Skip

Happy National Day of Reason!
May 3, 2012 6:47 AM   Subscribe

Take the day off, it's National Day of Reason!

From the Washington Post:

"I strongly support the National Day of Reason, although I wish it weren’t needed. There would be no National Day of Reason if there were not a government-endorsed National Day of Prayer."

Rep. Pete Stark, the only openly atheist member of Congress, issued a proclamation on April 27th:

"The National Day of Reason celebrates the application of reason and the positive impact it has had on humanity. It is also an opportunity to reaffirm the Constitutional separation of religion and government. Our nation faces many problems—bringing our troops home from Afghanistan, creating jobs, educating our children, and protecting our safety net from irresponsible cuts. We will solve these issues through the application of reason. We must also protect women’s reproductive choices, the integrity of scientific research, and our public education system from those who would hide behind religious dogma to undermine them."
posted by Windigo (25 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
According to my watch, May 3 was this past Tuesday, yet the clock on that page suggests Nat'l Day of Reason starts tomorrow.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:50 AM on May 3, 2012


So that's why I've suddenly come to my senses. Wondered what it was.
posted by Segundus at 6:58 AM on May 3, 2012


According to my watch, May 3 was this past Tuesday

I think both you need a new watch and this website needs a better webmaster.
posted by hippybear at 7:11 AM on May 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Reason reason reason oi!
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:17 AM on May 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Isn't a "National Day of Reason" kind of ... irrational?
posted by symbioid at 7:19 AM on May 3, 2012


To quote Tom Lehrer: "Be grateful that it doesn't last all year!"
posted by yoink at 7:54 AM on May 3, 2012


Be reasonable, people! in honor of the day, of course.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:05 AM on May 3, 2012


Isn't a "National Day of Reason" kind of ... irrational?

No more so than any other government proclamation of this kind. Personally I find all such proclamations rather silly. However, if the government's going to be in the business of formally celebrating our diverse populations, it'd be a good idea not to exclude a group unfairly maligned by so many Americans.
posted by audi alteram partem at 8:14 AM on May 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I nominate this figure for the role of Reason Day's Easter Bunny/Santa Claus.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:25 AM on May 3, 2012


Go humanists! Way to stick it to those silly religious people!
posted by BurntHombre at 8:34 AM on May 3, 2012


octobersurprise: I nominate this figure for the role of Reason Day's Easter Bunny/Santa Claus.

Hmm. I would counter with this guy instead.

Although, as he is from the UK and might be suspect for that reason, how about this?
posted by misha at 8:51 AM on May 3, 2012


We must also protect women’s reproductive choices, the integrity of scientific research, and our public education system from those who would hide behind religious dogma to undermine them."

'Cause if there's anything that's proved 100% amenable to the simple application of pure reason, it's the practical implementation of complicated policies to address enormous, multifactorial and poorly-understood social ills (via a gigantic and baroquely complex system of political machinery). QED.

If it's ever the case that "reason" becomes a mere empty shorthand for "not-religion" in the common vernacular, I will be really sad. Because logic is pretty fantastic in its own right, and the surest way to debase that is to cease to respect it in its own terms and make it instead into some sort of convenient rhetorical stick with which to beat non-members of one's designated politico-social ingroup.
posted by Bardolph at 9:58 AM on May 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


(and same exact thing goes for the National Day of Prayer [substituting "prayer" for "reason", of course], if its rationale, which I haven't read, includes anything like the equivalent aggressive language about protecting our nation's cherished institutions from those wily and pernicious atheists. God, politicians suck.)
posted by Bardolph at 10:11 AM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


'Cause if there's anything that's proved 100% amenable to the simple application of pure reason, it's the practical implementation of complicated policies to address enormous, multifactorial and poorly-understood social ills (via a gigantic and baroquely complex system of political machinery). QED.


Wow, you're right. We should stick to irrational prejudice and trending peer views.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:12 AM on May 3, 2012


equivalent aggressive language

The problem isn't just aggressive language, but also the longstanding narrative that either excludes non-religious Americans or casts them in a subordinate position.

For example, this year's National Day of Prayer presidential proclamation says, "I invite all citizens of our Nation, as their own faith directs them, to join me in giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy..."

All citizens of our nation do not have a faith, and it is problematic for the proclamation to imply they do. Day of Reason proclamations help restore balance to our national discourse by making clear that non-religious Americans play just as much a role in our nation as religious Americans.
posted by audi alteram partem at 10:24 AM on May 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I always smoke on national non-smoking day so I figure I'll be unreasonable on this one. I don't need a special day to be set aside for anything. Hey, is there a national non-drinking day? How about a national non-politician-slapping day? I could get behind those, too.
posted by Decani at 10:34 AM on May 3, 2012


I always smoke on national non-smoking day so I figure I'll be unreasonable on this one.

Yeah, you showed them.
posted by Edison Carter at 11:26 AM on May 3, 2012


It would seem to be the Season for the Reason.
posted by Splunge at 12:11 PM on May 3, 2012


And then tomorrow we can turn around and celebrate the religion of the Jedi Knights.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:16 PM on May 3, 2012


Excellent... my first day off this week.... and me with my trusty bowl of Cheerios. Perfect.

Reason... it's kind of a big deal.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 2:23 PM on May 3, 2012


If it's ever the case that "reason" becomes a mere empty shorthand for "not-religion" in the common vernacular, I will be really sad.

Well, since the only thing "religious" people agree on is that we're not supposed to subject "religion" to the same rational criticism as every other concept in human society, I won't be quite as sad as you.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 2:54 PM on May 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bardolph: "
If it's ever the case that "reason" becomes a mere empty shorthand for "not-religion" in the common vernacular, I will be really sad. Because logic is pretty fantastic in its own right, and the surest way to debase that is to cease to respect it in its own terms and make it instead into some sort of convenient rhetorical stick with which to beat non-members of one's designated politico-social ingroup.
"

I emphatically agree. In fact, I posted this on facebook earlier today:
The problem that "Science" faces is that so many self-proclaimed scientists (myself included) treat it as dogma instead of as a method for gaining knowledge.

Many current religions and philosophies (religious ones like Buddhism, Confucius, and Christianity, as well as political ones like America) started off asking the simple question "How can life be better?"

It was asking that question that gave them the strength they had. However, their disciples and descendants took the answers that buddha, jesus, and thomas jefferson guessed at and acted as if they were the absolute truth, ignoring the powerful question that empowered those people in the first place.

We all have the power to ask the question "How can life be better?" The methods of science are the way to find the answers to our questions. Anything else is not science. Sadly, in seven hundred years, people will believe that Darwin smiles down from heaven on them so long as bow and hypothesize ten times a day facing polaris, and after they die they will live forever in the Great Journals.
posted by rebent at 5:10 PM on May 3, 2012


Many current religions and philosophies (religious ones like Buddhism, Confucius, and Christianity, as well as political ones like America) started off asking the simple question "How can life be better?"

It was asking that question that gave them the strength they had.


Not to mention the brutal repression of dissenting opinions.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 5:19 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you showed them.
posted by Edison Carter at 7:26 PM on May 3


It isn't about showing "them" anything. Fuck "them". What it is, is a means of calming me the fuck down so I don't actually listen to the voices in my head telling me to actually do something stupid and inexcusable to "them".
posted by Decani at 9:52 AM on May 4, 2012


Tell me more about these voices commanding you to do inexcusable things.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:03 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older British Council Film Collection   |   Letters from Abbottabad: Bin Ladin Sidelined? Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post