7th February 2008

“The idea that religion has re-emerged in public life is to some extent an illusion. It never really went away – certainly not to the extent that French politicians and American college professors imagined.”

The Economist

11 Responses to “7th February 2008”

  1. Nefari Says:

    Is this quote published online? I’m not familiar with the context. Does it matter what the French politicians and American college professors imagined? The problem remains the same regardless.

  2. Terence Meaden Says:

    Q. for Mr. Admin

    Yes, what was the date of the article or editorial in The Economist?

    Who was the writer, if not the editor (in which case please name)?

  3. Critic Says:

    I agree that religion has always been a major part of public life – especially in the southeastern US. However, I think that the current occupant of the white house has done quite a bit to enhance the voice of the religious through his own stupid public religious musings and his promotion of “fatih based” initiatives.

    Religions have always been around and they will always be around subverting the minds of the innocent and the ignorant.

    When religion is outlawed only outlaws will be religious. Which is the way it should be. ;{>}

  4. Nefari Says:

    The comment about outlawing religion reminded me of this quote from Clarke’s 3001: Final Odyssey:
    =====
    ‘You know, of course, that Dave Bowman went out in the Number 2 Pod to rescue you – but was then locked outside the ship because Hal refused to open the pod-bay doors.’
    ‘Why, for God’s sake?’
    Dr Kim winced slightly. It was not the first time Poole had noticed such a reaction. (Must watch my language, he thought. ‘God’ seems to be a dirty word in this culture – must ask Indra about it.)
    =====
    That’s quite a vision he has there: the god concept rejected by the culture without an artificial repression by the law. That’s how ideas really die. The Soviets and Chinese were unable to repress the idea through law, yet we don’t have laws mandating the world is round.

  5. Critic Says:

    That’s quite a vision he has there: the god concept rejected by the culture without an artificial repression by the law.

    Yes, I agree completely. My quip was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. As I have stated previously, I would never support laws banning religion. But I would whole-heartedly support cultural rejection. I would like to see religion as a social taboo. It would be nice if the mention of god or religion in public was an embarrassment akin to farting in a crowded elevator. That would work much better in the eradication of supreme ignorance perpetuated by the religious mind.

  6. Chris Says:

    Personal anecdote – Once I’d sloughed off the catholic yoke I never gave religion a moment of thought until “W” was selected. As I watched him and saw what he was and who he identified with and the language he used, I realized the necessity of being an antitheist. I was happier when I wasn’t paying attention, but now that I am, I see how this evil permeates our lives. It’s everywhere and is always seeking some new island to plant its flag on. Nonetheless, I find some hope in my experience and expect that my revulsion must be shared by many. It’s in the numbers. Change is coming.

  7. Terence Meaden Says:

    Critic: ” . . . I would whole-heartedly support cultural rejection. I would like to see religion as a social taboo. It would be nice if the mention of god or religion in public was an embarrassment . . . ”

    You are right. Of course it should be—that it is immediately to be seen as intellectually demeaning of the speaker, to declare any belief in irrational religion, and still worse to admit that one relies on the solace of thinking there is some fictional friend in the sky to whom one wastes part of one’s life in degrading submission by empty prayer.

    As it is, those who admit to any belief in such supernatural entities do at least expose their cerebral inability for free thought, they show that they had been brainwashed at some stage in their lives, and they demonstrate beyond any doubt that they are lacking in completeness of education.

  8. Nefari Says:

    Since brainwashing is a disease it can be approached as one. Perhaps a Twelve Step program could be modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous:

    1. We admitted we were powerless over religion—that we were tricked, duped, pressured, and coerced against reason and evidence.
    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

    Damn!

  9. Critic Says:

    Nefari: good attempt, but I think you gave up too easily. Here’s my effort.

    The 12-Steps to Freedom from Religion

    1. We admitted that religion is powerless over us – that our lives had become unmanageable under the idiocy of religious dogma.
    2. Came to believe that since we live in a naturalistic univers and there is no supernatural power we will restore ourselves to sanity without relying on the crutch of religion.
    3. Made a decision to use our brains and not turn our will and our lives over to the care of a non-existent god.
    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and found ourselves to be moral and good without the intervention of a non-existent god.
    5. Admitted to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of the wrongs that religion has done to us.
    6. Were entirely ready to remove all defects of character imposed on us by religious dogma.
    7. Humbly work hard to remove our shortcomings.
    8. Made a list of all persons we know that religion had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
    9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
    10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
    11. Sought through reading and intellectual pursuits to improve our lives by ignoring religious dogma in any form working only for knowledge and not in the furtherence of dogma.
    12. Having had a mental awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to those other poor saps who are still under the religious delusion, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

    Now, all we need is a info-mercial.

  10. Admin Says:

    Is this quote published online?

    The article is still available: The new wars of religion

    what was the date of the article or editorial in The Economist?

    Nov 1st 2007.

    Who was the writer, if not the editor

    It’s not attributed.

  11. Nefari Says:

    Critic: Beautiful.

    Reading through that list reminded me of the harm I’d done to people in the name of god.

    Sobering.