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← Philip Kitcher - Living with Darwin

Russell Blackford's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Russell Blackford

Donald, I now understand what you're getting at, though I don't actually like the example of seat-belt laws, which are not really peaceful. There may be a justification for such laws, perhaps a paternalistic one, and I don't want to argue against them. But the fact remains that the state will fine me - or in the ultimate, should I refuse to pay the fine, confiscate my assets or send me to prison - if I don't wear a seat-belt. Thus the legislation is backed up by threats of violent acts by the state's servants.

However, I realise you don't say that anything like that should be done with religion. It's just that a successful campaign of ideas could place religionists in a position where they will have little practical choice but to abandon their aspirations of wielding political power. On that, I fully agree. If that's all you mean by "force" them, then we're at one. That's just the situation that we need to try to bring about.

Tue, 31 Jul 2007 19:52:00 UTC | #56853