Thursday, July 17, 2003

Is this (also here and here) about God, or Family? According to Scalia, it's about God, or an intellectual's notion of stability from above. But as much or more than that it's about stability produced by the community itself.

There's a great story about a city state in Tuscany during the quatrocento, and the debate among its leaders about what to do with the powerful but untrustworthy Condottiere whose men had just helped to liberate the town. Someone suggested that to be on the safe side (in both places) they should kill him and make him their patron saint.

Arguing with Dennett, should science trump community? If we take Galileo as a witness the answer would be yes. But it's not that simple. It's not a question of whether science is preferable to religion (I have no patience with such arguments either way ) but whether the rule of science is preferable to the rule of law; and the rule of science is the rule of scientists, wheras the rule of law is the rule of structured debate.

Do you follow me here? I'm repeating myself, but I don't know anyone else who's saying it at all.

The last link is to Michael Massing review of Galileo's Mistake.

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