The chastity of the mind

No, theists as a class aren’t bad people, any more than atheists are.

Religious dogmatism often leads to a foolish insistence on implausible doctrines, but at least it has the excuse that religious dogmatists think they’re transmitting and defending divinely inspired traditional knowledge. I come from the skeptical tradition, so I’m almost always at odds with religious dogmatists, but what they’re doing makes sense in its own terms

I find dogmatic atheism harder to parse. The notion that religious people, as such, are enemies of humankind seems to me at least as silly as the analogous notion about atheists. And if you’re an atheist, you don’t even have the bad excuse that God told you to believe it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: