18 August, 2008

Politics, religion and incentive structures

This is a really interesting post on the role of religion in politics. Not in the theocracy sense, but in the incentive structure sense. To quote a key part:
Indeed, though I myself am pro-choice and mostly irreligious, it seems more likely to me that the main effect of faith is to spur people to embrace causes that are personally and socially inconvenient. Slaveowners didn't need religion to motivate them to defend slavery; they had a powerful financial interest in doing so. Similarly, the pro-choice movement, at least in my experience, gets most of its activist energy from reproductive-aged women who have a strong interest in being able to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
Well worth a read.

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