May 10, 2003 by AK
Laurence Iannaccone on the taboos that keep “strong churches” (i.e., sectlike ones) together (via Virginia Postrel. They keep free riders out, to put it roughly. Economics is the imperial science, for a good reason. Economics has exported its methods, constructs and approaches to all realms of social science; they have proven extremely fruitful. The reason, perhaps, that a good economist must be a Renaissance person of sorts; hence the ability to generate universally applicable concepts.
More from VPostrel:
Devout Christians like Hugh have a tendency to equate morality, which is universal, with mitzvot (or taboos), which are particular and serve to establish and reinforce ties to a tribe or community of faith.
Very well put.
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