Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Below-Minimum Wages Of Religion

Ezra would "happily bargain away whatever satisfaction I supposedly derive from my bold freethinking for a sense of serenity, a perceived connection to a more permanent and grounding plane, and a steadying faith in the continuation of my consciousness." I say, none of those supposed benefits are actually of any utilitarian value unless you've actually bargained away not just your atheism, but also your faculties for critical thinking. (There's nothing about permanence or impermanence that would actually make life any more or less meaningless, for instance.) But if you've given up those critical capacities, not only is your own life likely to suffer on balance, but you're also much more likely to be a significant drag on the overall happiness of the world. So I can see the appeal of ignorant bliss from the blissfully ignorant point of view, but I don't see the sense of the trade from point of view you have to occupy to consider it in the first place.

I suppose we could stipulate that the only stuff you'd have to stop thinking critically about would be the metaphysics and the existentialism, but as long as we're tailoring our hypothetical trade-offs to suit our preferences, I'd rather just be blissfully happy in the employment of my critical thinking abilities.

No comments: