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Now you're getting it.  The world can't be fixed.  It can't even be survived.  But it can be a nice place to live.

The worst people in the world, the Stalins and the Osama bin Ladens, try to be heroes but they're as flawed as anyone else.  If they start to succeed those flaws can manifest in horrifying ways.  They often destroy imperfect but necessary things in attempts to build perfect things that can't exist, like true Communism or functional political Islam.  Humility and temperance are called heavenly virtues for a reason.

That even though I decided that my morality would never demand that I be a hero... there nonetheless just isn't a coherent, enduring shape that fits my soul that doesn't make that the thing I ultimately want for myself.

Reading that, I'm not sure whether you're grieving because you've given up on that belief or because it's true.  I hope the former.  The desire to be a hero is dangerous - a hero needs villains.  As Nietzsche said, he who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't do what you can, but we all fall short of perfection.  We all burn fossil fuels, for one thing.  A bit of humility is in order.

It's not your job to save the world.  That's God's job, and if that job has driven God crazy it would explain quite a bit.

I think you're onto something.  I think, for this purpose, "child" means anyone who doesn't know enough about the topic to have any realistic chance at successful innovation.  A talented 16 year old might successfully innovate in a field like music or cooking, having had enough time to learn the basics.  When I was that age kids occasionally came up with useful new ideas in computer programming, but modern coding seems much more sophisticated.  In a very developed field, one might not be ready to innovate until several years into graduate school.  

A 16-year-old Salafi will be strongly influenced by his Salafi upbringing.  Even if he* rebels, he'll be rebelling against that specific strain of Islam.  It would take a very long and very specific journey to take him toward California-style liberalism; given the opportunity to explore he'd likely end up somewhere very different.

*My understanding of this particular Islamic school is hazy, but I doubt our student is female.

A child who's educated in a Salafi school has two choices - become a Salafi or become a failed Salafi.  One of those is clearly better than the other. Salafis, like almost every adult, know how to navigate their environment semi-successfully and the first job of education is to pass on that knowledge.  It would better if the kid could be given a better education, but the kid won't have much control over that (and wouldn't have the understanding to choose well).  Kids are ignorant and powerless; that's not a function of any particular political or philosophical system.  

I think in general it's best for children to learn from adults mostly by rote.  Children should certainly ask questions of the adults, but independent inquiry will be at best inefficient and usually a wrong turn.   The lecture-and-test method works, and AFAIK we don't have anything else that teaches nearly as well.

Later, when they have some understanding, they can look around for better examples.  

Yeah, that's the idea I was going for.  

I propose a test - if apologizing for or clarifying a controversial position is obviously a bad move, you're dealing with Level 4 actors.  In such cases, your critics don't care about what you believe.  Their narrative calls for a villain, and they've chosen you.

I think there are more limits than that because plausibility matters.  The set of positions Ibram X Kendi could plausibly take is very different from the positions available to Donald Trump.  Too big a reach and you'll look insincere, opportunistic, or weak.  It's easy to alienate your social coalition and much harder to gain acceptance in a new one.

You seem to be steering in the direction of postmodernism, which starts with the realization that there are many internally consistent yet mutually exclusive ways of modeling the world.  Humility won't solve that problem, but neither will a questioning mindset.  

Every intellectual dead-end was once the product of a questioning mind.  Questioning is much more likely to iterate toward a dead end than to generate useful results.  This isn't to say that it's never useful (it obviously can be), but it rarely succeeds and is only the optimal path if you're near the frontiers of current understanding (which schoolchildren obviously aren't).

The best way to get out of a local maximum that I've found is to incorporate elements of a different, but clearly functional, intellectual tradition.

I don't know about Moldova, but it seems obvious that the creation of modern Israel depended on the idea that the Palestinians could be managed and equally obvious that it hasn't worked out that way.  The only real endgames are genocide or leaving and personally I'd vote for leaving.

In 14 centuries of Islamic history from Spain to Indonesia, with limited travel and much regional variation for most of it, there will be many opportunities to find examples that match our own culture's Current Thing.  Some Muslims are hypocrites; some Westerners look for homosexual subtext where none was intended.  Many Muslim empires have risen in vigor and fallen in decadence.  Still, the orthodox position is clear - homosexuality is both sinful and illegal.  I've seen a Jew eat pork and laugh it off; it would be a mistake to make pork a key component of an appeal to militant Jews.

More to the point, in this era gay rights are associated with the West at its most liberal, which is exactly what Islamists oppose.  Activity that might have been tolerated a thousand years ago is now perceived as a Western obsession and its practitioners as enemy sympathizers.

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