Sunday, October 19, 2014

This Amuses Me

It's kind of funny -- well, funny to me -- that the Conservatives on my FB feed and the Right-Wing Blogs I follow, and especially the deeply religious Conservatives (Rod Dreher being a case in point) are the ones losing their shit about Ebola.

You would think they would have their religious faith to fall back on.

You would think they would believe in Jesus, and know that This is Not the Only World, and understand that if death comes, they are among the saved.  That heaven awaits them?

I mean, that's what all that religion they're always on about is for?  Is this not the case?

So why are they screeching in such panic?  Ebola Ebola Ebola?  We're all gonna die?  Death isn't even important to them, after all.  It's just a translation.

Whereas for us atheists, who know that this world is all there is -- none of us are even concerned.

I'm tempted to say this is because atheists and leftists tend to be better educated than Conservatives.  But that's a cheap shot.

I'm also tempted to say this shows that Religious Conservatives don't actually have the faith in their God that they claim they do -- that this shows clearly that they don't actually believed in the heaven they claim so ferverntly and so often to have such faith in.

But in fact, I think the cause is a simpler one, and one that explains both their affinity for religion and their affinity for Conservatism: those who tend toward religion and toward Conservatism tend to be cautious.  They tend toward fear, in other words.   They want reassurance, they want promises, they want rules that will protect them.

Well, you know, that's not how the actual world works.

Leftists and those of us who tend toward the science-based and reasoning-based world get that.  We know what "theory" means -- we know it means "here is the data we have, and here is the answer that fits that data, and we'll go with that answer until we have more data, and when we have more data, if that data changes our answer, we'll change our answer."

And we're fine with that way of living.

It's why we're fine with situational ethics, which really, really upset many Conservatives.  They hate the idea that ethical answers can change depending on circumstances.

[True story: When I was teaching in Idaho, I posed this question to my students, attempting to demonstrate situational ethics: "Is it right to fight for your country?"

"Yes!" one of the [male] students answered emphatically.

"That's a code ethicist's answer," I explained to the class.  "A Situational Ethicist says, well, tell me the war, tell me why we're fighting, and I will tell you if it is right to fight."

That student and three others went to the dean to complain that I was teaching the students it was wrong to fight in defense of our country.]

The facts are Ebola is not likely (even remotely likely) to become epidemic here in the USA.

Could this change?  Sure.  Anything can happen.  Is this likely to change?  No.

A million things could happen.  It makes more a great deal sense to spend your energy on those that really are likely to happen.

No comments: