Monday, August 16, 2010

The Separation of Ideas and State

My latest editorial is now available at PJM. Please feel free to stop by and leave comments or engage in (courteous) debate, as I think this one may be more controversial than previous pieces. (Plus comments and links encourage the editors to publish future work.)

Here are the opening paragraphs:
What do the following disputes — running the cultural gamut — have in common?

In education: Should creationism or evolution be taught in public schools? In science: Should we form de facto boards of inquisition to maintain the government-funded consensus on global warming? In arts: Should we support “diversity” in the form of the “Piss Christ”? Or should we engage in social engineering by funding art “that would show support for Obama’s domestic agenda”? And in a sad mixture of religion, politics, and science: Should taxpayers continue to support NASA with an annual budget of $19 billion so that it can pursue its new mission to “engage … with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science”?

The answer? Each seeks to determine which ideas taxpayers must fund and support. In so doing, each contributes to making modern politics more acrimonious and fractious than ever.
Thanks to TK, Paul Hsieh and Lucy Hugel for valuable editorial feedback on this one.

2 Comments:

Blogger Richard said...

Oh Dear! Is this even a sentence, "For the impact of resolving these questions goes well beyond their monetary costs.:

Is it the "For" that should be deleted?

10:40 PM  
Blogger Amit Ghate said...

Thanks Richard, I think you're right. "For" is a coordinating conjunction here, so the sentence (fragment) should have been joined to the previous sentence with a comma. It's an even bigger error on my part because one my editors had taken the "for" out, but I didn't see why and it "sounded" better to me with it in, so I kept it.

Hopefully my writing skills will improve over time, but more importantly, hopefully the many people who can write much more eloquently and accurately than I ever could, will begin to make their voices heard -- slowly allowing me to make my way back to the sidelines where I probably belong.

11:37 AM  

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