Have you heard that Ben Carson believes the pyramids were built for grain storage? I had not until yesterday, listening to a caller to a public radio show, who went to pieces over what a freak like that might do if he got into the White House. Tyler Cowen tells everybody to calm down. Excerpt:
Besides, our Founding Fathers had some pretty strange notions about pyramids. Most of them did a pretty good job in office.
What Ben Carson has done is to commit the unpardonable sin of talking about his religion as if he actually takes it seriously.
Loyal MR readers will know that I am myself a non-believer. But what I find strangest of all is not Ben Carson’s pyramids beliefs, but rather the notion that we should selectively pick on some religious claims rather than others. The notion that it is fine to believe something about a deity or deities, or a divine book, as long as you do not take that said belief very seriously and treat it only as a social affiliation or an ornamental badge of honor.
Bully for Ben Carson for reminding us that a religion actually consists of beliefs about the world. And if you’re trying to understand his continuing popularity, maybe that is the place to start.
He’s right. Cowen, I mean.