yes.
[quote author=“child”]I would reluctantly agree. Doubtless, though, there is a body of work already out there that delimits the chasm between the psychology of the faithbound and the “fresh air” we think we breathe—steps that we can take to make freethought appear attractive and natural (which it is): rhetorical strategies, lines of argument, bribery techniques, etc.
Again, you’ve confirmed that what I’m trying to say is more or less the same as what you’re interpreting (so we can likely skip a lot of the complex calibration dance in order to get on the same sheet of music—very nice). I just think we have a whole lot more work cut out for us than we realize.
[quote author=“child”]And though you say the free-thinking paradigm is not the norm, I would maintain (without too much opposition, I’d warrant) that freedom of inquiry is essential for a democracy to function, and furthermore, for the human to achieve its utmost.
Just thought I’d state the obvious.
I couldn’t agree more, but a great many don’t agree with us at all, much less see this as obviously true. They may give the notions lip service (maybe not) because they’re supposed to value critical thinking, but when it comes to applied reasoning they’re pretty much unarmed . . . not by ignorance of logic (though that’s also a common problem), but by a worldview that really values what perceived authirites say over any individual (or minority group) reasoning.
You can’t convince someone of truth through logic and reason if they don’t really value such things any more than you’re likely to entice a Budhhist monk with material luxuries. It’s an alien concept to those of us who aren’t authoritarian, and it’s highly disconcerting, but it appears to be the case, which is what “The Authoritarian Specter” is about.
I think it may be that faith is sort of like an enzyme in that it helps people to cognitively digest contradictory and otherwise meritless notions that would create dissonance leading toward intellectual regurgitation (rejection). That’s what allows the whole faith thing to do its black magic. Using faith authoritarians (and others) can compartmentalize their worldview and ideologies even when faced with clear problems, and faith similarly allows those who should recognize the problem to bind their natural cognitive function and give them the “Get Out of Jail Free” card, as Sam talks about in TEoF.
I suspect that without authoritarianism faith is generally pretty innocuous—still a compromise of intellectual integrity, but much like alcohol compromses the integrity of decision-making (i.e. many people do just fine with minor “alcoholic compromises” even if on a very regular basis, while others destroy their lives and those of others).
I think Bob Altemeyer’s work on authoritarianism and Sam Harris’ work on the threat of religious faith, combined, present a much more complete overall picture of the same problem.