I was wondering what had happened to Uncommon Descent’s owner, lawyer Barry Arrington. Having bought the blog from “Intelligent Design” theorist* William Dembski, he established a reputation as a bit of a martinet, quick to delete comments and ban commenters he didn’t like. But recently, things have been much quieter and moderation has been light to non-existent, with no contributions from Arrington.
But he must have been saving himself up for a relaunch, as now a long (in comparison to Arrington’s other opening posts) post by him, What Must We Do When The Foundations Are Being Destroyed?, has appeared. I wonder initially who Barry means by “we” but the article soon makes it clear the call to arms is for the religious authoritarian right. It’s an annoying read as there is an inaccurate, misleading, selective point in almost every sentence so that, for me, it almost achieves the status of being so polarized in its essence as to be not worth responding to. But then that fulfils Barry’s prophesy and puts me on his level, on the other side of the barricade he is keen to erect.
An ID critic makes the following point in the comments: Authoritarians – whether secular or religious – often achieve power by whipping up fear of a disaster which they say they alone can prevent. Prevention usually means doing what they say – or else. As the author points out, democracy is a fragile state, easy to lose and very hard to recover. You give it up at your peril. This is fair and reasonable, but I suspect it will fall on deaf ears at Uncommon Descent.
US politics, from the point of view of this outsider, seem so binary, with extreme views leaving little opportunity for compromise or stability. How do we deal with other people’s certainties in a binary World? Compromise, argue, or fight? If anyone can bring themselves to read Arrington’s piece, I’d be interested to hear if they found anything to agree with, compromise with, argue with, or resolutely oppose with arms if necessary. Or should we ignore him as an insignificant voice in the wilderness?
I invite your comments.