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there always seems to be a fanatical side to ideologies, where no argument is allowed anymore

All ways to view the world involve unprovable axioms. The advantage of formalising your view of the world into a coherent ideology is that it provides you with tools to obtain a clearer view of what your axioms are, and where they are sufficiently contradictory to involve trade-offs (your principles almost always offer contradictory conclusions to some set of policy questions - the question is whether you resolve the resulting trade-offs blindly or consciously, not whether you resolve it).

It also, incidentally, allows you to deconstruct an argument you disagree with and reveal why you disagree with it. And, if the person who proffers it operates within a coherent ideological framework, you can sometimes uncover why he agrees with it, and whether he should, according to his axiomatic principles, agree with it (if he shouldn't agree with it according to his own principles, then you can sometimes convince him by pointing out where he made a mistake in their application).

Mystical god aside, you have it all:

Ah, but mythical gods are what makes religion, well, religious. Religion is the subset of ideologies that involve appeals to creatures and phenomena that there is no empirical reason to believe exist. "Inequality is bad" is an ideological position, but not necessarily a religious one. "God says that inequality is bad" a religious position, and therefore an ideological position as well, since religion is a subset of ideology.

Necessary vs. sufficient conditions...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 04:39:52 PM EST
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