This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Why and when did homosexuality become such an issue?

jonjermey's Avatar Jump to comment 59 by jonjermey

Kurt Vonnegut suggests that organizations which want to maintain power must create and enforce some irrational rules. After all, if they simply do what is right and sensible, then one could predict what they would do in any situation and avoid their influence simply by doing what is right and sensible oneself. But in order to instil fear and unreasoning obedience, the authority has to make itself unpredictable: it has to single out harmless behaviours or attitudes, and punish them for no particular reason. Thus the War on Drugs, and many other wars; and thus the various churches' attempts to demonise homosexuality.

By overriding ordinary common sense in deciding what is wrong and right, the church not only increases its power to suppress anything that it decides is 'immoral', it obliges people to consult the church in advance before they do anything at all, in case it infringes on some hitherto-unheard-of but deeply significant arbitrary rule.

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 04:34:53 UTC | #635772