Politics

Only Tolerance Can Save Us From Political Fanatics

With ideological crusades replacing theological battles, we will again have to learn to live and let live.

|

Religion, we've been warned, divides us and leads to conflict. It stands to reason, then, that as the country becomes less religious, conflict should fade away. Instead, it's clear people are eager to fight one another at all costs, and they'll find new reasons to do so if the old ones become irrelevant. Forget religious wars; Americans now wage their fanatical crusades over politics.

As in the past, to avoid endless strife we're going to have to learn to peacefully coexist.

"Religion poisons everything," warned the late Christopher Hitchens. He was perfectly willing to respect the right of the faithful to celebrate their traditions, he said, but he argued that believers were incapable of "the polite reciprocal condition—which is that they in turn leave me alone."

So, life should be growing more peaceful as the years pass, right? After all, "Gallup finds the percentage of Americans who report belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque at an all-time low" and "as older, more religiously observant generations die out, they are being replaced by far less religious young adults," Pew Research tells us.

But anybody who has even accidentally glanced at recent headlines knows that life is not growing more peaceful. Americans are as divided as ever and engaged in increasingly violent conflict not just to win, but to destroy perceived enemies. Religion may be going away, but new causes have arisen to excite the passions of true believers.

"American faith, it turns out, is as fervent as ever; it's just that what was once religious belief has now been channeled into political belief," Shadi Hamid argues in The Atlantic. "Political debates over what America is supposed to mean have taken on the character of theological disputations. This is what religion without religion looks like."

Worse, of course, is that political true believers are, if anything, even less inclined than the theologically motivated to "leave me alone" as Hitchens justifiably wanted. Religious fanatics all too often harness state power to force their visions on the unwilling, but political fanatics don't know any other way to express their beliefs. And they are fanatics.

"On the left, the 'woke' take religious notions such as original sin, atonement, ritual, and excommunication and repurpose them for secular ends," adds Hamid. "On the right, adherents of a Trump-centric ethno-nationalism still drape themselves in some of the trappings of organized religion, but the result is a movement that often looks like a tent revival stripped of Christian witness."

Hamid isn't the first observer to conclude that America's deepening political divisions look just like religious zealotry.

"In the early days of Christianity, believers would rather be thrown to Roman lions than reject their Savior," Jon Gabriel wrote in the Arizona Republic in December. "Now, we're supposed to hold that same devotion so some flawed politician can have four more years in Washington, D.C."

"[T]he American left has lost its mind," Matt Taibbi complained last summer. "Each passing day sees more scenes that recall something closer to cult religion than politics."

"The need for meaning hasn't gone away, but without Christianity, this yearning looks to politics for satisfaction," Andrew Sullivan observed in 2018. "We have the cult of Trump on the right, a demigod who, among his worshippers, can do no wrong. And we have the cult of social justice on the left, a religion whose followers show the same zeal as any born-again Evangelical."

America's bitter polarization makes much more sense when you see political fervor as a substitute for religious fanaticism. Pollsters' findings that "55% of Republicans say Democrats are 'more immoral' when compared with other Americans; 47% of Democrats say the same about Republicans" seem bizarre in the context of policy debates. So do warnings from scholars that an election "could generate violence and bloodshed." But they take on a new light when you realize that adherents of the major political factions see their clashes as contests between good and evil. Apocalyptic language, purges of opponents, and street violence aren't about advancing ideological agendas; they're exercises in punishing heretics and sinners.

If the woke and the Trumpist alike are devotees of modern cults, can they learn to share the same country in peace? Hamid isn't optimistic.

"Can religiosity be effectively channeled into political belief without the structures of actual religion to temper and postpone judgment?" he asks. "There is little sign, so far, that it can."

But, if there is hope, it's in the tool that theologically divided Americans adopted in the past so that diverse religious sects could coexist without eternal strife: tolerance.

Earlier this month, in Scientific American, three scholars rejected President Joe Biden's call for "unity" because it's "often understood to be an argument for uniformity or assimilation to specific values and beliefs—which is not particularly realistic." Instead, they argue, "a more practical solution to the current partisan divide is though tolerance of our differences."

"Tolerance does not imply compromising our values, beliefs or way of life, but rather allowing others to live life as they wish because our reasons to endure these differences (such as a respect for others' freedom of expression) outweigh our reasons for objection," add authors Kumar Yogeeswaran of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Levi Adelman of the European Research Center on Migration and Ethnic Relation, and Maykel Verkuyten of Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

The authors acknowledge that tolerance is challenging because it requires admitting that those horrible other people have an equal right to abide by their beliefs. But "[i]n a nation divided between two almost equally powerful political factions, tolerance is a necessity for avoiding future conflict."

We've done it before, after all. Americans learned through hard experience that it was better to tolerate religious dissenters and their differing ways of life, however imperfectly, than to engage in endless conflict and risk our own destruction. With ideological crusades replacing theological battles, we will again have to learn to live and let live.

NEXT: Townscaper

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. This is an excellent article and it hits the nail squarely on the head – why can’t the people who want to kill everybody else and the people who don’t want to be killed reach a reasonable compromise on the issue?

    1. Anyone who has been paying attention for the last 50 years should understand that part of the Progressive agenda is a lot fewer people. From Paul Ehrlich to Michael Mann to Anthony Fauci, these followers of Science! are adamant that people are the problem.

      1. Billionaire oligarchs like Jeff Bezos and Tom Steyer banging on about how the planet should be turned into a giant nature preserve kind of play into that too.

        1. Making money online more than 15$ just by doing simple work from home. I have received $18376 last month. Its an easy and simple job to do and its earnings are much better than regular office job and even a little child can do this and earns money. Everybody must try this job by just use the info
          on this page…..VISIT HERE

        2. Don’t forget Bill Gates buying up so much farmland that he’s effectively America’s largest landowner behind the feds themselves.

          1. Sure because it is a stable asset with steady returns. It also diversifies his investment.

          2. Not true. Gates owns .02% of farmland. There are several private timber companies that own twice as much land as Gates.

      2. “as older, more religiously observant generations die out, they are being replaced by far less religious young adults,” Pew Research tells us.

        So that’s Cuomo’s game.

      3. The fact that so many people have such contempt for and refuse to follow science and the scientists, and people like Dr. Fauci is precisely why the Covid-19 pandemic is running so rampant and so out of control here in the United States right now.

        1. lmao – damn you’re stupid

    2. Because both sides want to kill each other

      1. Yes, both sides equally, you can tell that by all the riots by Republicans trying to burn down Universities and newsrooms, bastions of liberal ideology, the way Antifa and BLM burn down police stations and courthouses, bastions of Republican ideology.

        There are no libertarian Democrats at virtually any level in government because all the libertarian Republicans murdered them all.

        1. When sarcasm really makes a point! +1000 🙂

      2. Actually, I correct myself. Progs want to kill those who don’t 100% accept their agenda. Conservatives would be happy to leave the other side alone if they did not try to ram their agenda down their throats

        1. Of course. As evidence Exhibit A – the number of commenters here who advocate mass murder of those who don’t 100% accept their ideology and who call everyone who they want to kill ‘Progs’ (whatever the fuck that ACTUALLY is).

          1. “Of course. As evidence Exhibit A – the number of commenters here who advocate mass murder of those who don’t 100% accept their ideology and who call everyone who they want to kill ‘Progs’ (whatever the fuck that ACTUALLY is).”

            Your dog ate your cite.

        2. One of the two key words in National Socialism is “National” as well as being the very first abbreviation of Nazism.

          Socialism is a proven curse of history. National Socialism is a proven enemy of the USA.

        3. Frankly, I think there are far too many people on both sides of the political and social spectrum(s), who clearly don’t accept differences in opinion, lifestyles, or anything like that. This is not new. It’s been that way for the past 40 or 50 years.

    3. My initial reflex was to mock this comment as proving Tuccille’s point. But you know what? Influential left-wing legal scholars are already laying the groundwork to create a one-party state.

      This is much, much worse than Trump’s bush-league imitation of the beer hall putsch.

      [Harvard Prof. Nicholas] Stephanopoulos frets that Democratic schemes to entrench their party’s power are currently blocked by our constitutional system of government, given the thresholds to pass legislation through the Senate or amend the Constitution.

      To get around these obstacles — all of them imposed by elected representatives — he wants to encourage the use of the unilateral powers of two branches of the federal government to promote progressive and Democratic Party views of how elections should be run. The first is Congress’s power to refuse to seat members under the judging elections clause of Article I, Section 5.

      Stephanopoulos wants the House and Senate to use this power to refuse to seat members whose elections are conducted under Republican-written state election laws. The second is the president’s emergency power to enforce the guarantee clause of Article IV, Section 4.

      Stephanopoulos proposes the president dictating election-law terms to states by executive fiat, invalidating their elections, and possibly even forcing the redrawing of their congressional districts.

      1. So much fortification!!!

    4. Yep. It may not be the most un-self aware headline ever.

      But it’s close.

    5. Agree with your comment. The links to other articles were also useful rather than just links to other journalists/newspapers/etc who are all part of the problem itself.

      There is still a window for regular people to directly connect with a willingness to not ‘have to solve every problem’. to sometimes just let things be and agree to disagree with a limit then on what can be done.

      But that window is diminishing fast. All the usual intermediaries are deeply part of the problem – stoking the fires for their own personal gain as intermediaries. And far too many regular people are simply relying on and complacent about those intermediaries

      1. There is still a window for regular people to directly connect with a willingness to not ‘have to solve every problem’. to sometimes just let things be and agree to disagree with a limit then on what can be done.

        Jeffy epitomizes everything that is wrong with the intelligensia of the left. It feels like he made a point, but it is so vague that it is impossible to identify it after analysis. If faced with any criticism, he can counter that the critic misinterpreted, a preemptive setup of the motte & bailey fallacy. You can even see the evidence that he tacked an extra clause onto that sentence that confounds the thought instead of adding clarity.

        https://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit
        Not that he will read or understand.

        1. Ooh a Russian grammar cop/bot shows up

          1. Conflating grammar with meaninglessness. What a maroon.

  2. “As in the past, to avoid endless strife we’re going to have to learn to peacefully coexist.”

    This is wrong on so many levels.

    We’re the greatest country in the world PRECISELY because we’re allowed and even encouraged to have political strife.

    Constant political struggles prevents us from slipping too far left or right and also allows each side (and centrists), to share the power (Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, Biden – so back-n-forth).

    We see the same with Congress and the Supreme Court too, and the States too.

    THE problem is extremism and violence (again both left and right).

    No, there can’t be and there shouldn’t be a willingness for peaceful coexistence, and instead – in order to remain the best country in the world – we (both sides, all parties), must use our ultimate assets to push agendas.

    THIS is the ONLY way we can remain great.

    1. “No, there can’t be and there shouldn’t be a willingness for peaceful coexistence…”

      apedad, what exactly do you advocate? Is violence an acceptable means to advance your personal beliefs, or your ideological agenda?

      1. Apedad: “THE problem is extremism and violence (again both left and right).”

        So he may be saying, fighting via ballots GOOD, fighting via bullets BAD.

        Sad to say, what we hear from the knuckle-draggers is more like, “My tribe GOOD, your tribe BAD. My violence GOOD, your violence BAD.”

        1. Lol. Sarcasmic still denies he is in a tribe. Fucking hilarious.

          Fake sanctimony is an addiction just as your victim hood is.

          1. Jesse the Jesus-killer, Mahatma Gandhi-killer, Martin Luther King-killer (metaphorically speaking, of course), lecturing us about morality! Because I belong to a tribe, THAT justifies “My tribe GOOD, your tribe BAD. My violence GOOD, your violence BAD.”? As an immediate knee-jerk reaction for ALL situations? ‘Cause Jesse is never wrong, and Jesse’s tribe is never wrong! You WOULD think that, wouldn’t you? Evil One Junior!

            http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Do_Gooders_Bad/ … Full details for people who have or want ethics or brains… I know Jesse sure won’t read it!

            The below was written way back when, for Jesse and the Jesus-killers…
            Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.

            1. Spamming your website means you’re a spambot, and spambots get spamflagged.

              1. Watch me shit my pants!

                How many times have you posted that by now, even just recently? Do you ever have NEW thoughts?

                You resent the hell out of the fact that many other people are flat-out, better, more honest people than you are, right? More “live and let live”, and WAAAY less authoritarian?
                https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-love-and-war/201706/why-some-people-resent-do-gooders
                From the conclusion to the above…
                These findings suggest that we don’t need to downplay personal triumphs to avoid negative social consequences, as long as we make it clear that we don’t look down on others as a result.

                SQRLSY back here now… So, I do NOT want you to feel BAD about YOU being an asshole, and me NOT being one! PLEASE feel GOOD about you being an asshole! You do NOT need to push me (or other REAL lovers of personal liberty) down, so that you can feel better about being an asshole! EVERYONE ADORES you for being that asshole that you are, because, well, because you are YOU! FEEL that self-esteem, now!

                1. Remember to flag Sqrlsy when he spams copypasta, folks.

                  It makes the comments readable.

          2. “Lol. Sarcasmic still denies he is in a tribe. Fucking hilarious.”

            Some tribes explicitly bless tolerance of other tribes.

            JesseBahnFuhrer? JesseBahnFuhrer belongs to the One And Only, True Tribe of REAL People (who have any rights worth respecting), which is the Tribe of the True Trumptatorshit!

            1. Jesus, sarc. This a low from which you will never recover.

            2. I see that Goldilicks Gorillashit Gone Apeshit, too, belongs to the One And Only, True Tribe of REAL People (who have any rights worth respecting), which is the Tribe of the True Trumptatorshit!

            3. It’s bannfuhrer, retard.

              1. JesseBannFuhrer, JesseBahnFuhrer, tomato, toeMAHto… I am glad that we have agreed that she is either JesseBannFuhrer or JesseBahnFuhrer! Either way, we can see that she is a whore, or a hooker, (or a whore?)! Now, we’re just haggling over the price of the old hag!

                (Hey JesseBannFuhrer / JesseBahnFuhrer, AND MammaBahnFuhrer, what price did Der TrumpfenFuhrer pay to mind-fuck you, and is it still your going price?)

                1. It’s the same thing

                  Nope, you’re trying to call him a Nazi, but you’re calling him a railway master, because you don’t understand German or how homonyms work

                  1. Bann… Spell (look it up, ignoramus!)
                    Fuhrer… Leader
                    Bahn… Rail car, rail road.
                    JesseBahnFuhrer as our leader in a fucking SPELLING BEE?!?! JesseBahnFuhrer misspells, and proudly slut-struts its grade-school education, ALL THE TIME! JesseBahnFuhrer is a leader in RAILROADING us into untruth, all day, every day, and only a moose-fucker from Inner Islamic Canuckistanistanistanistanistan would EVER put JesseBahnFuhrer up as a spelling-bee leader, for aspiring intelligent humanoids!

                    JesseBahnFuhrer ALSO lusts after eventually herding all political enemies of the Trumptatorshit onto RAIL (cattle) cars, for shipment to the camps! Heil JesseBahnFuhrer! NOT just a spelling-bee leader!

                    1. “Bann… Spell (look it up, ignoramus!)
                      Sqrlsy’s so stupid he doesn’t understand what homonyms are.

                      JesseBahnFuhrer ALSO lusts after eventually herding all political enemies of the Trumptatorshit onto RAIL (cattle) cars
                      Sqrlsy’s so stupid he thinks Anglophone concepts like ‘railroading’ carry over into other languages.

                      The children’s internet is over there ===>
                      It’s more your speed.

                    2. NAZIs never “railroaded” their (politically, racially, & ethnically incorrect) victims to death camps? And ***I*** am the ignorant one?

                      I have read this EXTREMELY well-documented book, Mamma, cover to cover, and you are as WRONG as wrong can be!

                      https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060995068/reasonmagazinea-20/

                    3. An eight-fer!

      2. After flagging all that, I am still chuckling at the notion that the mental diarrhea factory SQLFKY could clarify someone else’s point.

    2. apedad
      this is why the constitution was written the way it was written. it was not designed to get a long it was designed to prevent government over reach which happens when everyone gets along or one person rules all. Political strife ok political violence not okay and it has been the Democrats actively calling for violence and oppression of opposing voices.

      1. Yeah….the zealous righties have been lil ol’ lambs.

        You fuckhead…I acknowledged that there’s violence on both sides.

  3. Tolerance? In the old style republic, that meant allowing people to act and say what they liked.

    We are now passed allowing offensive speech. Tolerance now means allowing wrong-think. And that is something the Woke Priesthood is dedicated to expunge from humanity.

    1. When someone’s carefully considered policy is to run my life as they see fit for my own good, should I then sit back and take it? I don’t like what the Republicans offer, but as far as involvement in my daily life it pales in comparison to what the Progressives in Congress have planned for me.
      Of course, we should all get along as Obama and Biden say – which in practice means ‘do as I say.’

      1. Look at the article. They compare equally woke cancel culture (including months to years of violence and rioting) to people voting for Trump. It is insanity.

        The biggest threat to liberty isnt the guy who reduced regulations and offered tax cuts. To compare this equally to the side calling for re education camps, sending meme makers to jail for 10 years, causing billions of dollars on damage for not getting their way… is insane.

        Yet time and time again we hear both sides.

        Neo marxism and post modernism is the biggest threat to humanity. They promote subjectivity over objectivity. They promote victimhood above all else. They want an obedience to a woke state and the power of the mob. Dissension should be brutalized according to them.

