Secularism, yay or nay

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by A Cup Of Tea, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,310
    Likes Received:
    566
    As a jump off point:

    What would be the pros of abandoning secularism?
    In this interfaith context, are there alternatives to secularism?
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,770
    Likes Received:
    1,928
    The head of state can't have ties to any sect or religion....

    A little too much. Have ties?
     
  3. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    400
    I would say that the world is becoming increasingly secular for more than one reason.

    Firstly, the world is "getting smaller", and the ease of travel brought about by aeroplanes has
    increased emigration.
    Emigration has become more desirable due to growing gaps in perceived living standards.

    Secondly, this has brought about multicultural societies which employ secularism in order to 'keep the peace' [ political correctness ]

    ..and thirdly, we all have agendas, and many use secular arguments to 'move the goalposts'.

    We are where we are today. Is there an alternative? Of course.
    Imo, it can only be realised if the PEOPLE of a nation realise :)

    i.e. a natural process of democracy where the majority want to 'go back' to a system which reflects religious values.
     
  4. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,635
    Likes Received:
    110
    What? Return to Tribalism and Nationalism? Do you think humanity can handle more inbreeding?
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  5. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,609
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    In a secular democracy there are many people practicing all sorts of different religion within the law. So the obvious question is: in replacing secular democracy with theocracy -- which religion decides?

    The differences between religions become terrifying when deciding which religion authorizes state legislation. It quickly needs to eradicate all other religions but itself, and people who think differently become terrorists and moral degenerates, etc.

    No, no, NO!

    Back off religions. Stay out of it. Secular democracy every time. Imo
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
    Contrarian Deist likes this.
  6. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,609
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    In the world but not of the world. To Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's Imo
     
  7. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    400
    No, I don't think so. Your perception is probably due to the nature of UK society .. i.e. multicultural / multi-religion
    Was it so bad when King Arthur was in charge?
    As far as I'm aware, he was very popular and enriched life for the masses.

    It's not so much about WHICH religion .. it's more about sincerity and piety.
    ..and as I say, regards WHICH religion, it is all about the consensus.
    Will Jesus, peace be with him, run a secular govt. ? No!
    Will the world be happy with his govt. ? Yes! :)
     
  8. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,609
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    "My kingdom is not of this world"
    "Let the dead bury the dead. Leave what you have and follow me"

    Of course the understanding is that not all states are secular democracies. There are states where clearly one particular religion is prevalent and dominant. So, when in Rome ...

    But the need for (any) one particular religion to take over secular democracies and impose it's own theocracy upon them is very dangerous, imo ...
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
    Contrarian Deist likes this.
  9. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,609
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    The only way to change the outside world is to change the inner world, and anyone who does change the outside world (for the better) has first changed their own inside world. Imo

    8.5 billion people on this planet, we each try to find our own peace in our own way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
  10. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    400
    I understand what you mean .. it is from the viewpoint that we have something to lose,
    such as "freedom of religion" and being penalised for not agreeing with the state etc.

    This will not be the case when Jesus returns, for example. The vast majority will be righteous and
    believe that Jesus is who he says he is and accept the law [ God's law ] that he lays down.

    ..so secular states are increasingly becoming the majority in the present era, as I say, for a number of reasons.
    But it most certainly is not superior. It allows unrighteous behaviour to become the norm.
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  11. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,310
    Likes Received:
    566
    Must it be so? Can religious rule not be inclusive? Secularism certainly has it's limits, though you and I happen to agree with those limits. I don't see how Secularism is inherently less nationalistic than a imagined non-secular rule. Having spent a lot of time with Jehovah's Witnesses I think they are perhaps the least nationalistic group I can think of.
    Where do inbreeding come in!? The world was inbreed for thousands of years before secularism showed up?
     
  12. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,609
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    Yes but for that to happen human nature has to change: lust and greed and so on. Perhaps one day human nature will change but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting.

    Meantime government as they say is the art of the possible. People are people and that's the way they are. Even those who believe in God argue about exactly which books to reference.

    There are laws against theft and violence and murder and assault and so on, agreed upon by society as a whole.

    It really scares me when religions try to get a hold upon government ...
     
    Contrarian Deist likes this.
  13. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    400
    Human nature will NEVER change, by definition.
    What can change [ and will ], is our perceptions of good and bad. In fact, society is continually
    evolving, and who knows what will be the 'norm' in 10 years time !?

    Of course they do, just as the politicians belong to different parties and disagree with each other.
    Life must go on, and in general the people get what they vote for.

    How do religions "get a hold upon government" ? It seems that the opposite is happening right now.
    i.e. your view is the majority view

    As a matter of interest, if the Puritans [ Oliver Cromwell ] hadn't embarked on civil war
    against the Royalty, we wouldn't have the democracy driven by "the commons" we have
    here today in the UK. It wasn't that long ago in the grand scheme of things. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  14. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,609
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    My great grandfather:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Joseph_Corbet

    My grandfather’s Godfather:
    https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Edward-Redmond

    In place of Charles Parnell, who had just died:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Stewart_Parnell#:~:text=Charles Stewart Parnell (27 June,League from 1880 to 1882.

