At some point, all of us have run up against policies that, in our concrete circumstances, simply don’t seem to make any sense. I’m not talking about bad laws, like the forced conversion of minorities — large-scale policies have been around for as long as there have been large-scale political arrangements. Rather, I’m talking about running headfirst into a procedural wall that was designed to be helpful, but in certain contexts seems to thwart the good.
In a previous post, I addressed the potential undesirable social consequences of putting too much weight on the particularity of narrative and political language for God, at the expense of more philosophical and metaphysical language to clarify it and make it universal. My concern there was that the narrative and political, when left alone, would lead to factionalism or sectarianism, and might breed either misanthropy or else a contempt for a very large out-group.
At the popular level, this can be a greater problem than at the more elite levels, but the elite levels are not at all immune. The importance of this was driven home to me in one of my visits to Facebook. There were two events of note.