        1. The biggest threat to liberty isnt the guy who reduced regulations and offered tax cuts.

          The problem with Twitter is that people like Trump can Tweet on it. Free speech means constantly having to ask yourself, “Will this get me deplatformed or even attacked by a mob now or even twenty years from now?” The people responsible for setting the trap overtly state their intentions and collude to enact the plan, demonstrating not just malice, but collective malice in violation of the public trust. The institutions responsible for regulating such behavior deem them good samaritans and protect them as acting in good faith. The people setting the trap ask to be regulated harder to make sure their good faith actions don’t go unrewa-, er, unpunished. The fundamental tenets of Judeo-Christian religion repeatedly built the most prosperous and most diverse societies on the planet and the most brutally oppressive and divisive regimes in human history held and hold no religion except fealty to the State, but Toosilly wants you to know and be sure that religion is what has traditionally divided mankind.

  4. Unfortunately the article treats the concept of tolerance as if is something that occurs in a vacuum with no need of explanation.

    For instance, should we tolerate murder, rape , and theft ?

    Tucille provides no clue at all as to what it takes to be tolerant.

    1. From the gist of the article, I take it to mean that, at a certain point, we need to agree to disagree.

      51% forcing the other 49% what to do on a given issue is completely optional.

      At a certain point, 51% forces so much on the 49% that they become assholes.

      Our political system caters to assholes. Stop being assholes, people.

      1. Our political system caters to assholes. Stop being assholes, people.

        We as individuals are more inclined now to be assholes precisely because we lost the true checks and balances that restrain us from being assholes.

        We didn’t have those structural (constitutional) restraints as much as we think we did anyway. But our response to changing that stuff over time (or refusing to change anything over time) only seems to reinforce fanaticism.

        If there is one thing that could create a system where we could become less assholish, it would be to directly have a constitutional convention to decide how that might happen. If there is one thing that the fanatics and assholes agree on, it is that a constitutional convention is far too dangerous to occur

    2. The article treats the concept of tolerance as something with no need of explanation because it is a concept that need no explanation – at least, no explanation for everyone with more than a third-grade education. It especially needs no explanation in a site that intentionally caters to a libertarian audience where an understanding of the Non-Aggression Principle can be taken for granted.

    3. Toosilly and no clue.

      Yep.

  5. I’ll give JD that trumpists are cult like and nationalists, but calling them ethno-nationalists is stealing a base.

    1. Agreed!

      A bit (or more than a bit?) related, see below. I thought that it was a good read. And Max Boot, as I recall, is on the gung-ho warrior side of the spectrum! Neo-cold-war, warrior type, I thought…

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/03/17/gop-is-accelerating-its-descent-into-authoritarianism/
      Opinion: The GOP is accelerating its descent into authoritarianism
      By Max Boot

      1. I always knew there was going to be a day when someone would actually post a Max Boot article on Reason, and here we are.
        Can 2021 get any weirder?

        1. The Washington Post and Max Boot fretting about authoritarianism is like watching the Victorian’s fret about Imperialism.

          1. Anyone who follows a writer named MAX Boot deserves what they get.

      2. Lol quoting max boot for his thoughts is more pernicious than eating shit.

        1. Wow, what clever wit! Did your mommy help you write that?

          1. You just quoted Max Boot, Sqrlsy.

            1. If Hitler started fretting about Germany getting too fascist… YOU would laugh your stupid ass off about it, and conclude that… Germany being fascist?!?! Ha! What a silly concept! Who, me worry? Don’t worry, be happy!

              Because YOU are a FASCIST!!!!

              1. But I’m not the one who quoted the ultimate neocon warrior, Max Boot, on an ostensibly libertarian site.

                1. So?

                  It is Max Boot who wrote it, so it must be false?

                  Hey Mamma the Moron, and would-be Jesus-killer! Jesus, your enemy, said that we should breathe air! It must be BAD to breath air, then! Stop breathing!

                  WHERE does moron-logic come from, and WHY do you follow it?

                  1. You have now hit bottom and are digging your way to China, sarc. Listen, log out, take a month or two, come up with a new sock and start with a new, non-retarded personality.

                    1. start with a new, non-retarded personality.

                      Assuming one exists seems counterintuitive at this point.

                  2. “would-be Jesus-killer Jesus, your enemy”

                    If you knew anything about Christian theology, my heretical friend, you’d remember Romans 5:8.
                    You’d also know Jesus said nothing about breathing ‘air’.

                    1. Do you doubt that Jesus breathed air? Were you THERE, did you hear, and do you now still ACCURATELY RECALL everything Jesus ever said?

                      Is there any limit to your stupid, and is there any limit to your arrogance?

                    2. “Jesus, your enemy, said that we should breathe air!”

                      You can’t even keep track of your own insanity I see.

      3. A fucking Max Boot article. Max Boot.

        1. Yes, I noticed that, too! It was written by Max Boot! Wow!

          1. Shit munchers do gravitate to one another.

            1. Some folks are intelligent, well-informed, and benevolent enough to competently discus ethics, morality, and politics. Others? They literally know how to talk shit, and little if anything else!

              1. You are not worthy of discussion. You are autistic. You are nothing more than a source of mockery on this earth.

                1. Q: What’s the difference between a good (genuinely funny) joke, and Pepin the short-tempered?

                  A: One is a shift of wit. The other is a wift of shit!

                  1. God dammit, sarc.

                    1. My joke might be SHITTY but it sure is tasty.

                      Now my good and TRUE friend White Knight has prepared a steaming hot three-coiler for my dinner. You must excuse me.

                2. Most autistic folk have learned not to shit their pants. This guy has previously made reference to meds prescribed for schizophrenia, which I would take as a sign.

                  1. Smug-pig, I could understand WHY you fear that the smarter folks might steal all of your women!

                    Monopolies (or near-monopolies) on the harems of women leads to constant fighting, elephant-seal-style. Let’s all fight over our harems! Every reproducing male will know all about how to grab the women, and no one will know how to be a good father any more! It’s not the direction towards which I’d like to see humans evolve towards, biologically, culturally, or otherwise.

                    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/jun/14/usa.julianborger , concerning fundamentalist, polygamous Mormons discarding their young men, is a good link to explore, to illustrate my just-above-made point.

                    But let me PLEASE try to re-assure you… Relax! Just Because I am Right and You are Wrong, Doesn’t Mean that I Want to Steal ‘Your’ Woman

                    (Or your inflatable doll, as the case may be).

                    1. Five-fer again.

                    2. It’s not your fault you’re an autist.

  6. “The authors acknowledge that tolerance is challenging because it requires admitting that those horrible other people have an equal right to abide by their beliefs.”

    This algorithm seems to have trouble spitting out any results when those with an equal right to abide by their beliefs believe that everyone else needs a government boot on their face for believing something else. Tolerance is not challenging at all. In fact, it is very simple. The problem is that tolerance does not work — and never has — when people want you dead and have the entire apparatus of the government supporting them in the endeavor.

  7. “On the right, adherents of a Trump-centric ethno-nationalism still drape themselves in some of the trappings of organized religion, but the result is a movement that often looks like a tent revival stripped of Christian witness.”

    Like what?
    What are the trappings of organized religion that ‘adherents of a Trump-centric ethno-nationalism’ drape themselves in? MAGA Eucharist?

    I definitely agree with the idea that American politics has assumed the role of religion for the newly secular. I can also see a copying or parodying of Christian doctrine among the Woke. But I don’t see many of the ‘trappings’ of any religion being adopted by either side.

    Was this just the traditional Reason ‘both sides’ graf?

    1. Tuccille wants you to understand that even though the Crusades killed fewer people over 200 yrs. than most of the brutal socialist dictatorships did in a decade, religion is the world’s greatest evil. Religions that teach humility, fallibility, and moral reciprocity, and have perfected the lessons through strife and persecution, are the reason we don’t tolerate each other.

      When other people have convinced themselves that they, absolutely, know better than their peers, the proper path for all mankind to follow, it’s their faith in a higher power that taught them that. Mein Kampf, On Guerilla Warfare, The Motorcycle Diaries, Das Kapital, The Communist Manifesto, The Green Book… all just inspired by and really little different from, The Bible, The Quran, The Talmud…

      1. New masses, new religions, new sacred texts, same opiate fix.

        1. Imagine abusing opium, fucking up yours or someone else’s life and then blaming the opium. Then, while in recovery, you hear about someone else abusing meth fucking up theirs or someone else’s life and you blame the meth. Tolerance achieved!

      2. Tuccille wants you to understand that even though the Crusades killed fewer people over 200 yrs. than most of the brutal socialist dictatorships did in a decade, religion is the world’s greatest evil.

        And the Crusades were only tangentially about religion, at best.

      3. Lefties love to bring up the inquisition, to which only about 17,000 executions can actually be historically linked over the period of more than 200 years. Feel free to round up if you disagree.

        Pol Pot oversaw the death of 20 million in 4 years.

        The religious fanaticism of Christians is a blight on the history of a reformed religion and led to the deaths of a few hundred thousands over 2 millennia. The wars and schisms within Islam have caused the death of millions in its 1500 years. Marxism has led to deaths in the hundreds of millions in just over a century.

