how maladaptive this Balkanization of our discourse has become

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Does "how maladaptive...has become" refer to "the state/situation of being maladaptive has become far worse"?

The problem to my understanding is that Balkanization itself has already been maladaptive because Balkanization leads to a division in which smaller parts or smaller nations become hostile to each other. You can't say that a state/situation that is already maladaptive becomes maladaptive; but you can say that the state becomes worse.



Thanks in advance

*******************
A man's faith is just a subset of his beliefs about the world: beliefs about matters of ultimate concern that we, as a culture, have told him he need not justify in the present. It is time we recognized just how maladaptive this Balkanization of our discourse has become. All pretensions to theological knowledge should now be seen from the perspective of a man who was just beginning his day on the one hundredth floor of the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, only to find his meandering thoughts— of family and friends, of errands run and unrun, of coffee in need of sweetener—inexplicably usurped by a choice of terrible starkness and simplicity; between being burned alive by jet fuel or leaping one thousand feet to the concrete below.

-Sam Harris

Source: The End of Faith (PDF)
 
  • Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    As I read the phrase, the author is implying that the Balkanization has become maladaptive.
    To say that X has become Y implies that at first X was not Y, but now, as a result of a change, X is Y.
    I don't see anything in the original phrase to indicate comparison, such as "more" or "less",
    but you may have interpreted it that way based on your prior knowledge that Balkanization is inherently maladaptive.
    Does this make sense?
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    In your opinion, is Balkanization still a form of being adaptive?
    I had a hard time understanding the original phrase and the implied relation between these two terms.
    What is the Balkanization of discourse?
    Does "adaptiveness" refer to Darwinian fitness for survival?
    Is the author saying that the subdivision of Homo sapiens into warring tribes is not good for the survival of the species on this planet?
     

    Vovan

    Senior Member
    Russian
    'This Balkanization of our discourse' refers to the fact of 'a man's faith' having become 'just a subset of his beliefs about the world'.

    'This Balkanization of our discourse' here means 'this fragmentation of our discourse". A lot of people here (in the West) believe not only in what the Holy Scriptures tell them to, but also in many other things (such as tolerance toward LGBT being a virtue, for example). Very roughly speaking, Christians easily lose to Muslims when the two religions happen to collide these days, because the discourse of Muslims is more consistent (=not Balkanised).
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The 'Balkanization' refers to the <fact that> we don't require any religious beliefs to be justified in the present according to shared standards of proof.

    A man's faith is just a subset of his beliefs about the world: beliefs about matters of ultimate concern that we, as a culture, have told him he need not justify in the present.

    The stark example offered here is the assault on the World Trade center by people motivated by their religion as they interpreted it, but the author sees this as the sort of thinking to which all religions are susceptible. The author is not singling out the Muslim religion for criticism.

    From the summary offered by the Wiki article on the work:

    In an introductory chapter, Harris calls for an end to respect and tolerance for the competing belief systems of religion, which he describes as being "all equally uncontaminated by evidence". While focusing on the dangers posed by religious extremist groups now armed with weapons of mass destruction, Harris is equally critical of religious moderation, which he describes as "the context in which religious violence can never be adequately opposed."

    Harris continues by examining the nature of belief itself, challenging the notion that we can in any sense enjoy freedom of belief, and arguing that "belief is a fount of action in potentia." Instead he posits that in order to be useful, beliefs must be both logically coherent, and truly representative of the real world.
    The End of Faith - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited:

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    I had a hard time understanding the original phrase and the implied relation between these two terms.
    What is the Balkanization of discourse?
    Does "adaptiveness" refer to Darwinian fitness for survival?
    Is the author saying that the subdivision of Homo sapiens into warring tribes is not good for the survival of the species on this planet?
    IMO, the Balkanization of discourse refers to the mutually hostile divisions in public discourse, such as the incompatibility between theism and atheism, or between religion and science, or between different religions which are uncontaminated by evidence.

    De-Balkanization appears to be one of the purposes of the book.

    Adaptiveness obviously includes Darwinian fitness for survival, but there are more that we should do and can do for the well-being of man in the author's view. For science has offered us powerful tools for doing so.

    I don't understand your last question. It appears not to be the author's opinion.
     
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