    Catholic, need it be said. Although interestingly, Parnell was born into an Anglo-Irish protestant family. But anyway they don’t do Oliver Cromwell much in those circles, lol :eek:

    Whether the English Civil war was a religious war is debatable; although the Royalists and Roundheads were mostly Catholics and Protestants respectively, it was more accurately a revolution against the power of the King? But surely the centuries of murderous religious wrangling in England alone prove how damaging it is for general society when religion and politics are mixed?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    2,024
    As ever, the answer lies somewhere around the idea of 'healthy dialogue'.

    Does that mean that to be head of state is de facto agnostic/atheist? That seems unfair ... rather I'd accept a head of state with declared religious conviction, and the populace can then decide, based hopefully on whether or not he'd make a good head of state?

    Secularism is proving to be as Tribal and Nationalist as religion, or vice versa ... I rather think people return to T or N when pointed in that direction (eg: US and UK politics, racism rampant across Europe, etc.)

    While I agree on many of the points, I would not propose such a sweeping statement. Oftentimes, the religious voice happens to be the voice or moral conscience, as the Bishops in the UK have spoken out against Govt. policies on the homeless, on refugees, on children, etc.

    I also know from experience that secularism works hard to silence the religious voice when the religious conscience stands in the way of secular political decisions. I do not support the bombing or even demonstrations outside abortion clinics ... but nor do I support eugenics.

    When I was doing my degree, a woman, a Catholic and a nurse was doing an MA paper discussing the moral pressures on Catholic nurses who were obliged to attend and participate in clinical abortions. She created a questionnaire by which to collect data from hospitals, and was refused at the very highest level. Later, when she sat her viva voce interview by examiners, the institute board wrote an official complaint that the interview was more like an interrogation than any other viva voce they had ever witnessed.

    The vocal secularist, often understandably feeling constrained by a religious conviction s/he doesn't hold, goes too far when seeking to have the religious opinion relegated to the private and personal. Religion is neither private nor personal, its social and collective, much as the individual ego of the west would like to see it otherwise (even among spiritual seekers).

    So no, I would not want an overtly religious state, as too often they are too conservative, too slow to change and too self-serving. But, OTOH, I would not want religious dialogue silenced.
     
    wil and RJM Corbet like this.
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    2,024
    I think so. And the (Religious) Puritanism instituted by Cromwell was truly oppressive, and unpopular.

    Moreso as Cromwell increasingly stepped into the trappings of kingship.

    Historically, yes ... but let's not forget that a CofE bishop gets a seat in the House of Lords.
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  17. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    400
    County Wicklow eh? "The garden of Eire" .. a spectacular region. I lived on the edge of it [ at the foot of Dublin mountains ] for a while.

    Hmm .. it wasn't only happening in UK / Eire .. the Reformation was a serious split for Christians all over!
    Naturally, this would cause havoc.

    In France, for example, we had Napoleon cutting off people's heads. France today has an even greater affinity to
    religious authority than we do in the UK.

    I don't see how you can really separate religion and politics in the long run, without creating a society that
    is based on falsehood. eg. adultery is acceptable

    A secular society is one in which divine morality/law is swapped for an evolving man-made law.
    That's what you get when people think that "their sect is the only one God likes" etc.
    i.e. sectarian divisions
    ..so the devil causes division, and we end up with a society that is heading for big-trouble!

    It is no wonder that Jesus will be returning to "get us back on track".
    Disaster is but an arm's length away. Secular govt. is not solving the major problems we have.
    The gap between the have's and have not's worsens, while increasing disease & climate-change is happening around us.

    Without strong moral guidance, we have no chance!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    How can secular govt. save us from our own foolhardiness?
    We have US & France with their respected 'banker heads of state', and China with its
    communist dictatorship whose aim to become the most prosperous nation, being entirely
    contradictory...
    What hope has mankind got with these 'false gods' being in charge?
    I'm not advocating a violent, lawless revolution.
    I don't think things can improve until we all acknowledge Almighty God, and stop making material wealth our god.
    We might then get better govts. that reflect that. Naturally, satan will oppose it. His
    agenda is to mislead us so we will self-destruct.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
  18. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,635
    Likes Received:
    110
    I would say the Jehovah's Witnesses are also one of the most mindfully secular groups (in separating the state from the church) that I can think of! Being so completely separated from politics also means they are completely separated from nationalism. I would agree with you that so-called secular states can be nationalistic--the State becomes "god," {which is why I used the term so-called secular state.}

    Tribalism and the practice of "keeping the blood pure" by marrying only within your tribe.
     
    A Cup Of Tea and RJM Corbet like this.
  19. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,609
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    My father was born in England and I was born in Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia. I'm entitled to an Irish passport through my grandfather, but as he died in Zimbabwe and as it's impossible to get his death certificate from the Zimbabwe government, I can't get the passport.

    I moved from South Africa to England 10 yrs ago, with UK citizenship via my father.
     
  20. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    400
    That's right .. society is about community, and religion is "the glue".
     

Share This Page