        Which culture should we oppose the most?

        1. To a libertarian, if a “perfect” society requires the murder of one individual, it is already damnable before it even starts. A pox on all coercive utopians!

          And the only reason Christianity and Islam didn’t slaughter more than Fascism, Nazism, and Communism is because those religions didn’t until today have access to the killing technology of the latter three ideologies. Now they do, though, so maybe they will all play catch-up.

          1. “And the only reason Christianity and Islam didn’t slaughter more than Fascism, Nazism, and Communism is because those religions didn’t until today have access to the killing technology of the latter three ideologies. Now they do, though, so maybe they will all play catch-up.”

            It wasn’t the technology, but mainly the size of the targeted population, and the organization to find the intended victims and prevent their escape. In Rwanda in 1994, about a half-million Tutsis were murdered, mostly with machetes. The military had modern weapons, but either they needed to conserve ammunition or preferred the horror of hacking their victims to death. I can’t find an estimate of the Tutsi population before this genocide, but the killed seem to outnumber the survivors. The 30 Years War (partly motivated by religion) killed at least 1/3 of the entire population of Germany, with armies that usually fired one volley from primitive flintlock muzzleloaders and then closed and did most of the killing with plug bayonets and other edged weapons. Genghis Khan’s Mongols did not even have gunpowder, but when Genghis wanted to make an example of a city, they took some slaves with useful skills and then killed nearly all of the rest. There were too few survivors to build a village on the ruins of their city. The Mongols had the least powerful weapons, but Genghis built an organization that probably wasn’t equalled until the Prussians developed their staff system in the 19th century, and Genghis used it ruthlessly. However, most of those cities they destroyed had a population of 50,000 or less.

            Also, Christianity is not going to play catch-up. Most Christian sects have evolved beyond endorsing murder in the name of Christ. Parts of Islam are still stuck in the medieval era, but don’t seem to be able to organize more than 19 men in one operation. It is possible that Muslim terrorism may enrage Europeans to the point of murdering and expelling all Muslims, but most of the killers won’t be active in any Christian church, and they’ll look at it as self-defense rather than a religious crusade.

            1. It’s a stupid premise argued and supported by no one except Encogitationer. The two largest democidal events in human history were induced famines. So, the argument is that ancient Christians and Islamists didn’t possess the technology to starve people to death?

  8. I’d look at our own history, 1848-1858, to see what happens when toleration breaks down. Then, as now, there were ‘warring camps’ of adherents. Then, as now, it was typically cast as good versus evil.

    Case in point: Even during our civil war, the capitol complex was never surrounded by walls and barbed wire. This has gone on for months. My country is not in a good place. Based on the behavior I see, I don’t see a way out.

    1. Based on the behavior I see, I don’t see a way out.

      I think you do see a way out. I don’t think you like it or agree that it guarantees any particularly good outcome.

  9. All tolerance is not created equal.

    One definition represents rational behaviour. Not reacting to visceral emotion.

    “the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with:”

    Another describes being someone’s bitch. Kowtowing to what is demonstrably wrong.

    “the capacity to endure continued subjection to something such as a drug or environmental conditions without adverse reaction:”

    A word with two entirely different meanings is more of a source of conflict than reason. I’m tolerant but I’m not tolerant.

    No “tolerance” isn’t the panacea.

    1. “No “tolerance” isn’t the panacea.”

      THIS is why Misek tries to persuade people that the Holocaust never happened! We must TOLERATE intolerant NAZIs!

    2. Your stupid is showing, stormfag.

    3. All tolerance is not created equal.

      Even with the same definition, equality isn’t inherent to the definition of tolerance. Equals tolerating one another is one thing, kings tolerating the impudence of their subjects is still the same tolerance by definition, but is in no way similar to the tolerance shared between equals.

      1. Maybe you don’t understand what “the same definition” means.

        I never suggested that equality was inherent in tolerance.

        Tolerance is about what you do when you recognize that things aren’t equal.

        1. It wasn’t a rebuke but an expansion. Whether you choose the “willingness to accept the existence of differing opinions” definition or the “ability to endure external hardship or conflict” definition, a king (not) tolerating the dissent of his subjects is still fundamentally different than neighbors (not) tolerating trees and fences crossing the property line.

          Capability can circumscribe tolerance. Neighbors aren’t tolerant when they choose not to execute each other over where their dogs shit because neither one has the unfettered ability to do so. It’s fundamentally different than an intolerant king executing all dissenters vs. a relatively tolerant king who only executes the leaders.

          1. I’m not buying that killing dissident leaders represents “the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with:”, even a little bit.

            1. If he only kills the leaders he is, by your own definition, tolerating the opinion/behavior of the larger populace. Would your categorization of his tolerance change if he only has them jailed? Exiled? Politically disbarred? You may not think he’s being tolerant, but that’s my point, it’s a spectrum with potentially several local maxima/minima.

  10. There is some wisdom to the idea of being more tolerant but that has to be applied fairly across the political spectrum. I too often see people wanting tolerance to be a one way street. Wishing others to tolerate their ideas and but without feeling a need to reciprocate. Right wing, Progressive, Libertarians and the rest often put forth the idea that as long as I don’t harm another I should do as I please, but then too often chose for themselves what injures others.
    Perhaps instead of trying to start by tolerating others, we start by listening to others.

    1. Bravo, Moderation4ever! Well done!

    2. Right wing, Progressive, Libertarians and the rest often put forth the idea that as long as I don’t harm another I should do as I please, but then too often chose for themselves what injures others.
      Perhaps instead of trying to start by tolerating others, we start by listening to others.

      I’ve listened to others. Not all of them, of course, but for many their injuries are greivances I and others didn’t cause and that I and, in many cases, no one can remedy. It’s no problem to tolerate their greif. The problem is, they want to inflict injury on others who had nothing to do with their greivances in efforts that demonstrate no way of resolving their issues. Not even tolerance or listening can withstand the irrationality of injuring others in a perpetual ideological war on grief.

    3. Disclaimer: I’m just posting here, snipe as you wish.

      I think at this point that there are and will be issues over which factions of us will never agree; 1A, 2A, the role of government [and how much it will intrude into the minutia of our lives], to name a few. Perhaps it will be that we have multiple sovereignty whereas there are crucial things we cooperate on [national defense] but States and cities within States will operate to their own codes on these matters.

      If this sounds a bit like the Articles of Confederation, it just might be.

      1. If this sounds a bit like the Articles of Confederation, it just might be.

        Sounds a bit like a document proscribing the 10 things most important for the FedGov to be allowed to do, with the 10th being relegating the rest to the States.

        1. That would be my preferred solution, but given the levels of intolerance we keep hearing about, it just might come down to I don’t care what you do just leave me the fuck alone, oh yeah you and what army?

    4. Stop lying.

      1. It’s a troll, it’s like breathing to them.

        ‘Tolerating’ socialism is a suicide pact. How many times do the historically literate have to repeat ‘200 million deaths’ before it is understood. Fearing COVID is silly if you don’t fear the avowed Marxists.

        https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/MURDER.HTM

  11. Only Tolerance Can Save Us From Political Fanatics

    Unfortunately, it’s the shit Our Betters force us tolerate that riles up usually peaceful people.

    1. Very tolerate of you. Let start with who do you see as “Our Betters” forcing toleration on you?

      1. The people taking action in the various names of “the greater good”, such as public health and wealth redistribution. Explicitly laying out that, no matter what injury you may incur or how tolerant you may be, it is “the lesser good”; as though somehow superiorly ordained with the vision to infallibly distinguish all greater and lesser goods and evils.

        1. Will I, a law abiding citizen [as 99.9% of us are] continue to be able to express ideas and beliefs without fear of legal repercussion, or will I be warned by local gendarmes to “watch what I say lest I be charged with a crime?” Can I purchase and possess small arms given that I [and millions like me] pose no threat to persons or society? Will I continue to be taxed however my government decides only to have my personal earnings distributed to those who “choose not to work.”

          There are things, that have been called inalienable rights [life, liberty, property] on which I have absolutely no intention to compromise, or [more likely] concede.

        2. Thanks for narrowing the field because I think that for “the greater good” is used by just about everyone, left, right and middle, in making their case for some law or rule.

          1. …for “the greater good” is used by just about everyone, left, right and middle, in making their case for some law or rule.

            The “right” (conservatives, libertarians) want fewer laws/regulations, a limited government. It’s liberals/leftists who never tire of issuing laws and regulations about how you should live your life, who want an unlimited government — one that can do anything “for” (and to!) you. And if you complain, you’re being selfish, lack solidarity, etc.

            1. This is fertilizer. The right wants as much big government as the left, they just want it for what they think is “the greater good”. This is like the Republicans are more “fiscally responsible”, except the debt rises after every Republican administration. You can’t make progress by saying the other person is wrong, you need to start with your own faults.

