5 Aphorisms on Science, Religion, and Development
1. I feel like science is that family that screams at each other all saturday night long waking up the whole neighborhood and then shows up to socialize at a local potluck pretending like nothings wrong and acting like no one knows they’ve got issues. Each scientific field claims their version of the scientific method is the “correct” one — like teenage girls. News flash: you can’t all marry Robert Pattinson.
2. I feel like avoiding discourse about the values underlying scientific research because God and the soul can’t be proven, is like avoiding talking about morals with your children because you can’t control everything they’re going to do when they grow up anyway — so why try?
3. I feel like development needs to avoid thinking of native religions like a cultural idiosyncrasy of the people, the same way we’ve outgrown the notion that racial dialogue is the emotional need of African-Americans. Wake up call privilege: There’s truth to people’s perspectives.
4. I feel like because the poverty gap is getting bigger than ever before, development needs to come up less with grand projects and listen more to the needs and potential of indigenous people. Remember the middle-aged mom who forced her 3-year-old girl to compete in beauty contests? Hey mid-life crisis: your failed goals are not your daughter’s misfortune.
5. I feel like the separation of church and state in development is like the separation of truth and justice in the legal system. Truth comes out of attorneys paid to represent their client the same way that prosperity comes out of westerners paid to trivialize the beliefs and motivations of indigenous people. Rethink your model: Motivations and Outcomes are connected, in the courtroom and in the farmland.