I’ve been reading Fred Clark’s “Slacktivist” blog for a while. He is a politically liberal, evangelical Christian whose blog serves as both a critique of the poorly written, biblically unsound Left Behind book series and a place for his commentary on current political issues. His writing isn’t just for an audience of believers, and in fact, he is very critical of the hypocrisy in evangelicalism as it pertains to politics.
I was curious to see what others on this forum might think of his post today.
The immediate provocation for all of this was the internally consistent, but barking mad, insistence by Sasha Volokh that “taxing people to protect the Earth from an asteroid … is an illegitimate function of government from a moral perspective.” We’re not talking about the case of a possible or potential asteroid, mind you, but about the case of an actual, identifiable asteroid confirmed to be on an impending collision course with the Earth. (Volokh was responding to this brilliant piece from The Onion: “Republicans Vote to Repeal Obama-Backed Bill That Would Destroy Asteroid Headed for Earth”—responding that such a repeal would, in his view, be the Right Thing To Do.)
That particular example led, as such conversations often do, to a discussion of Immanuel Kant’s absolute prohibition against lying even to protect victims from fiends and tyrants.
The point here is that if one has followed a path that leads inexorably to a conclusion that is absurd, monstrous, evil and inhuman then one should retrace one’s steps. If your devotion to ideological purity or biblical purity has led you astray, that doesn’t condemn you to remaining astray forever. Return to Go. Start over. Try a different path—one that has some hope of leading you somewhere that is not absurd, monstrous, evil and inhuman.
The clues that one is losing one’s way are not hard to spot. If you find yourself having to say things like, “It would be better if the asteroid wiped out Asia” or “I would tell the Nazis where Anne Frank was hiding” or “I’m not saying Moammar Gadhafi is the best leader …” then you should realize something is amiss.
If you’re saying such things, realize that you’re lost. You’ve made a wrong turn. You’re on the wrong path. Try to find your way back. Stop and ask directions. Start over.