Secularism vs Religion: Which can give society the best all round guide?

by Spectrum 14 Replies latest social current

  • jgnat

    Narkissos: I don't believe "secularism can end up being a religion" (jgnat) as long as it doesn't offer adequate and universal ways of dealing subjectively with one's life and death.

    Excellent point. I had in mind various secularist experiments, such as American democracy and Russian communism. Both ideologies were/are defended fiercly with apparent religious zeal. Both wrote themselves mythical origins and mythical heroes. The Americans have Benjamin Franklin and the guy who chopped down the cherry tree (I cannot tell a lie). The Russians embalmed Lenin. It seems, in the absence of God, 'godless' societies have to provide a replacement to worship.

    But you are right, in the most strictest sense, a political ideology is not a religion unless it offers the complete package. I think the Communists tried. "You die. You obtain immortality by contributing to the collective."

    Narkissos: Moreover, if you take a broader view of "conservative" as "resistance to change," you'll realise that it comes from many sources and motives.

    This is the core of the matter. Thank you for saying it out loud.

    Narkissos: Opposition to biological or genetic experiments is both from the far left ecologists and the right-wing Christians; opposition to social change (as in the destruction of the French Labour code under the pressure of globalisation) comes from the left wing, communist and socialist; opposition to societal changes (e.g. gay rights) from the right wing.

    It is refreshing to get the French perspective. American politics are so polarized. You are either a godless democrat or a Christian Conservative. Canadian politics are a little more complex. We have four. You are either a godless liberal, a regional conservative, a socialist, or a separatist. But Canadians are convinced that ALL politicians in it for the kick-backs. As for the French, well, it is obvious the choices are far more complex.

    I am going to get in to so much trouble for these comments. Americans are so fiercly proud of their politics, and rightly so. But they think they invented democracy.

  • Elsewhere
    Early white America was highly religious but that didn't stop them from killing off the Natives of North and South America.

    They killed off the native inhabitant's *because* they were religious. They used the term "Manifest Destiny" to justify the slaughter. This simply means that the Christians believed they had god's blessings and the native population was nothing more than a bunch of heathens. The Christians actually believed they were doing the natives a favor by trying to force them into Christianity in an attempt to prevent them from going to hell.

  • Narkissos

    Good point about "manifest destiny" Elsewhere -- I was thinking of that when I read Spectrum's original post, but then I forgot.

  • lovelylil

    Narkissos & Terry - very good responses and so true

    About the Native Americans in our country - unfortunately the exclusive attitude that the Christians had back them "we are blessed, you are cursed" that led to them killing the Native Americans is not far from the same attitudes some Christian groups have today. It is a scary thought, but these groups would probably have tried to exterminate the rest of us for their God if not for Secular law preventing it.

    Think of the WT's shunning law - the thought behind it is they "shun" us as if we are dead because they cannot "stone us", which is what is the rightful penalty for turning our backs on God (according to them and their bible interpretation), because the law prevents them from doing so. Not because it would not even cross their mind in doing so. You see the same scary attitude?

    The bible says God allows these secular governments to be in place for our protection - or there would be total anarchy, if you believe that then that is a very good thing isn't it? Lilly

  • slimboyfat


    Thank you for your response. I did not simply rephrase your question, but substituted a different one.

    You asked what would be better for society, whereas I pointed out that it is what is 'true' that really matters. The answer to those two questions (what is 'true' and what is 'beneficial) could, and most probably are in my view, quite contrary to one another. It is perfectly possible that there is no God, yet human societies are more cohesive and less troublesome if people generally have faith in a deity. It is also perfectly possible that it is 'good' for people's psychological, emotional, physical and social well-being to believe in an afterlife - yet for those hopes to be predicated on a false assumption.

    There is nothing to suggest that if belief in God is 'good' for us, that this means there must be a God.

    So that is why I say you are asking the wrong question. At least it is not so much the question I would be interested in. I want to know whether there really is a God, not just be reassured that believing there is one has good social side-effects.


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