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February 27, 2007



I've long had Kling's basic opinion - a worrying one for a libertarian, and it has been a part of the softening of my free-market purism.

I also admit that I could not identify a secular counterpart to religion's will modulation. I've known lots of ultra-religious folks with serious mental problems who could nevertheless seem to avoid catastrophic implosion for years, and it may be that they siezed on certain tenets of their faith (seemingly selected at random, in some cases) as anchors for their otherwise completely out of control lives.

Whatever the case, Dennett's flawed-but-worthwhile "Breaking the Spell" canvasses quite a few advantages religion confers on its adherents, many of them not obvious.

Nathan Smith

Actually, I think there are secular institutions that have a willpower-fortifying role similar to religion, but they tend to have negative side-effects. Think of armies, or fascist/communist-type political movements.


I can't belive that nobody is questioning this idea that people would give up their impulsiveness -- most people (especially slightly/crazy people) love their impulsive personalities and would never submit to medical induement of normality. Try getting bipolar types to regularly take their meds, not easy.

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