These social forces are really very powerful. To be honest and to do what is right and good for individuals and the future of our society, we need to take great care with the use of these social forces
Absolutely. My post was not for your benefit as much as for those who still would like an authentic religion without dogma—as with nontheist religions.
I’d guess that this is one of the reasons why Paul Kurtz saw the need to secularise humanism in the US—because the common bonds of a shared religion overcame the divide between deists, humanists and theists and fundamentalists—and made for a joint war on science and “eupraxsophy” in secular society. Indeed, it is to the advantage of coercive factions[usually the most powerful groups within] of religions that good sense be uncommon, and people forget how to communicate to each other the distributive wisdom that they do have.
Any “science” is distributive wisdom of a particular form, devoted to certain subject matter, and embedded in collective and individual history.
A “religion” that makes the generation of the wisdom of good practice its primary focus while attending to the two concerns you mentioned below… is possible. I wrote what I did to show that it’s also accessible, and not as far from life as we live it as unfreethinkers would like others, and us, to believe.
~1: Just some ideas, thrown out there, since I haven’t the chance to think too deeply on it, and just about as much as I could while in the tub, lol.
1a. critical theory on gramscian hegemony is all about this—but I would say that we need not be certain of success, first off—and give up any undue attachment to striving on that score. The most important thing here is to make sure that those we work with hold those values in high esteem, and don’t ignore them in service of this cause.
1b.Freedom to speak and assemble is not “freedom to speak without cogent counterargument” and “freedom to coopt people (and use psychological coercion) when they’re desperate and not in a stable frame of mind that facilitates reasonable action [notice, I said “reasonable” and not “rational”—by “reasonable” here, I have in mind the juridical concept [deliberately fuzzy, I might add] of the “reasonable person”.
In short (a) a concept from aporetics for a procedures to point out when aporias come up—and highlight WHY they’re aporiae when debating our… rivals… for mediation of human social forces. (Even mediation strikes me as a bit arrogant, lol, but I’ve nothing better atm.) (b) the concept of a human right to freedom from psychological coercion—which could be based on the writing on the freedom of movement—that could be championed. IF you want to use “rights” language, which is more popular among some circles in the states than others. It’s at least something even the most diehard liberal or libertarian might sign off on.
You might want to use different language if you’re talking to someone who forms the neocons target market—a political realist perspective on power structures, so they don’t worry that you’re an idealist yet to be mugged by reality.
2a. Mr. Kurtz must’ve neologised “eupraxsophy” for a reason. I take it to read “the wisdom of good practice”. Spread what eupraxsophy you’ve learned through your life, and as a society of individuals, concentrate fire on those discourses where the “enemy” is hobbled by their abuse of those social needs [that you call forces].
Is it fair to say that a social force is only a particular configuration of social and cultural mediation structures that facilitate certain psychological needs[social or otherwise] being met?
In that case, you’re asking me a version of the convergence worry that pro-democracy/participatory government forces had when facing competition from totalitarian or authoritarian states—“How can we compete with them and win if they can coordinate faster than we can, and force their people to do work for less, when we can’t coordinate well at all, and can’t even -convince- people to ask what their self and social interest is?” The temptation is, of course, to find ways to coerce the people who aren’t technocrats—by becoming closer to the enemy.
I think the key is what sort of biopolitical competition you want to undertake—and make sure you do it on your own terms.
The evangelicals have more kids, and they’re generally better educated for professions and academic performance as it is now measured(you don’t need to be a freethinker to help do genetic research, become a lawyer, engineer, broker, etc.), megachurches have [effectively] socialised daycare, healthcare, education [the core of their publication and distribution structures don’t consist of “employees”—they can shelter in a larger org that’s incorporated as a charity], financial services and advice… well, frankly, that’s good practice, and a commitment to eupraxsophy might at least let us take those notes from their book—and spread them beyond their ability to -monopolise- those forces.
They’re monolithic by nature, as now constituted—that’s what gives them their coordinating power—and as we find out all too often these days, their leaders are often powerhungry. We need to try to undercut their expansion—whether we succeed, that is for history to decide.
we need to take great care with the use of these social forces
Yes. A start is to make sure that in whatever context in our social lives, when our friends and companions respond to those forces, that they remain mindful of how the complexes that drive those desires can well interfere with their liberty.
It’s the best that I can come up with—and I do know a book and approaches that help -me- do that, however imperfectly.
Those two questions are my personal focus, and why I’d like to make, once we hit critical mass in the org I’m working with now, the Secular Alliance, in Toronto, an affiliate of CFA that focuses on eupraxsophy and its mediation.
We can only hope that the human spirit shall prevail over that which limits it—and to minimise the suffering and slavery of thought to psychological coercion as we can, day by day, as individuals and networks.