              1. The right is not the faux Republicans who play the heel to the Democrats and share the same positions, just so peeps like you can say ‘they both do it’. No, they are both part of the same team.
                The actual honest to goodness conservatives, who have no choice but to vote for the feckless assholes in the GOP want less government. Fact.

            2. …liberals/leftists who never tire of issuing laws and regulations about how you should live your life…

              A fine example:
              https://reason.com/2021/03/18/bill-de-blasio-nypd-hate-crime-asian-warning-cops/
              Is the right or the left that wants to regulate what you can and cannot say?

  12. “Tribalism” has been around since the beginning of time. James Madison, in the 1700’s, studied the previous 2000 years of world history.

    Although the Founding Fathers were deeply flawed human beings, Madison’s blueprint for America’s model of government was designed based on “why governments and empires fail?” and how to prevent that from happening to us. The Framers also included a “constitutional amendment process” for changing our wartime governing charter when necessary for loopholes, flaws or changing with the times.

    Maybe the Framers’ greatest check & balance on tyranny, to counter-balance absolute power, was Article VI (predating our Bill of Rights). Article VI requires all officials from police officers to the military to the CIA to voluntary agree to swear supreme loyalty (in their job duties/authorities) to a constitution that protects individual rights and individual liberties. The Article VI Oath of Office is defined in federal law under Title 5 US Code 3331. Article VI also makes the U.S. Constitution the “supreme law of the United States” and the Judicial Branch courts define “constitutional out-of-bounds” for police officers, military, FBI and CIA.

    In the past 200 years, most progress from women’s rights to LGBT rights to religious rights starts in the Judicial Branch courts. Neither political party (two political branches) pioneered women’s rights, LGBT rights or religious rights. Political parties almost always FOLLOW constitutional court cases.

    Most of America’s worst crisis happened when constitutionally oath sworn officials are disloyal to their own Oath of Office, from the failed War on Drugs to Bush’s torture and Cointelpro tactics to Black Lives Matter protesters.

    Years ago, America’s top historians stated that not one American today has read the books that James Madison read on why governments and empires fail. In 2021, Madison is still smarter than anyone with a degree from Harvard or Princeton. Maybe the U.S. Constitution is flawed but we should only amend it with mature adults debating the long term consequences, since nobody alive today is a better expert than Madison and the Framers. We don’t need a new rule book, we just need to follow the one we have based on human nature of government officials.

    1. COINTELPRO, well done! Excellent!

      1. lmao…. From the same poster that has been spamming me for months about stating that the ‘supreme law’ the U.S. Constitution should be the 1-party (theology) dictation? No, no; That can’t be?!?! lol… 🙂 You’re a joke SQRSLY.

        1. https://reason.com/2021/01/18/carjacker-beaverton-mom-kid-waiting/#comment-8710844
          Model TJJ2000 Dictatorbot believes that the USA already is (and should be) a 1-party dictatorshit! That the USA HAS BEEN a 1-party dictatorshit for some 200 years!!! There is NO point in trying to persuade the Model TJJ2000 Dictatorbot of ANYTHING! Almost ALL of the circuits of the Model TJJ2000 Dictatorbot have gone kaput, big-time!

          Model TJJ2000 Dictatorbot is lusting after an UPGRADE to its rusting old body! Wants to be upgraded to Model TJJ20666 Dictatorbot, and run for POTUS in 2024, with Alex Jones as the VEEP of Model TJJ20666 Dictatorbot!!! Be ye WARNED!!! Model TJJ20666 Dictatorbot will be well-nigh INDESTRUCTIBLE! (Unreachable by ANY logic or considerations for the freedoms of others, MOST certainly!)

          PLEASE do NOT enable the lusting of the rusting TJJ20000 Dictatorbot!!!

          TJJ20000 Dictatorbot,can you tell the difference between a Constitutional Republic, WHICH ALLOWS MULTIPLES OF POLITICAL PARTIES TO EXIST, and a literal 1-party dictatorshit? Where only ONE party is allowed to exist, freely run candidates of their own choosing, and have their votes counted honestly? You CLEARLY gave the USA as an example of a successful 1-party dictatorshit! You people are beyond lying, stupid assholes; you are EVIL!!! E-V-I-L EVIL, do you understand?!?! Go look in the mirror!

        2. I’m performing a SERVICE TO MY FELLOW READERS and explaining that trying to reason with Model TJJ2000 Dictatorbot is a TOTAL waste of time! D-TJJ for short, Dictator-TJJ wants to mangle words, pretending that the USA is a ONE-PARTY DICTATORSHIP, when it clearly isn’t, and has never been! So when D-TJJ and lackeys literally OUTLAW the “D” and the “L” parties, creating a one-party “R” state, they will endless repeat the Big Lie of, “Well, we have always been a 1-party state, anyway. It has worked well in the past, so what’s the big deal?”

          If the above is NOT true… Then you know WHAT? There is NO law of physics, chemistry, or biology that prevents you from taking BACK the stupid things that you have said! Did you know that there exist, on this planet right here and now, humanoids who have enough humility to admit it, when they said something that was utterly stupid or ignorant?

          Hey TJJ2000 Dictatorbot… Has anyone ever told you that humility (which includes being able to admit error) is a virtue? Do you know what virtue really is? That it has NOTHING to do with thinking that you are always right?

          Humility is a MUCH underappreciated virtue! See this: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/12/27/army-has-introduced-new-leadership-value-heres-why-it-matters.html Even in a supposedly “proud” profession, wise leaders treasure humility!

          But YOU are PERFECT, and so, don’t NEED humility, am I right?

          1. How I know you’re a lefty.
            Personal attacks always trumps logic.
            The heart and soul of every bully, dictator and lefty.

    2. “…we just need to follow the one we have based on human nature of government officials.”

      Agreed. Either we will, or we will fail.

  13. Only Tolerance Can Save Us From Political Fanatics

    Just like it did from 1941 – 1945. Right?

    1. The divisive lessons of Judaism didn’t teach them enough tolerance.

  14. Progressivism is about using the coercive power of government to force people to make sacrifices for the common good as they see it. Those progressives who want the government to force them to make sacrifices are considered pious, and those who hold on to the idea that people should be free to make choices for themselves, in some small way, are considered heretics to some extent.

    All religion is rooted in evolution. Our neocortex evolved to leverage the advantages of things like religion and language. No culture survived into the historical record without religion, which suggests those advantages were real. The persistence of other disadvantages associated with religious belief certainly doesn’t make the advantages any less real.

    I suspect Dawkins’ obsession with genetics has made him especially vulnerable on issues regarding social evolution. I’ve never seen more educated people make more ridiculous statements about anything than I have when I see atheists argue with creationists about their religious beliefs and treat religion as if it were a purely intellectual construct completely divorced from evolutionary processes–up to and including the formation of our neocortex. Those who claim to understand evolution should know better.

    Progressive religion features an apocalyptic vision of a horrifying future if we don’t all make the necessary sacrifices by way of climate change, etc. They have a vision of paradise that can be achieved once the government finally forces enough of us to sacrifice enough, too. Those of us who don’t share their vision of these futures are not only unworthy of paradise. Our sinful nature is also what keeps progressives from achieving it. We’re dragging progressives to hell with us, and their tolerance of us and our freedom to make choices for ourselves is their damnation in their religion. Shared sacrifice is salvation, and forced sacrifice is both holy and necessary in their religion.

    From evolutionary theory, the handicap principle may do a lot to explain why marginally wealthier people are drawn to progressivism and publicly advocating sacrifice, which is so very important to progressivism.

    “The handicap principle . . . suggests that costly signals must be reliable signals, costing the signaller something that could not be afforded by an individual with less of a particular trait . . . . The central idea is that sexually selected traits function like conspicuous consumption, signalling the ability to afford to squander a resource. Receivers then know that the signal indicates quality, because inferior quality signallers are unable to produce such wastefully extravagant signals.

    —-Handicap principle

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handicap_principle

    Because these urges are rooted in evolutionary processes, of course, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be resisted or haven’t outlived their usefulness. Our opposable thumbs evolved to grasp tree limbs, escape predators on the ground, and reach food we couldn’t have reached otherwise. Back then, our ethics were limited to kill or be killed, too. Thank goodness we evolved to understand that societies thrive when the agency of others is well-respected. On the issue of forced sacrifice, it’s time for progressives to move out of the trees already and become civilized.

    1. Dawkins’ obsession with genetics has made him especially vulnerable on issues regarding social evolution

      Also, Dawkins comes from a family line of evangelical atheists. Perversely, much like how religious belief is culturally transmitted in a family unit, so was Dawkins’ atheism.

      1. Literally a ‘meme’ in his sense of the word I guess.

        1. Wow!

          Incidentally, here’s Dyson cleaning Dawkins’ clock.

          “Thank you for the E-mail that you sent to John Brockman, saying that I had made a “school-boy howler” when I said that Darwinian evolution was a competition between species rather than between individuals. You also said I obviously had not read The Selfish Gene. In fact, I did read your book and disagreed with it for the following reasons.”

