Friday, January 18, 2008

Perhaps He Wants A T-Shirt

From this LRB article, interesting of itself, a quote from Baraka Obama (full text here, which actually isn't quite so politically liberal).

Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all . . . Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of what’s possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It’s the art of the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God’s edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one’s life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime, but to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing.

Might Obama have read a certain work by a certain political theorist? I wouldn't like to speculate.

5 comments:

Ben said...

Do you have t-shirts?

On the subject of which, one thing Chris said yesterday is that a lot of what we know about Epicureanism comes down to us because some rich devotee paid to have a lot of his ideas carved in big letters on a wall somewhere in the middle east (I forget the exact details, but something like that). There's an idea for you and Patrick...

Rob Jubb said...

No, I haven't got T-shirts yet. I did find a satisfactory picture of the great man online, but I never got round to actually going to ShirtWorks and sorting out the T-shirts.

It'd need an index, and, as we know, neither Patrick nor I like indexing.

Alex B said...

It _must_ have been the picture by Steve Pyke:
http://www.pyke-eye.com/view/phil_I_15.html

Rob Jubb said...

Nah, it's a less disturbing looking one. I think the Pyke one might be a bit much emblazoned across your chest.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps he actually thought it. Came up with it independently?