Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beyond "No Gods, No Masters"

Upgraded and adapted from the Moot:

As an atheist and a democrat I won't deny an affinity for the slogan "no gods, no masters," but the pedant and rhetorician in me can't long leave such slogans well enough alone.

As an atheist who is also a democrat, I see no way of abolishing faith without abolishing style (which is not only impossible, but would be terrible were it possible), and so I see the democratic struggle instead as the secular struggle for an ever more perfect separation of church and state from which the faithful and freethinkers benefit alike.

As a person who believes that the guiding democratic aspiration of equity-in-diversity is facilitated by fact-based harm-reduction policy but who is also an anti-incumbent anti-elitist, I see no way to accomplish progressive outcomes without some folks always having to defer, from moment to moment, and in ways that are to them unwanted, to the authority of expertise (expertise in the sense of invoking relevant disciplinary knowledge, expertise in the sense of actually representing stakeholder perspectives, expertise in the sense of functioning as duly constituted agents in legitimate accountable governance, and so on), and so I see the democratic struggle instead as the struggle to widen participation in the constitution of such authorities to all their stakeholders and to deepen accountability over the exercise of such authorities to those who are affected by it.

I don't know how to capture that in a bumper sticker off the top of my head. "No gods, no masters, but yes aesthetics and yes accountable authorities" seems rather a rough draft at best.


Lincoln Cannon said...

All Gods, All Masters

Dale Carrico said...

For those readers who are new Lincoln Cannon is a transhumanist (robot cultist) and a Mormon (UFO cultist), and hence can be expected to swoop in and say crazy things like this. No need to reply, best to pat his head in a kindly manner and move on.

Lincoln Cannon said...


... irony, arrogance, ridicule, ad hominem. Kindness? No. Funny? Yes.

Dale Carrico said...

ad hominem

You deny you are a Mormon Transhumanist?


Only of the ridiculous.


An accusation made, mind you, by someone who has just posted the words "All Gods, All Masters" in response to one who would question such... arrogance.

Lincoln Cannon said...

Irony: Dale swoops in to say crazy things about me while dismissing me as someone who says crazy things.

Arrogance: Dale encourages responding to me as one would to a dog. He sees arrogance in an appeal to godhood in all, but he doesn't see arrogance in an appeal to doghood in one.

Ridicule: Dale characterizes me as a UFO robot cultist, which does sound ridiculous, but of course I don't recognize myself in that characterization.

Ad hominem: Dale appeals to a ridiculous mischaracterization of me rather than to the idea I expressed. He overlooks or distracts from the meaning of "ad hominem" by repeating the ad hominem, asking whether I identify as a Mormon Transhumanist.

Dale Carrico said...

Lincoln, joyous though this ritual is let's end it now: I know you are but what am I -- infinity. Let's see if anybody else has something to say now, shall we? This post wasn't actually about you or your robot cult and you're boring everybody.

jim said...

Chain your gods, chain your masters.

Dale Carrico said...

Disdain your gods, disdain your masters.

Chad Lott said...

Chain your tires.

Dale Carrico said...

Unchain your melody, chain of fools.