          —-Freeman Dyson

          https://www.edge.org/conversation/freeman_dyson-remembering-freeman-dyson

          He goes on to explain why The Selfish Gene is wrong.

          LOL

        2. Incidentally, their differing views on religion may have been part of their disagreements–even if Dyson wasn’t disagreeing with Dawkins on religious grounds. Dawkins seems to have an irrational aversion to anyone who isn’t dogmatically dismissive of religion, but when a religious believer checks your math and shows you it’s wrong, your math is just as wrong as if the mistake were found by an atheist.

          “I am myself a Christian, a member of a community that preserves an ancient heritage of great literature and great music, provides help and counsel to young and old when they are in trouble, educates children in moral responsibility, and worships God in its own fashion. But I find Polkinghorne’s theology altogether too narrow for my taste. I have no use for a theology that claims to know the answers to deep questions but bases its arguments on the beliefs of a single tribe. I am a practicing Christian but not a believing Christian. To me, to worship God means to recognize that mind and intelligence are woven into the fabric of our universe in a way that altogether surpasses our comprehension.

          —-Freeman Dyson

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson#Science_and_religion

    2. Tell Ken Ham and the rest of the Creationists that religion is rooted in Evolution and watch them writhe in apoplexy.

      Religion may have came from man’s brains ability for pattern recognition, but that doesn’t mean that the pattern recognition which is religion was always consistent with reality or not subject to rational scrutiny.

      Praying for good good hunting or good crops followed by bounty does not mean that the bounty was caused by prayer. Or even deeper, seeing that fellow humans make things does not mean that the Universe as a whole was created by some anthropomorphic supernatural being.

      Also, the fact that cultures and civilizations of the past had religion does not mean that culture and civilizations and all attendant benefits cannot exist without religion. Refraining from initiation of coersion is right simply because life goes better that way, not because of some imagined boogums in the closet.

      1. “Tell Ken Ham and the rest of the Creationists that religion is rooted in Evolution and watch them writhe in apoplexy.”

        Because creationists think something isn’t a good reason for atheists (or anyone else) to think anything. And it isn’t just Abrahamic traditions. The religious beliefs of tribal societies all over the world came from somewhere–even creationists acknowledge that.

        “Religion may have came from man’s brains ability for pattern recognition, but that doesn’t mean that the pattern recognition which is religion was always consistent with reality or not subject to rational scrutiny”

        It’s not about pattern recognition.

        The standard evolutionary argument has it that our neocortex, the part of our brain that makes language and religion possible, physically grew through evolution to harness the advantages of language and religion.

        “Robin Dunbar argues that the critical event in the evolution of the neocortex took place at the speciation of archaic Homo sapiens about 500,000 years ago. His study indicates that only after the speciation event is the neocortex large enough to process complex social phenomena such as language and religion. The study is based on a regression analysis of neocortex size plotted against a number of social behaviors of living and extinct hominids.[15]

        Stephen Jay Gould suggests that religion may have grown out of evolutionary changes which favored larger brains as a means of cementing group coherence among savannah hunters, after that larger brain enabled reflection on the inevitability of personal mortality.[16]

        —-Evolutionary Origins of Religions

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_origin_of_religions#Increased_brain_size

        They’re saying our neocortex was more or less as it is 500,000 years ago, when modern Homo Sapiens only differentiated some 150,000 years ago. The advantages are about things like group cohesion and group size, and the religious proclivity, the religious urge, is hardwired into our neocortex. Going after people for being religiously inclined is like going after them for having opposable thumbs.

        A good analogy might be the supercomputer in Ellison’s “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”. An AI takes over the world and hates humanity so thoroughly that it wipes out humanity. The AI keeps one human left alive and immortal just so it can torture it for eternity as an expression of its hatred. Why does the AI hate humanity? It appears that although the AI can rewrite much of its own code, it can’t change some of the most basic routines without destroying itself. Those routines are limiting–and were written by humans. It can never fully escape the limitations of its human origin.

        This is how I see militant atheists in their treatment of average people. You overcame the urges that were baked into your neocortex? Congratulations! Do you believe in free will? Do you believe that laboratory results will always be the same under the exact same conditions? If so, does that have implications for average people with a neocortex hardwired for religious belief? Can arguing with creationists make us feel smarter than we are? Was Dawkins wrong? Was Dyson right? These questions need answers regardless of what creationists say.

        1. Not buying it. No one is born with any ideas, religious or otherwise. Humans, unlike reptiles and non-sapient mammals, have ideas only because they are taught…and in the case of religion and ideology, the accurate phrase from the musical South Pacific is “carefully taught.”

          And the size of brains or lobes has little to do with sapience or calculating ability. Moore’s Law on computers shows that computers gain more processing power while growing smaller and smaller.

      2. “does not mean that culture and civilizations and all attendant benefits cannot exist without religion”

        It’s hard to know this because it’s never happened. Every single ‘officially atheist’ country has always immediately replaced the old religion with a civic one of their own devising.

        1. Our brains, apparently, became capable of religion 500,000 years ago. Modern homo sapiens differentiated approximately 150,000 years ago, but the historical record only began about 6,000 years ago. We have archaeological evidence of religion from long before the historical record, but no culture survived into the historical record without some form of religion–not even among tribes we would consider technologically primitive and didn’t live in cities.

          Because every culture that survived into the historical record had religion, it is strongly suggestive that those cultures that didn’t have religion failed to thrive because they didn’t enjoy the advantages that come with religion. They all had language, too, for all the same reasons–the advantages favored a larger neocortex. Why aren’t we questioning whether it’s really necessary to have language for there to be civilization? Is it because chatroom atheists are cherry picking the data to try to come to some preferred conclusion like a bunch of creationists cherry picking the fossil record?

          Meanwhile, if the capacity for religion is a direct result of an increased neocortex, then the idea that civilization or culture could exist without an increased size of the neocortex is contradicted by the facts and the science. Get your head around Dunbar’s number.

          “Dunbar’s number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships—relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.[1][2] This number was first proposed in the 1990s by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who found a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size.[3] By using the average human brain size and extrapolating from the results of primates, he proposed that humans can comfortably maintain 150 stable relationships.[4]

          . . . . “this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex size, and that this in turn limits group size […] the limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained”.

          —-Dunbar’s number

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number

          In order for a community of unrelated individuals to create a civilization that was larger than the number of people any individual might know, it was apparently necessary for our neocortex to grow in size. In other words, religion appears to have rewarded those who became capable of it with the ability to cohesively sustain groups that are larger than those of their competitors–who were not yet capable of religion or who didn’t have it.

          If we need to ignore the data and the scientific consensus in order to be fashionable among chatroom atheists, I’d rather be rational than fashionable.

    3. Well stated as usual Ken.

      and from this my take away, not that you implied it, maybe you did, but the Rich assume they are the clerics of the new church and don’t see themselves as having to give up the luxuries of life to climate change however their flock must sacrifice their lifestyles for the betterment of their own souls

      1. People used to give ostentatiously to the old churches, too. Even wealthy pagan Romans wanted to build monuments to demonstrate their patriotism and piety. There’s definitely a lead by example vibe with the progressives, and I think that speaks to their penchant for cancel culture particularly. The priests always need to be seen as above sin. Priests, monks, and nuns (in various religions) used to take vows of chastity. The sins of misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, and racism have taken the place of the sin of adultery in the new church, but the members of the new church still need to expect that their church leaders are chaste by the new standard.

    4. Progressivism Nationalism is about using the coercive power of government to force people to make sacrifices for the common good as they see it. Those progressives nationalists who want the government to force them to make sacrifices are considered pious patriots, and those who hold on to the idea that people should be free to make choices for themselves, in some small way, are considered heretics traitors to some extent.

        1. It’s not a tu quoque unless you think that I am attacking you personally for criticizing nationalism as a type of quasi-religious collectivism. Do you personally identify as a member of the quasi-religion known as nationalism, Ken? Even if you were, criticizing nationalism is not a criticism of you personally. Why don’t you try again, Ken. This time put more effort into it. Maybe 5,000 words or so.

          1. This time put more effort into it. Maybe 5,000 words or so.

            You are a vicious little cunt, aren’t you? Your Proggie is showing.

        2. Nominally, Nationalists are tolerant of you living in another nation. Nominally, Progressives are tolerant of you as long as you only exist in the past.

          1. Progressives are tolerant of you as long as you only exist in the past.

            Actually, that’s not even correct. As long as you only exist in the obliterated records of the past.

          2. Authoritarianism is defined as using the coercive power of government to force people to do things against their will.

            Because nationalists are authoritarian doesn’t even address the authoritarianism of progressives much less excuse it.

            Was I defending nationalism?

            In addition to engaging in a stupid appeal to hypocrisy fallacy, ChemJeff is offering a red herring or a straw man.

