Time to wrap up.
Russell Blackford has his third response to me up. Looking at that, and going back to look at how all this started, I have to make some concessions.
I overcooked my interpretation of the Bouma-Blackford dispute, pressing it into use for my own agenda. I didn’t, and still don’t, know exactly what Bouma was getting at, and I didn’t give too much thought to the wider context of why Blackford responded as he did. I still maintain that someone who considers secular criticism of religious communities to be liable to cause social division is not necessarily driven by an arbitrary anti-secular animus. But by putting my own spin on a concrete situation of which I have inadequate knowledge, I didn’t get off on the right foot.
Blackford suggests that I should write a book. Actually, a book project is part of my hidden agenda. It’s not a dive into pure political philosophy—that really isn’t my thing. It departs more from my daily concerns about science, science education, religion, and politics. I need a good deal of political philosophy to give me a context for what I’ll be getting at. So yes, I’ve been doing some reading and banging my head against some ideas for the last few years, particularly trying to get a sympathetic understanding of viewpoints I ordinarily disagree with and move on. My views, as is probably obvious, have been shifting and being thrown into confusion in some respects. I expect they will change further. In any case, there are a few more years before I will feel comfortable putting together a book that will heavily depend on taking a political stance—assuming all this works out at all. (That’ll also depend on how much of a brick wall some equations I’m also banging my head against turn out to be.)