Secularism

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  • Secularism
    • 'God is dead... and we have killed him.' - decline of religion. Christianity limits morality, if you are not limited you are Ubermensch.
    • Max Weber-  'disenchantment of the world.' - modernity necessitates the decline of religion.
    • Rousseau - 'state needs common values that citizens can agree on.' Religion isn't good enough as it divides people.
      • Hume - religion is practised by the uneducated.
    • Freud - religion is a key course of psychological illness and belongs to infantile. At this stage a person is in need of external care and security - God is a projection of our fathers.
      • Religion is a neurosis and a coping mechanism. Wish fulfilment - deity is a personification of our needs and is the result of uncertainty and anxiety.
      • Responses to Freud: 1) Keith Ward - F is reductionist as he reduces everything to material terms. Not an adequate explanation for the spiritual explanation of existence.
        • 2) Religion is assisting rather than disabling. It can give us a rich understanding and form communities.
          • Freud doesn't deny the experience of the mystical - seen in his reply to Romain Rollard who had written about his 'oceanic experience' - is he as reductionist as we think?
    • Dawkins - Science and evolution more convincing than religion. Religion is abusive - children below the age of consent. ALL things must be able to be subject to empirical study.
    • BUT - 'Faith is the root of freedom and progmmatic secularism cannot deliver anything anything comparable.' Rowan Williams ex-Archbishop of Canterbury
      • Christopher Dawson - secular education brings challenges and deprives people of ability and right to embrace own culture and religion.
      • Charles Taylor - 'subtraction stories' are used to show that neither God nor any 'greater being' is needed to live full lived e.g. Dawkins and Freud. 'It is the highest freedom to be moved by one’s mystique (one’s experience of the Holy Spirit) as against being organized and mobilized and constrained by political authority to follow the rules.'
      • Humanism isn't communal enough but too individual. Excluding God from our explanation of the world reflects a Western phase. We need to distance ourselves from secularism and embrace the sense of the divine.
        • Terry Eagleton - secularism cannot replace spirituality. Secularism has made religion and morality irrelevant! 'faithless Western secular atheism' Michael Wilcockson
    • Procedural Secularism - State would consider int. of all citizens and institutions but wo/ preference.
    • Progmattic Secularism - State purely secular - all religion excluded from institutions.

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