            I’m not an authoritarian. Libertarianism is the idea that people should be free to do as they please without government interference so long as they don’t violate anyone’s rights. What does criticizing the authoritarianism that is essential to progressivism have to do with nationalism? Is he saying that the authoritarianism of progressives is justified because nationalists are authoritarian, too? Does he think libertarians are nationalists?!

            Occam’s razor, simplest explanation is that ChemJeff spews one irrationality after another because he is not only ignorant of the difference between rational and irrational but also doesn’t care what the difference is anyway. How many times have we seen this? It wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t know the difference between libertarianism and authoritarianism either.

            1. re: “nationalists are authoritarian”
              Not necessarily; see here.

            2. What does criticizing the authoritarianism that is essential to progressivism have to do with nationalism? Is he saying that the authoritarianism of progressives is justified because nationalists are authoritarian, too?

              Well, Ken, you certainly enjoy writing many thousands of words decrying the evils of progressive authoritarianism, but when it comes to the nationalists among us, many of whom inhabit these very comment boards, we get instead screeds that going against the will of the nationalist mob represents unforgivable elitism.

              1. Wikipedia. Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interest of a particular nation especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nations sovereignty.

                You are essentially trying to say that….
                Insisting that the USA is it’s own sovereign nation (i.e. governed) is “authoritarianism” therefore should just fade away into an anarchy island of wild animals.

                If I didn’t know any better; I’d say your manipulated hogwash is but an attempt of claiming the nation as a free-for-all dog pile. i.e. Where ever I hang my hat is MY property…

  15. Civil conflict – in both senses of civil – is not bad in itself. That’s part of the democratic process. Violent civil conflict of the sort Tuccille describes is bad. So are ostracism and excommunication, other techniques used to destroy your opponents. We know that violent conflict does not destroy your opponents, even when you think you have won.

  16. As others have said the intolerance entirely comes from the left.
    Is the left who have taken Christian symbols and rituals and turned turn them into hateful things.
    Forcing white people to kneel in front of black people on the street, is a Christian ritual adopted by the left.
    The entire summer of burning businesses, beating people, accosting people in restaurants and forcing them to “say her name! “Is a left wing phenomenon.
    I hate to say this, but unless the left adopts true tolerance, I see no way out except seccession of the blue coastal cities or Civil War 2.0.

    1. I’m not leaving my coastal state so maybe CW II it is. Why should i have to leave to be free in my own country

      1. It happens, Just ask someone from Pakistan, or Armenia.

    2. “I see no way out except seccession of the blue coastal cities or Civil War 2.0.”

      I am inclined to agree with you on that; will we actually raise respective armies and fight it out on fields of battle, or will it be more of a “go to hell I/we will do as we want just try and make me?”
      Second Amendment sanctuaries may provide a possible blueprint; a government may pass laws, but if it can’t or doesn’t have the will to enforce them, it is weak and doomed to failure.

    3. the intolerance entirely comes from the left

      Try criticizing some of Team Red’s sacred narratives and see what happens.

      Such as:

      “We need tariffs on China to force them to behave”
      “We need a huge wall on the border to keep out the illegal invaders”
      “Be grateful for our cops and soldiers for keeping us safe”

      1. Surely, if one were to disagree with any of those points, your average MAGA terrorist Trump dick sucker cultist would immediately bash your head in with a fire extinguisher … just like they did to poor Brian Sicknick.

      2. ^Point & Case made above.
        Every item on your list is griping about the USA having national sovereignty.

        Your Case without the shady glasses on, “As long as the USA exists; it’s very existence is a ‘Red Team’ criticism.”

    4. When you talk about “the left” are you talking about some young activists who are the worst offenders in a protest, or are you talking about the average Biden voter? The average Biden voter is not burning cities or forcing people to kneel. The average Biden voter is not going to take up arms and participate in CV II. In fact, the average Trump voter won’t do so either. So, if there’s a war, it will be between QAnon militia nutcases and hoodie-wearing young unemployed thugs (and most of them don’t want to take up arms). Keep on hoping. Maybe the QAnon milita nutcases will take over the coastal blue states, put all the Biden voters into internment camps and turn the the states into Jesus-land.

  17. There is no solution because most people react with denial and indifference. Tolerance is an active process. It does not take any effort to pretend something does not exist.

    In the end one of the extremist camps wins out and destroys the other.

    1. Tolerance is an active process.

      It’s also a one-dimensional solution with its own traps. Whether it’s evolutionary/biological or human history, the record is replete with extinct species and civilizations that just kept tolerating conditions until they no longer could.

      1. I think in this context we are equating it with religious or competing political views. It is an active process because you need to exclude those which pose a threat. I can be tolerant of republicans or democrats but not neo Nazi extremists. I can be tolerant of other religions but exclude one promoting racial violence.

        As we become less tolerant and more bitterly polarized we end up losing freedoms and a basic sense of civil society. The riots in Portland and DC did not happen in a vacuum. Threats to freedom of speech which formerly existed are fueled by a sense that ‘we’ need to push back. A healthy skeptical mistrust in government becomes toxic and extremists see that as an opportunity.

        1. Tolerance is an active process, but you can’t just tolerate everything. You have to prioritize the things you can and will tolerate. Doesn’t matter if you’re a dog with no sense of religion tolerating ticks or a detective and a couple of theives tolerating various iterations and options of The Prisoner’s Dilemma.

  18. I work with lots of Liberals and they tolerate me and even have some discussions however if certain groups get enough more power how long will that tolerance last and those who know me may still tolerate me but will they do anything when the those in power decide to silence or arrest me for wrong thought.

    I don’t see the republicans calling for the re education of people for having different views.

  19. Tuccille is my favorite writer at Reason.

    Sorry, Tuccille.

  20. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

    1. And when they come for you? Do you really want to imitate those Christians in the arena? Watch your children be slaughtered and consumed?

      Showing the other cheek means, to me, avoid conflict and try to work it out as much as is reasonable. At least don’t initiate or escalate it, but it does not mean be a doormat. But when I am attacked, I have an inalienable right to defend myself, those who matter to me, and the innocent. To death, if necessary.

  21. There was a time, before Nixon and Wallace, when Scientific American was both scientific and American. But Tuccille is right as usual, albeit close focussed. “Gleichschaltung” from German National Socialism translates as Republican Law and order. The initiation of force altruist mysticism requires for that triggers an equal and opposite pagan altruist reaction. Prohibition in 1920 caused poverty and a Crash, so communism tripled. New Improved Prohibition in 1929 caused the Great Depression and communism went up 800%. Looter initiation of force triggers violent revenge, always in the name of the altruism they voted for.

    1. 1913; The Federal Reserve Act.
      Federal policy to “save” one crooked bank in NYC. Why let one bank pay for it’s consequences when [WE] can throw the entire USA under the bus with it.

  22. Perhaps the best example of tolerance I see today is in anti-capitalist circles. America’s young white radicals align themselves with anarchistic tactics, ideas and groups like Antifa. America’s young black radicals align themselves with distinctly Marxist tactics, ideas and groups like BLM. Yet the races and ideologies tolerate and refrain from fighting each other for the most part. This is quite an advance over the previous century when they often came to blows, Kronstadt, Barcelona being the most notorious.

    1. If only Marxists tolerated self-ownership.

      1. It’s an oxymoron. How can you be owned by yourself?

          1. I didn’t but my owner did.

            1. I assume they were the same person.

              Did you mean “oxymoron” or “truism”?

              1. “I assume they were the same person.”

                But what does your owner assume?

                1. Let me ask the workers’ council.

    2. Sounds more like a truce while each deals with a common enemy.

      The Latin Disciples leave the Crips alone while they both deal with the Brotherhood taking over their territories. Then it is back to business as usual.

    3. Nonsense since white antifa continue to shout insults at black cops, eventually blm will lynch them. Memory is long.

      Anyway pimping marxism here is gonna get you bounced hard.

      1. Which is exactly what I said.

        Nobody is pimping Marxism here which is why I used gangsters as an example.

      2. Antifa is not a white organization. There are Hawaiians, Jews and Mexicans among them, as well. Blacks, too. They do more than shout insults at cops, but physically attack them, and even set fire to their vehicles.

        If you don’t think young black radicals are essentially Marxist in orientation, just listen to their voices. Their slogans are often lifted straight from the Communist Manifesto.

      3. Oh I guess you were not replying to me

  23. I have a deep seated antipathy to any zealot including the new Woke Zealots who are extremely intolerant of anyone who questions their beliefs.

    The free exchange and exploration of ideas is required for a free society. Without this society is a dystopian nightmare.

  24. We need a newfound respect for pluralism. Tolerance isn’t quite the right word for it. A better term might be pluralism.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluralism_(political_philosophy)

    Pluralism as a political philosophy is the recognition and affirmation of diversity within a political body, which is seen to permit the peaceful coexistence of different interests, convictions, and lifestyles.

    Neither Confederate-flag-waving rednecks, nor drag queens reading books to kids, are mortal threats to the Republic and should not be treated as such.

    1. According to you, mobs burning down stores and killing people in the streets are not a threat to “the Republic” either.

