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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

THE AMERICAN VERSION OF JONATHON SWIFT’S “A MODEST PROPOSAL”

I belong to several discussion groups on Amazon, and we really have some lively discussions. Right now, one of our own is suffering his way through a semi-famous urban fantasy/paranormal writer’s latest “book”, if you can call it that (it’s hard cover, it’s got a cover and it’s filled with the English Language, sort of – must be a book), and one of the scenes spawned an interesting take on fundamentalism as it regards whole human bodies (one of the characters MIGHT be facing an amputation to save his life) and, predictably, the fundies are objecting to that because their version of God will not accept anybody that is not whole of body into their version of heaven.

There was a lot of discussion about how on earth or anywhere else that these folks could be so cruel. Nobody could believe it, so I’m offering an explanation. Feel free to disagree; after all, while I’ve researched the topic, the conclusions are my own opinion – and I DON’T like fundies very much.

Fundies are all practical Darwinists. Fundies also hate humanity, to put it mildly.

Darwinism, which is a term coined by Thomas Huxley, among other things, argues that survival serves as a core value of life. Lived out practically, one who takes risks, lives on edge, and attempts radical endeavors would struggle to survive when compared to those who live a more stable, safe, and risk-free existence.

So, a practical Darwinist is a person that believes Darwin's law of survival of the fittest applies to EVERYTHING. If someone gets sick or is hurt in an accident, they shouldn't be helped. If their bodies aren't whole, they are no longer to be considered fit to survive. If there's a catastrophic event, like an earthquake or a disaster like Hurricane Sandy, no aid should be sent and nobody should try to help the survivors. They prove that they're fit to survive by their own efforts. If a vicious disease (like smallpox or SARs) breaks out, only those that are found to be free of the disease should be inoculated; the ones that are already sick should be isolated and left alone to live or die as the case might be. No medical aid whatsoever, and no attendants.

A practical Darwinist hates the very idea of man-made limbs because the person needing those limbs has proven that she/he is not worthy to survive. Paraplegics should be left alone to live or die on their own. Quadriplegics should be allowed to die of their injuries, and if they survive them, they should be left strictly alone. No help.

One of the participants asked "What happens if the person, or a loved one, gets gangrene or develops a twisted bowel? What then?" In answer to your question about what happens if the practical Darwinist is diagnosed with a twisted bowel, gangrene or, say, blocked arteries, said practitioner is expected to live with the condition, NOT seek help for it, and either live or die as their version of god wills it. Someone who is blind or deaf, same thing. No aid of any sort, not a cochlear implant or a Seeing-Eye dog. NOTHING.

After all, faith moves mountains, heals the sick, raises the dead . . . well, I'm sure you get the idea. Yes, if your body is less than perfect IN ANY WAY, it means that you are no longer one of the fittest. This injunction applies to diabetics, people with heart conditions, people that have chronic, life-threatening diseases like multiple sclerosis, those that need transplants, even people that have had cataract surgery aren't exempted.

DO NOT mention logic and reason in the same breath as religious fundamentalism. Being a true-blue, dyed in the wool fundie means that the very first thing that you WILLINGLY throw away is the art of critical thinking and reasoning. Look at the Heaven's Gate cult, for a fairly horrid example. Or the Branch Davidians, for another. A practical Darwinist is ready to die for her/his beliefs. The worst thing, she/he is willing to let *YOU* die for them as well.

Pretty contemptible, don’t you think?

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