[lit-ideas] Re: fahreheit

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 07:32:16 -0700 (PDT)

--- Paul Stone <pas@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >I'm wondering whether Paul is suggesting, pace the
> Old Order Amish and
> >Fundamentalist religious  groups, that the
> inculcation of liberal virtues
> >of rational autonomy deliberation and choice is not
> itself a form of
> >indoctrination that violates both the establishment
> clause and guarantees
> >of freedom of religious expression?
> Well, after five minutes and several re-reads, I
> THINK I know what Walter 
> is saying:
> I think I agree with what you said I said. It's a
> paradox ain't it? 
> Choosing to give someone their freedom is actually
> depriving them of their 
> freedom because you don't get them to make that
> decision? Eh?
> So by choosing NOT to raise my child in a religious
> atmosphere, I have 
> actually forced him to grow up agnostic? Because God
> knows that ain't no 
> right minded, fully-formed individual gonna believe
> in no religion.  And by 
> doing so, I have indoctrinated him to 'no doctrine'.

I suspect that the remark was meant to be ironic or
tongue-in-cheeck, but I do believe that it is a
serious dilemma. A lot of the force and appeal of
religion seems to reside in pathos and ethos rather
than logos. Why logos should be a priori privileged is
far from clear. Also, it is not clear why religion
should be the realm of rational deliberation, free
choice etc. when so many other things are not. Maybe
those who grow children here can comment; do they
leave it to their child to deliberate and rationally
decide whether it will do the homework, make her room,
get dressed in the morning and things like that ?

I also disagree with the suggestion that children must
be insulated from politics. It is perhaps my fault,
but I cannot help thinking of some respectable
academics who spent years insulating themselves from
politics, only to come into it as raving morons.
Politics will indeed be a unique field of human
enterprize - completely unlike, say, language or
tennis, if it is best learned by lack of exposure and
in late age.

Gotta go now.


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