Monday, February 20, 2012

Dear Brick

In response to the news that a Rhode Island public school committee has decided not to appeal a court decision to remove a prayer banner from its auditorium:






One wonders how the courts do not blush to rule that this somehow qualifies as the establishment of a religion.  Suppose the school hung the equivalent of an atheist religious banner right next to this one, giving more of a sampling of religious calls to self improvement.  It would be hard to argue then that this was not simply a display of several religious statements pertaining to personal improvement.  (And yes, atheism is very much a religion in that it is one of many views about the nature of ultimate reality, not known with certitude, requiring faith, in this case that the very base of our reality is mindless, or non-personal.)  That said, what would such a banner look like?   Maybe they could start the address to mindless matter:  "Dear mindless matter at the bedrock of existence, we speak to you, somewhat in a way as we would to a brick, and do not entreat you, because you are not a person with mind, but rather hope very much that the nature of your un-intended existence is such that we, by the mechanisms of the unalterable facts regarding the characteristics of 'your' substance, is and has always been such that we become more 'good' - by which we mean 'conformed to approved social conventions.' -- Amen....er... the end..."      For the agnostics, they could hang:  "Uh... Dear whatever is out there which we can't know, if you/it have any efficacy in doing so, please help us to be more honorable, in the way described by the other banner on this wall.. the end."     Now, who could complain about that?  :p