Friday, February 27, 2009


Roy Edroso pointed to this insanity from rightwinger Rod Dreher:
The question, though, is not whether the Sixties (or the Enlightenment) were good or bad, but whether on balance the Sixties (or the Enlightenment) were good or bad. I answer in the negative.

There's a lot wrong with that Rorschach blot. What's with that crazy guy? Why is he still considered credible enough to have a slot even at beliefnet?

I wrote a comment over there but doubt it will appear. I'll paste it here:

Dreher: "We are free -- but for what?"

Well, before the Enlightenment, most people in Europe could not read or write. Most couldn't own land. Most had to worship at a specified church where the scriptures weren't even read in their native tongue. Most had to pledge fealty to their (regional) King and (local) Lord, were conscripted to fight in whatever battles the authorities wanted one to undertake. They had little to no freedom of speech. Physics and chemistry didn't exist (and no, alchemy doesn't count). There was no such thing as democracy. Etc. etc.

And that was just the males. Things were even worse for women.

Other than that, the bulk of people were free to scrabble their whole short lives for whatever maggoty scraps the Baron would let them have.

Perhaps there was some dolt in the Dark Ages who thought that society had lost so much since the Stone Age. He may have even said "We are free: but free for what?"

A religious person who would value pre-Enlightnment religion over later practice has to me an extremely frighteningly positive view of forced religion. The Taliban aren't called "medieval" because of their mode of dress.

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