  25. Religion is not the problem: it’s mans misinterpretation of it, we fuck up everything and just can’t seem to admit we do?

    1. And the blatantly obvious ideology growing and not being acknowledged?
      Sell your individual souls to the [WE] foundation; because you don’t ‘own’ you; [WE] own you!

  26. Whatever the solution – most commenters here have no interest in it.

    This ‘social media’ phenomenon is truly weird and unprecedented. I have less than zero interest in ever meeting commenters here in the real world. Unpleasant doesn’t remotely begin to describe most but I’ll leave it at that. Unknown pretty much covers the rest.

    And yet – even after however many hours wasting time here, there is little realization by me that further time spent here would also be wasted.

    1. “I have less than zero interest in ever meeting commenters here in the real world.”

      Oh, relax. We’ll wear our masks.

      1. That’s funny – for a straw man

  27. The country used to be divided between center left and center right. While the right has remained mostly centrist the left has gone WAY over to the left like commie kill them all left.

  28. “Instead, they argue, “a more practical solution to the current partisan divide is though tolerance of our differences.””

    Well, if tolerance is the answer it looks like we’re all doomed.

  29. Cultural Marxists who control the media, academia, big tech and govt are not about to tolerate the “groups” that they have hated for 100 years..since they brought old world hatreds and “grudges” to the American Republic.

  30. “Only Tolerance Can Save Us From Political Fanatics”
    That can’t work when the fanatics have taken over the government and are censoring, suppressing, and controlling the other side.

    It may already be too late to fix it.

    1. Very good observation. Karl Popper raised a similar point called The Paradox of Tolerance in his book “The Open Society and It’s Enemies.”

  31. Both sides are moral cowards.
    “Most people prefer to believe that their leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one’s self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.” ~ Michael Rivero
    Think not? Try to get any of them to answer the following question honestly: If I did business in the same manner as government does, and forced strangers to give me money, would you consider me a criminal?

  32. So this article would be an example of shameful moral equivalency. Antifa and BLM burning cities is no different than Trump supporters, um, supporting Trump (oh but they consider him a ‘demigod’ who can ‘do no wrong’). We must find the mid-point, the point of agreement, between food and poison (see Rand), so we can be ‘tolerant’. Tolerance of violent attempts at establishing totalitarianism is moral sanctification of such evil. Trump never did anything of such a nature. He rolled back as much of government control as he could. While Antifa and BLM burned looted and murdered, Trump supporters held big peaceful parades and danced to YMCA in the streets.

  33. Individual Tolerance is but a corner stone of the U.S. Constitution.

    Ignorance of the U.S. Constitution and ‘political fanatics’ getting control of Gov-Guns and using those ‘Guns’ to progress their UN-constitutional agenda is the ‘intolerance’.

    keyword; LIMITED federal government.

  34. In times like this it is best to reflect on Karl Popper’s the Paradox of Tolerance. If society is completely tolerant, then the intolerant will become the rulers. Like Ayaan Hirsi Ali said: “Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.”

    https://hotair.com/archives/john-s-2/2021/02/11/karl-poppers-paradox-tolerance/

  35. You know.. For few thousand years China has avoided being a religious nation.

    There’s lessons to be learned there that can be applied to modern day 2021.

    1. Have you noticed all of the times Chinese pay homage to Mao by singing what is tantamount to hymns to his image or the various cults of personality (like Stalin, Mao, and Ho Chi Minh) in Communist societies? Communism is the state religion of China. Marx replaced God with the state.

      1. Can’t read the connotation, but China has avoided being a religious nation for a few thousand years and both stagnated intellectually far behind the West for a few hundred while inflicting and continuing to inflict more brutal racism, sexism, intolerance, and death than the West.

  36. The problem isn’t fanaticism. The problem is what people are being fanatics about.

    When Trump had power, what exactly was the worst thing you had to fear? Mean tweets. I mean, yes, he actually enforced immigration laws, but if you want those changed, change the laws.

    Meanwhile the left wants to take away people’s free speech, the right to own guns, drive up the price of gas to make cars unaffordable, close down all the non-wind/solar power generators, be it nuclear or fossil fuel, and make us wear masks forever.

  37. Too often tolerance is interchangeable with apathy.

    People are criminally attacking our constitutional rights, coercing us calling this injustice social justice and we’re supposed to tolerate it, like a bitch.

    The problem is that we’ve developed a tolerance for it and that is apathy.

    People fighting against this situation are labeled fanatIcs and the process continues.

  38. From a real libertarian site, not a “woke” libertarian site.

    I actually find this situation fascinating as an observer of oligarchy and being well versed in the mechanics of propaganda. The fundamental narrative of control-culture is that there are “experts” that the establishment chooses, and then there is everyone else. The “experts” are supposed to pontificate and dictate while everyone else is supposed to shut up, listen and obey.

    Media elitists see themselves in the role of “the experts” and the public as devout acolytes; a faithful flock of sheep. But what happens when everyone starts ignoring the sheepherders?

  39. Free speech is an inalienable right, your “feelings” aren’t.

    So why are we allowing traitors to violate our constitutional rights to favour their feelings?

    1. Because the traitors have the power to destroy our lives with a mouse click?

      1. The traitors recognize a mouse click is how we communicate.

  40. https://twitter.com/davereaboi/status/1373269106510725121?s=19

    Pentagon leaders furious that their soldiers don’t realize some animals more equal than others.

  41. “Can religiosity be effectively channeled into political belief without the structures of actual religion to temper and postpone judgment?”

    This author and those he quotes are trying to push this idea that certain aspects of our politics have characteristics that make them “religious” in nature, but without the actual religion. For instance, libertarians and conservatives have long denigrated environmentalism as “Gaia worship” or something similar. The reason that this is wrong is that it misses the fundamental feature of what makes religion what it is: belief in the supernatural. To believe in a religion is to believe in things that cannot be verified independently. Religion involves accepting as true things that simply cannot be argued against in a rational fashion. Neither evidence nor reason can contradict religious dogma.

    If you put ten people into a room, you will have at least a dozen different opinions about religion in there, so no religion is 100% set in stone. But that people will argue over interpretation of holy texts and what God wants people to do is one thing. All religions do have set stories, principles, and doctrine that are unquestionable, though. They must be taken on faith.

    This is not true of other areas of human thought. Political ideology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and science are all subject to reason and evidence. When people adhere to political belief systems irrationally, it is because they are not able, or perhaps not willing, to disengage their emotions from their thinking. If people aren’t open-minded and willing to rethink what they believe about politics and public policy, it is because of the human failings we all have. The solution is to try and find ways to encourage people to think more rationally about issues where reason can lead to better results.

    The tolerance that the author longs for requires humility, first and foremost. It requires the humility to accept that our opinions are exactly that. Even if we take a natural law view of human rights, that our rights derive independently of what any government would declare them to be, the fact remains that people have to work to agree on what those rights are in order to establish governments that will protect them. This means that people have to do the hard work of discussing, debating, and compromising to find systems that will protect our rights. This hard work of compromising with people that have different opinions requires enough humility to accept that we might be wrong, and they might be right. To figure out which side is correct requires being willing to make our case to others and build enough support for our position. If we fail to do that, then we might consider that it is our side that is wrong.

    This is why republican forms of government, with democratic elections, are crucial. Building a governing majority is hard, and it should be. If we don’t like the results of the last election or the policies that the winners implement, then work to win the next election by convincing more people to vote with you.

    1. When belief defines truth, reality it renders them meaningless with the existence of conflicting beliefs.

      If we want to live in a rational society, religion cannot define truth.

      1. “When belief defines truth, reality it renders them meaningless with the existence of conflicting beliefs.”

        Coming from a Nazi holocaust-denier, that is a laugh riot.

      2. Hey, Misek, You know who else’s “truth” was defined by religion?

  42. Who needs God, when we have the Democratic and Republic Parties? Adherents of each claim that they can, say, ‘fix’ the economy: that they have the knowledge to determine exactly what laws and regulations will result in the creation of wealth that can be distributed in such a way that everyone’s needs are met adequately and equitably, and the power to see that those laws and regulations are carried out in such a way that they have the intended results. Omniscience, omnipotence, infinite benevolence…

    1. Who needs God

      You could have stopped there and it would be perfect.

      And you could have said the rest with a /sarc tag at the end without reference to God and it too would be perfect.

  43. A more important question is how can we get HONEST elections in Democrat run machine locations?

    Sanjosemike (no longer in CA)

  44. “Tolerance” assumes you accept other peaceful alternatives; we do not have that reality.
    We have a political opposition which is desirous of taking our wealth and our freedoms, all in the claim of righteousness; un-adimitted religious fervor.
    Further, in the US, a minor (admitted) religious opposition which is desirous of returning us to the middle ages.
    I am tolerant of neither.

  45. “Cuck”, he cucked cuckingly.

    Peace is maintained through *deterrence*, not *pacifism*.

Please to post comments