Sunday, April 16, 2017

Connor gets "Secularism" wrong

Once again Connor Wood demonstrates his lack of critical thinking and poor understanding of science. Right from the start of "Is a secular America a worse America?" he makes a number of idiotic conflations. He writes as if there is only one possible definition of secularism. Wrong. In the context of political science secularism has far more to do with the system of governance than the individual preferences of the citizens under that government. Generally, the two are fairly closely aligned but do not have to be. For a government to be "secular" it must make an effort to separate religion from government. Historically speaking, a non-secular America would not be America at all. Separation of Church and State is a basic principle of our Constitution. Anyone who tries debating that is a wilfully ignorant fool.

Connor also conflates organized religion with religion in general. This is equally foolish and ignorant.  Not belonging to an identifiable religious group does not make an individual non-religious. The more individuals move away from organized religions the more, not less, important secularism becomes. In theory, if a religious group is large enough or influential enough it can provide a certain level of protection to its members in the form of social or economic power. If the group is small or there are many different groups (like in our country) this is not effective. Having codified protections from government has been the best and most effective way to ensure everyone can worship or not how they see fit. Basically, regardless of an individuals religious preference the only way to ensure religious freedom/freedom of conscience is through secularism, through Separation of Church and State.

Not surprisingly,Wood shows once again how much of a misnomer his blog's title is. This piece is just another example of his writing from an entirely religious perspective with religious motives and predetermined conclusions. It is the antithesis of science.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

PR Pope admits divisiveness and contradictions (inadvertantly)

It has been roughly a week and a half since I read the Catholic News Agency piece "Let go of 'false lights' that lead down the wrong path, Pope says." No one seems to have followed up or comment on it that I can find. This is interesting since if you think about its contents critically for more than a few minutes it reveals that the Pope inadvertently admitted that Christianity is divisive and that the Pope routinely conveys contradictory messages. Consider:
“If now I were to ask you, do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Do you believe that he can change your heart? Do you think you can see reality as he sees it, not as we do? Do you believe that he is light, that he gives us the true light?...abandoning false lights...cold and fatuous light of prejudice against others, because prejudice distorts reality and builds hate against those who we judge without mercy and condemn without an appeal.”
If Jesus is the "true light" doesn't that at least imply that all other religions and beliefs are "false lights"? How is this compatible with previous appeals to treating all faiths equally? How does this not contradict to some degree the last part of the quotation. If you are compelled by faith to assume all other religions and beliefs are false how can you not become prejudiced against them? Logically, this notion seems to lead to and even demand prejudice and divisiveness.